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TNT June 30

Thursday, June 30 plans – firstly, come with a plan.  How hard will you ride?  how many efforts will you do?  Do you need teammates to push you?

Paceline until 6:45pm, 2 technical sprints, 4 laps with 8 sprints (2 to 3 and 4 to 1 times 4 equals eight sprints).  Farlek paceline means you jump from the back to the front and maintain the pace of the group.  Meaning you jump and then you sustain at the front.  Tough part is to not slow at the front or surge.  One paceline for 5 efforts for those that wish to do 5.  Let a teammate slide to the back if you do not want the effort.  When that is completed we will work on 3 to 4 person team time trailing for 3 laps each.  Larry

2011 Burlingame Criterium 35+ Cat 4

Second race on the day for me. The report for this one should start in the parking lot first though. I’m sure many of us have seen a rider in the parking lot and had that “oh crap” feeling. Usually it’s for one of two reasons. Reason one, said rider is super strong or reason two, said rider is dangerous. For the 35+ 4 race on Sunday it was reason two. For anonymity I will refer to this racer as “rider X”. Rider X is known for his kamikaze cornering technique. Not a good reputation to have. He happened to be parked right next to me. Me being me I offered up a friendly hi how ya doing. All he offered up was a mean case of stink eye. Okay, so that’s how it’s going to be. Whatever dude, time to race.

67 guys lined up for the 35+ race. Again, I slotted in toward the back. Whistle blows and were off. We started off at a quick pace and never let off. I moved up to the middle of the bunch and chilled.  Legs were feeling a bit heavy but otherwise I felt alright. We were hustling along at 26-28 mph consistently. We really didn’t speed up much for the prime laps. Never had a real lull in speed either. Felt much quicker than the first race. A couple sketchy guys made it interesting. One guy would over correct out of every corner making for some close calls. Another dude would let a gap open every time he entered a turn then he would sprint out of the saddle to get back on the wheel. Not a good way to make friends.  The masters field was much sketchier than the open field this year. So fast forward to 5 to go or so. I hadn’t seen much of “rider x” to this point. That would change soon. Going into turn 4 (right 90) I’m on the inside. POW!! I get rammed on the left side, hip elbow shoulder. Full on contact.  Guess who??  It’s “rider X”. He hit me hard enough to get his bars locked in mine ( I was in the drops).  Now I’m hosed as we are each fighting for control. As a last resort I flick my elbow and jerk my bars hard to the right and manage to break free. I hear “rider X ” go down unfortunately but I’m happy to stay upright. Two turns later exiting the sweeper another guy hits the deck right in front of me. Somehow I again avoid hitting the deck.  Now the pucker factor is at 11 and I’m more nervous than a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. It’s also crunch time and I’m at the wrong end of the field. Pen Velo and SJBC have massed at the front and are keeping the pace high. I put in a big effort and move into the top 20 or so. Try to recover for a minute but I then hear the announcer call last lap. Time to boogie. Held my position till turn 5 then hit the gas between 5 and six. I was doing OK till a Wells Fargo rider cut to his right and slammed the door on me. That’s racing. Finished up in the front half of the bunch. Not what I was hoping for but I still had all my skin.



Playing Catch-Up

Since Apple Pie Crit… I’ve had some unremarkable results:

Wente RR E3- DNF
Wente Crit E3- crashed
Tues Night Track- p123- 6th (?)
Dash for Cash Crit E3- 16th, &  p123- DNF
Mendes Crit E3- 26th

which brings me to Saturday’s CCCX races in Monterey.

CCCX- E3 (9th) & P123 (DNP)
No teammates-

This course is a beast and even though both the races (E3 & p123) are 1.5hrs or less, they still HURT.   The course is rolling and has a few short, punchy hills with one fast descent before the final uphill.  I usually do well at uphill finishes.

I had put in a long hard tempo ride last Saturday (Moraga Loop + HOP) mainly because my endurance was lacking and I didn’t want to waste the long drive to CCCX.  This proved to be a smart training move.

After probably one of my worst racing seasons, I was determined not to keep up mediocre results so I just jumped and broke away from the group on the first series of rollers hoping to lure someone with me but instead, it served to whittle down the numbers in the pack.  I sat up when the group caught me and rested as much as I could.   Falling in the back of the pack, I realized that a small break went off the front.  I motored up the side not caring if it would kill me just to catch them… “relief will come, it will come” I promised my legs.   Sure enough, four other riders tagged along with me to chase down what appeared to be 6 others in the front.   I recognized the winner from Mendes Crit, Jimmy Pham of Taleo, and alarm bells went off (figure of speech, just go along with me)—so along with Eliot Logan (ex-teammate, Webcor) and I pulled the small group along to the six.  We made it to them but we lost Eliot when the rollers came again.

After racing hard and doing some rotation pulls & looking back, we couldn’t really see anyone in our rearview so it mellowed out a bit.   My legs were seizing up, a sign of my lack of endurance training so I just soft-pedaled and spinned as much as I could.   Coming up the last descent to the final uphill, I cramped and limped across 9th of the  10 in our breakaway pack.   Finally, a decent top ten on the road for this year… let’s see it if it’s the tipping point for the season.

P123?  Ha, with only 15 minutes to breathe, I lasted for a lap with the group and decided to go ahead to do additional 4 laps for a good workout.   In hindsight, I should’ve just finished off the remaining 3 laps because only two other cat 3 finished the p123 race!  I could’ve came in 3rd for my category… oh well.   I’m off to climb Diablo, get in some endurance!



2011 Burlingame Criterium E4

This is just a classic race! A great course, awesome atmosphere and an aggressive field make it one of my favorite races of the year. I think we lined up with about 50 guys for the E4 race. It was also Oliver’s first race as a 4 as well as his first time lining up in an open field. I have to say I was a bit worried for him at first but he did just fine in the end.

Oliver scored a spot right up front for the start while I was sitting at the back. Fine by me as my plan was to sit back and keep an eye on our new Cat 4. They started us on time at 7:00am (to damn early!).  I settled in mid pack straight away. Oliver was up in the top 10 for the first 5 or 6 laps. Personally, not my style but I figured at least he’s safe.  He slid back to mid pack after a bit and I sat on or near his wheel for a good 15 minutes. Oliver seemed to be comfortable in the group but tended to stay on the inside. His cornering was a little rough so I tried to give him some advice on lines and such. At 30 minutes in or so I decided to move up closer to the front.  As I was picking my way forward a crash took out 5-6 guys just to the right of me. I was able to avoid the wreck easily enough. I didn’t know what happened to Oliver though. So, I moved to the outside and sat up till the back of the bunch came around. Hopped on the tail gunner position till I was able to find our junior. He didn’t go down but did get slowed up by the crash. Now I’m at the back and as we cross the start/finish line I realize the lap counter is lit up. For some reason I thought it said 5 to go instead of 9 to go. In a bit of a panic I make a few efforts to improve my position. So after 4 laps I’m in the top 15 when I realize now it’s 5 to go.  Well, nuts, that’s not what I was expecting. I slid back to mid pack and that’s were I ended up finishing. I wasn’t in position for a top 10 so I didn’t sprint. Oliver ended up finishing right behind me. Great job for your first race as a 4!



Race: Pescadero Costal Classic RR

Date: Saturday, 6/18/11

Category: M45+ Cat 4

Finishing Place: 30/75

Other Team mates in race: Chris M

92 guys were registered for the M45+4 race, the largest group, but only 75 started.  On the Promenade out through town, we almost had a few mishaps due to the pace motorcycle having to slow quickly.   The first Preem was just a few hunderd meters after the official start, so quick that most of us didn’t notice it.  The Stage 1 climb was not to bad and I didn’t have any problem staying in the main group, decent, then climb up Stage 2, things and riders were already getting shelled off the back so the pace was quite hard.  I had to sprint over the crest to try and maintain contact with the main group.  Going hard on the decent, we caught the tail end of the main pack at Hwy 84.  At that point, I think we had already lost about 25 – 30 riders.  I always felt like I was the last guy.  Heading up 84, the pace was fast but i was able to move up into the front 15 and maintain position.  Apparently it was really squirrely at the back.

Turning right  up the feed zone and then up Haskins, I was climbing well, but about halfway up, a gap opened AGAIN, and I crested the top with about a 15s gap to the back of the main group.  At this point I think there were only about 40 guys left from the front to me.  I had to chase like mad for the next 10 miles to the coast.  Fortunately, there were a few other chasers I joined up with.  We caught the pack just a mile before the right turn onto Stage Road.

Each climb up Stage 1 and Stage 2 ended up with me being gapped by just 10s or so, but I had give it everything to catch the pack on the decent.  On Hwy 84 the main group was about 15s up and I was with two M35+4 riders who were not willing to work with me much so I had to just put my head down and time trial for 3 miles to catch the pack.  Almost as soon as I caught the main group, 5 guys broke away from the front and built up a 15s gap on the main field.  At this point there were only about 30 total riders left.  The three dominant teams, PenVelo, Taleo, Body Concepts each had a rider in the break of 5 so they were trying to sit on the front to protect the gap.  I joined up with my friend Harold of Webcore to try and bridge the gap, but we only made it half way and the others just sat onl our wheels.  The race pretty much ended up like this.  When we hit Haskins again, I was wasted and knew I didn’t have anything for the climb so I just went to efficiency mode and crossed the line about 70s behind the main pack, the last one again!

Even though I got gapped 4 times and had to chase, this was by far my best effort this season.  The course was a blast and my form is improving.  If I could ever loose those 5 pounds and not have to expend so much energy chasing, I might be able to contest some of the finishes in future.

2011 Joseph Mendes Crit 35+ Cat 4

Mike on Podium

Mike - First place on podium


Second race of the day for me. After finishing the E4 race I was pleasantly surprised to see that my wife and 2 boys had come out to cheer dear old dad on. Figured I better perform. Again we rolled out with about 50 (older) dudes. First few laps were really chill. Tri Valley Velo had 8 guys in the race so I made a note to keep an eye on them. First 10 minutes or so I just surfed wheels and eyeballed all the usual suspects. See who’s looking strong and who isn’t. Two TVV guys went to the front and kept on rolling. So I grabbed a wheel and went with them. We had a small gap but the pack wasn’t worried and just sat there. After doing my pull I give an arm wag and slide over. Guess the guys behind me didn’t grasp the concept and our short lived break was over. We get reaquainted  with the bunch and that was pretty much the way it was for the rest of the race. Nobody got very far off the front. Fast forward to 5 to go. I make my way up to the business end of our little party. Trying to see who is fresh. I was feeling decent but not great. 3 to go I see the wheel I want. Try to play it cool and slide on over benind Greg and Adam of BBC. Greg’s smart and he had positioned himself on the inside between 2 and 3. So the pack was sheltering us from the cross wind. Greg slowly ratched his pace up till he pulled off before turn 3 on the last lap. I sat on Adam’s wheel till about 100 meters before turn 4. Jumped hard and got a gap. Rode the razor trying not to blow up early. Cleared 4 with clean wheels and trucked across the line for the win.

 I definately wasn’t the strongest out there. I felt I raced smart and put myself in a good postion for the finish. Of course lady luck played her part also. Was cool to take the win with my family there. Guess I performed OK for them. Thanks again Tony for shooting the race. Can’t wait to see those pics.


2011 Joseph Mendes Crit Cat 4

This event is held in Pleasanton just off of the intersection of Hopyard and Stoneridge. Pretty typical 4 corner flat crit. Pavement is great and there aren’t any bots dots just reflectors. Pretty short course at .84 miles. Turn one was a sweeper and the rest were all standard 90′s. From the last turn it is only 150 meters or so to the line so you need to start your sprint early. We had a decent breeze blowing out of the west so we had a good tailwind leading into turn 4.

  The race. About 50 guys lined open for the open 4′s. As we were the first race of the day they started us right on time. I had warmed up on course and already had decided were I needed to be to stay out of the wind. Stayed in the wheels most of the race. A few attacks went off the front but as typical for the 4′s nobody wanted to work together. So end result was gruppo compacto when they lit up the laps to go sign. At 4 to go I moved up into the top ten. Found the wheel I wanted and was sittin pretty, or so I thought. The guy on the front was motoring well till his legs cramped on the bell lap (been there). So, ended up getting swarmed and slid back way to far. Just before turn one a Roaring Mouse rider launched a solo attack. He got a good gap so we ended up chasing him till turn 4. He took it real wide on 4 not knowing we were right there. This caused the front bunch to hesitate a fraction and bunched us all up. I didn’t sprint as I was completetly out of postition. Crossed the line in 22nd place. For an open 4 race this was pretty safe. Still some goofy moves out there but, I felt at ease most of the time. One thing that would be nice though is for guys to learn how to take a corner. I am constanly amazed how many people lack this basic skill.


TNT – June 9 “Get er done”

Pace line warm-up until 6:45pm, 2 technique sprints, 2×2+1=4×6=24&17 (2 sprints per lap – 2to3 and 4to1, 2 laps = 4 sprints plus 1 lap recovery.  Six sets = 24 sprints, then cool-down and go home.  Modifiers: stay late for extra credit; cut out early; lead or follow wheels; sit out a few or go long!  Lots of opportunities to mix it up but mostly we’re just trying to return to sprinting and speed and working out with teammates and friends.  See you there, Larry