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Wente Road Race

April 28, 2012
12:00 pmto3:00 pm

That was a hard race.

The first time up Carrol was all out, I was off the back and the group split. I got back onto the 2nd group but was off the back again on Greenville. After that I rode with some other stragglers, most of them bailed on the 2nd lap. I caught up with some riders from the E5 but we weren’t compatible, I was faster on the climbs and they were faster on the flat, finished on my own.

This was a great experience and it was really good to have the support of team members at the tent and the feed zone.


Wente RR M45+4,5

Teammates:  Just about everyone in a whole slew of categories.

Teammates in M45+4,5: None (Gonzalo had to work and could not make it)

Results: maybe in the 40s of a field of 73

Hey, it was perfect weather.  Gary had the tent and support kit out.  Keith was in the feed zone supporting the morning races.  Thanks guys!

Our group had 74 registered riders minus Gonzalo who had to work and could not make the start.  Taleo had about 10 riders in the field, the most of any team.  I was talking with one of my Alto Velo friends and discussing the possibility of Taleo doing some team blocking  if they got a group out in front.  But as soon as the race started we saw that the Taleo guys could not keep more than four guys together in the top 20 as they ended up spreading out due to differing fitness levels.

The first time up the hill was hard, shades of last year, the pack spread out but I held on in the last third of the group and maintained contact.  We bunched up on the Greenville leg and I decided I needed more buffer room for the 2nd climb so I moved up to the front of the group so that I could be in the front of the group when we started the climb the 2nd time.  It was probably the best strategy for me, but everyone seemed to be going full tilt the whole climb and I started to loose ground and by the time we crossed the StartFinish line, there were probably 40 riders moving away from me in two groups and I was now in the lead the “stragglers chase group”.  As we approached Flynn Rd, we started picking up people falling out of the lead and chase1 groups.

That’s about it, as there was no chance of catching the lead or chase1 groups, the gap was getting larger and they were out of sight.  I was now riding with about 6 or 7 guys and we worked together most of the time, but this was now a training race for all of us.  I tried to do as much work on Greenville to keep our pace up and encourage a rotation.  On the final climb, I sprinted hard in the final 75m and was able to drop everyone in my group and about 10 other M55+ riders also sprinting for the finish.

Actually this was a good training race for me, being the first race of the season for me.  In comparing my strava results vs last year, I was definitely going faster this year on the climbs.  Just not quite fast enough to keep up with the leaders.  This indicates that my conditioning is slightly better this year when compared to last year at this time so that’s encouraging.  Next race, Berkeley Hills RR

TNT – April 26

**new** I’ll be there no later than 6:15pm to answer any questions you may have. FFBC pays me to run these sessions so please take advantage of this opportunity.
before 6:30pm – sign in and be ready for warm-up
6:30- 6 lap “perfect” paceline warm-up from 18 to 23+ mph (now that the sun is out we have no excuses but to be PERFECT = no gaps, smooth and FAST)
two techinique sprints – light gear, head up, use your hips to start, don’t rock from side to side
main workout – repeated efforts from corner three to the finish line
cooldown TOGETHER
modifiers – do all of these efforts for a supreme workout! One hour ~ 25 x 45 sec efforts; lead it out; sit on a wheel; come off a wheel; skip an effort; watch an effort; help a teammate in an effort; big gear/ little gear/ shorten effort

Important – recovery in corners 1 to 3 for best efforts in your intervals


Belated Regalado RR Report

Team mates: Bill Brier, Rey Surla, Chris Gaitos, Michael Baxter, Gonzalo Carrillo, Roy Taylor
54 miles
Cat: 4 (women)
Result: 2nd
Field size: do I really have to say? Ok – 2
I tried to post this report right after the race, while the details were fresh in my mind, but WordPress and I had a spat and I lost. Finally, using a different browser, after changing my password five times, and clicking my heals twice, I finally got it to work. On to the race.
I signed up for Regalado based on the fact that it was hosted on a Sunday. It’s a poor way to choose a race but since I don’t have Saturdays free until mid-June and I wanted to try a road race before Wente it seemed like a good choice. I signed up as soon as registration opened. Roy told me a couple of weeks later that only one other woman was signed up. It was disappointing, especially as the forecast for race day was poor which made it unlikely there’d be any race day entrants. Sure enough it was just Pennie Sponsel from and me. It wasn’t hard to spot my competition at registration. She immediately suggested riding together which was nice but a little intimidating. I’ve done lots of base training this year but I’m distinctly lacking on the intensity front. My original plan for the race was to stay with the group as long as possible to gain experience and then fall off the back if I couldn’t keep up. With only one person to race against, someone with plenty of race experience, I felt a little like the Emperor in the kids story who didn’t have clothes. Pretty soon Pennie was going to figure out that I was a club rider masquerading as a racer.
As expected we started off with one of the men’s groups (Cat 5 Master 35-99 I think). We stuck at the back of the pack chatting with the referee through the neutral zone. He had good suggestions and was very encouraging. Pennie and I stuck with the men for the first few miles of the race, drafting nicely off them. We turned a corner and suddenly, poof!,  they were gone. We couldn’t believe how quickly the pace had picked up, and that was the last time we saw them.
Then it was just my competition and me. We chatted as we rode, well mostly Pennie talked and I grunted monosyllabic responses as I tried to get into a rhythm. It became apparent really quickly that I was completely out classed. Pennie could have probably lapped me if she chose, but she didn’t and we both had a really fun race. As it turns out Pennie is also a coach and over the course of our 54 mile race she coached me and offered me lots of great encouragement.
Because it was all new and I was trying to find a pace I could sustain for the entire 54 miles the first lap seemed quite hard. I’d been looking forward to, and dreading, the dirt section of the course in equal measures. I don’t mind a bit of gravel but after all the rain the night before what we encountered was not dirt, it was more like small lakes interspersed with mud flats. We were lucky, because we’d agreed to stick together, and there were only two of us, we could pick our line through it. Even doing that was hard in places. I can only imagine how hard it was for the men’s groups to really race through it. The pot holes were deep, wheel-sucking lakes, one of which was the width of the entire road. Unfortunately I ended up riding through it when my back wheel slipped in the mud at the edge of the road. I had a nice rooster tail for the rest of the race but I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed that part of the course, it added a little interest.
The second lap felt so much better than the first. Pennie and I chatted, we talk to the cows, horses, dogs, donkeys. We exchanged life stories. Pennie continued dispensing valuable advise and since we were only racing against each other we stopped to help a rider with a flat (who didn’t have a pump). It was very civilized but it was not a leisurely ride in the park (at least not for me).
At the beginning of the third and final lap it looked like it was going to pour. At few drops of rain on my bike and then if was fine again. The landmarks were becoming familiar and everything was going pretty well until I started to bonk. I’d brought 2 bars with me, broken into small pieces in zip lock bags in my jersey pockets. The only problem was that one of them was too hard to chew comfortably and it mostly tasted of stale cardboard, while the other (a favorite) was tucked into my middle pocket and no amount of wrestling with it and my jersey could dislodge it. My emergency energy is Hammer Gel. I’m not a fan of gels, they just taste nasty so I rarely use them but I was really glad I thought to throw one into my pocket. The only problem was that I couldn’t rip the top off. Dang! Eventually I managed a dribble from the gel but it wasn’t enough. So, I bonked half way through the last lap and really only figured out the problem after the race. Pennie slowed her pace so as not to lose me which of course just made me feel worse.
Did I mention we had our own personal SAG vehicle follow us with lights flashing for most of the third lap? We were the last people on the course. Each time we got to a turn the volunteers were so happy to see us so they could pack up and go home. We lost our SAG on Tim Bell (the lake road) but regained it again shortly before the end of the race when it went from being our SAG to our lead car. Pennie, who was so patient through the entire race, decided to let the horses run to the finish. I tried to follow her but the tank was empty.
All in all a great race although race might be too strong a word for it. I’m looking forward to doing it again next year hopefully with a few more women.
Sorry for the terse report, next time I’ll try to flesh it out with a few details.

Beat the Clock TT

Race dates Feb 18, 2012 and Apr 7, 2012  Beat the Clock and Help Beat Cancer TT
On Feb 18th, Myself (Patricia Benson) and Sandra King were participating.
On Apr 7th, Myself (Patricia Benson) and Sandra King and Chris Menicou were participating.
On Feb 18th I arrived early but was unable to get a good warm up in (nerves, taking it all in and general just not sure about the whole process yet).
I had a interesting ride, this is an open course and twice I was slowed down by a large group of cyclists.  I found this a bit frustrating.  Over all I gave it my best and received a time of 33:42.  The course is about 10 miles. I was happy with my time. 
On Apr 7th I again arrived early but knew the set up.  I got my number and set to warming up on the trainer.  I felt much better and ready for the TT.  The first half felt great, the second half seemed harder than before.  I felt I gave it my all but I also feared I was a smidge slower.  No surprise since I had not put in a lot of hours on the bike in March and I am fighting my allergies right now.  Sure enough the times were posted and I was almost a minute slower at 34:36.
I hope in May when the next TT is that I can improve my time.
Maybe we will see more team members out there?  Its quick, local and for Cancer.

TNT April 12, 2012

Back to Eureka and Stevenson – so, let’s have some fun!

+ sign in prior to 6:30pm if you can
+ 6:30pm warm-up paceline building from 18 to 23mph over 6 laps
+ short sprint technique demo, two technique sprints (small gear, in the drops, hips first, arms bent, head up and not 100%)
+++ main workout – 60 minutes
+ lots of choices – you can ride solo; you can ride at the front; you can ride in the draft; you can follow someone that corners well; you can lead someone that does not corner well; you can ride hard for 5 laps (about 12-15 minutes) and then rest; you can ride every other lap fast (and recover); you can sprint; you can time trial; you can take a break whenever you want
+ prerequiste – plan what you want out of this workout before you show up

I will be there early if you want to chat or ask questions. Larry

TNT – Thursday, April 5

Please be prepared to roll BEFORE 6:30pm as we are heading away from the Eureka-Stevenson course!

+ before 6:30pm – signed in and ready to roll (maybe you rode over, good!). Ask any questions about the workout.
+ route – Cherry- Central- Thornton- Dumbarton Bridge- dirt road- Alameda Creek Trail- Coyote Hills- Nike Hill- Don Edwards – Thorton – Central- Cherry
+ overview- this is a group ride. Those that feel strong will stay near the front and rotate through the wind, those that are fighting to keep up MUST keep up the good fight and NOT rotate with the stronger riders. Everyone that does this workout will practice drafting. There will be two designated places for supreme efforts so please stay together until we get to those spots. If any teammate should flat then two teammates will stay with that rider, help them change their flat and chase back. There are two re-grouping spots.
+ Specifics: part one – from Eureka-Stevenson we will turn left onto Cherry, left onto Central, left onto Thorton, left into Don Edwards/ Dumbarton TOGETHER.
+ Specifics: part two – after the Don Edwards/ Dumbarton Bridge road stop sign we will practice echelon riding like this: one rider goes solo and is given a five second lead. They try to hold off the group that is in a echelon paceline behind them, working together. Use only part of the road. If you are in the fast group, go to the end of the bridge, turn around and come back to the slower group (extra miles!). If you are in the slower group you are still working together to catch the groups in front of you. Regroup at the base of the Dumbarton bridge climb.
+ Specifics: part three – once together we will head under the bridge and towards the Alameda Creek trial on a dirt road. Yes, you can do this on your road bike. It’s fun! Relax, apply power and keep your head up. We will split up on this road, so turn right on Alameda Creek, right into Coyote Hills (west side), and then right up Nike Hill for a few hill repeats.
+ Specifics: part four – strong riders will arrive at Nike Hill ahead of others. Start climbing, descend and repeat. Slow riders will catch up and meet you there. Time check on how many repeats we do and then we head back together.
+ Specifics: part five – TOGETHER after repeats on Nike Hill we head south on the dirt road that puts us above the toll plaza, left into Don Edwards, right on Thorton, right on Central, right on Cherry and back to Eureka no later than 8pm. Bring lights and a sense of adventure.


Topsport Stage Race

Stage 2- Time Trial
My start time was 11.13, it was windy and cold but at least it didn’t rain. My legs were still tired from the previous day, they felt ok in warm up but I knew with the wind and the first five miles being uphill I was going to have a hard time.
My half minute rider did not start so I focused on the rider a minute in front. The first mile was hard, with the wind, cold air and the rough road, eventually I got into a rhythm and found that even though the road surface was bad I had a faster pace in the big chain ring than I did in the small. I caught my minute rider within two miles then my 1 1/2 minute rider not long after.
The return leg was a tail wind but just after the turn it is uphill and my legs were really burning, eventually the downhill and tail wind kicked in and I had a good pace.
I finished 3rd.

Stage 3
Circuit Race
At the start of this stage no-one knew their overall position as no results were posted, so I just wanted to finish safely and decided that I would just ride in the middle of the group.
The race started at a steady pace and the group stayed together until the first time at the turn, one rider misjudged it and ended up sliding across the road. There was an attack not long after but the group responded and we were back together. The second lap the pace was up and down and then another attack, that rider was left dangling but we caught her before the town center. We eventually got the bell for the last lap and the pace was alot higher but the group only started to split as we came in to the finish.
I was in the middle of the group but a gap opened on the left and I took my chance and finished seventh in the group and fourth in my category.
At the end of the three stages I finished second overall, really pleased as I was riding on my own and apart from the winner who was on her own as well, everyone else had several teammates.
It would be great if we could put in a women’s team next year or even a team at the Mariposa Stage Race in May.