Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fixied Fight 5 Alleycat Race (4-23-11)

I really enjoy doing these AlleyCat races on my fixie....it's a completely different type of race and riding (and group of people). Plus, it's in St. Pete, so I know that area pretty well. An AlleyCat race is basically a race that is styled after what messengers do for a living; go to different stops as quickly as possible and pickup/drop off something to each "check point".

Here's the data on the course from my Garmin.

156 people had signed up for the race; Fixie/Single speed and geared bikes, "racer types" along with the shorts-n-t-shirts crowd. It's a Lemonds style start and unfortunately there was a bad crash at the start behind me once everyone had gotten on their bikes. There were more crashes at this race than normal...I'm sure it was due to the large field size.
The difference for this race was that at each check point you got a map that showed were the next check point was, which made it more difficult but a touch slower than normal. IO was lucky enough to stay on the top group of 5-6 riders (which had to include Pete) the whole time; the first two-three check points had up to twenty riders but it soon thinned out. Flats and crashes/near misses cut our group down to just five people. It was hot and having water was going to be important; I had two bottles with me....unfortunately, on the "pave' section" many people lost one or two of their bottles. I didn't know it until later but I had lost one of mine. We kept going and a guy from Miami and I were hanging on; I had run out of water and didn't know how much longer the race was going to be going on. We only made one wrong turn and that's were I almost got dropped from the lead group...lucky for me the check point was back a long sandy/grassy road and I was able to ride 1/2 of it and catch back on. Pete had ridden the whole thing and had gaped us. We were not going to be able to bring him back and and the guy from Miami flatted there so it was down to three in the chase group with 2 more check points to go I think.
Before the race started the organizer had told everyone that the number card everyone got would determine the placing for everyone....you had to give it at the finish line and that's how placing would be done. right.
Well, at the last check point I knew where we were and where we needed to get to...I was behind Elizabeth and Giorgio had dropped behind me. I sat up the last 100 meters to grab my number out of my kit pocket and that's when Giorgio went by me...I calmly gave my number to them b/f he did and expected to be 3rd OA and 2nd place for male fixie....it didn't work out that way and I should have just gotten to the line first and worry about that damn number later. I did win some cool DVS shoes that I can pick out so 3rd ain't so bad. Lot's of luck is needed to do well in one of these.

The top ten placings:
1 Pete Young Tampa
2 Elizabeth Hill St. Petersburg
3 Giorgio Torregrosa Orlando
4 Rick Adams Dunedin
5 Ben Pridgeon St. Petersburg
6 Daniel Gochneaur Tampa
7 Bryan McGuire St. Petersburg
8 Kirstin Johnson Washington, DC
9 Klaus Gopfert St. Petersburg
10 TIII West Palm Beach

Great times and people along with free PBRs made for a great day.


Chain of Lakes Road Race and TT (4-2-11)

After all the crashes and the disappointment I had in the Tampa Crit....I thought a Road Race would be a good way to break out of my funk. Plus, I thought trying a Time Trial would be "fun" to do on the same day. I decided to try again the CAT4s....I knew Craig and David were going to racing that along with some of my GearLink team mates.

Well some team mates help out by watching Sadie for me and I go to get warmed up. It's a big field and the double-yellow line is going to be strictly enforced which means a NASCAR style road race where getting in position will be very tough. True to form, the CAT4s bunch up, attack, set in and bunch up again...interval work and very frustrating to race. On lap two I end up getting pushed off the road by a guy; I recover nicely by "calmly" riding off the road for 10 meters than gently coming back on the road without missing a beat. To say that I'm happy that I didn't freak out and go down is an understatement and the guy that caused it was really bumming that he cause it. No blood, no foul.
It takes me 1 & 1/2 laps on the 13 mile course to work my way up to the front...we slow up again and I say "f it" and go to the front to pull hard and try to string the group out. Two others come up with me and will work but the "Colombians" are more than happy to chase and then sit in/bunch up. Good grief.
So I try to keep in good position for the remainder of the race and will try to lead out a couple of my team mates who are doing well in the points classification. I get great position and talk with Jason on what I'm thinking about and then at the 2K sign to the finish, I suddenly have a terrible cramp in my left thigh....I let Jason know and try to spin out the cramp losing positions as I do. I spin out the cramp and think I can still sprint for a pretty good finish. Well during the race there were 2-4 strong but squirrely riders and I was able to keep away from them most of the time...unfortunately one goes for the sprint, freaks out and somehow losing a tubie right in front of me....
I end up going off road again and almost getting knocked over...I jump back on the road but the best I can do at that point is 19th. Can you see me in the two photos?

Bummer. But that's FL racing.

So in less than 2 hours after finishing the roadrace I'll be doing my first TT ever Merckx style. Let's just say it was 8 miles of pain and hoping I wouldn't cramp up, start crying like a little gurl and be able to finish it. I ended up around 19th in the CAT4s. My lame data on that is here. The course started down hill with the wind at your back, then some rollers with the wind at your side and finishing with the uphill and the wind dead on. I'm glad I tried it and would like to try the fixie at the Ft Desoto TT sometime.

I'm missing my BMC SLX01 by the way.....


Tampa Twlight Crit (3-26-11)

This was my A race for the season....it is a technical course that goes on in a cool part of downtown Tampa. I watched it and took pictures last year and wanted to race it but got pretty sick the week before the race.

Due to all of the crashes that I've been involved with while racing with the CAT(Crash)4s I decided to race with the Masters 45+. It should be safer but a lot faster. Some ex-pros were going to doing that race.
I prepared for the race well and felt well during the group rides and the B group training crit; I didn't go out Friday night......all in prep for the afternoon race.
I arrived there on time....hooked up my bike on a trainer provided by the race sponsor and ended up warming up next to the winner of the race, an ex-pro.
The race started and I was in great position; around the top ten for 2-3 laps. The group started coming up and around and I think I was too cautious due to my crash two weeks before and lost 10 spots or so. Another couple of laps went by and after turn two I was towards the back and my legs were cramping up anytime I got out of the saddle to stay in the group coming out of turns. It got bad enough were I ended up getting dropped. I figured to just finish the race and see if I could spin my legs out and jump back on. No such luck.

Despite getting dropped and lapped, I still enjoyed riding the course. I was just extremely bummed that I didn't do better. Everyone said later it was the hardest race they had done so far this season.....yeah, it was hot, but no excuses, I just had a bad day. My data from my Garmin.

At least there wasn't a crash in our race; the CAT4s had one in the bell lap....

There more races to go.