Feb 4, 2013 Road Race
I can tell that I’m getting old by the starting time of my race. The Cat 4 old guys (M45) race didn’t start till 12:15. It was so nice not having to leave the house early in the morning, or having to wait around the starting line freezing cold at the crack of dawn. The only issue I encounter starting so late was the drive to the parking/registration area. The Organizer had you drive in on the same road the race was on. Arriving so late half the groups were already flying on the course. Have you ever tried to passing groups of 50 cyclists on a blind curves? Kidding….
Pre-Race was pretty typical. Visit Port o Potty, Registered, pin number, warm-up on the trainer, re-pin number, and shoot the breeze with Teamie Mark King, and Ex-Teammate John Berg (Kovarus/Wells Fargo Racing Team). Bill Brier was already hammering it on the course.
Before the race I couldn’t believe how calm I was feeling. I think it had to due with my Achilles Tendonitis issues which has been plaguing me for the last few weeks. I figured if it hurt too much I would pull the plug and call it a day, so why stress. This relax feeling went always as soon as I realized my front derailleur/shifter issue which came about right before the start of the San Bruno Hill Climb was back!!! Oh no.. I had zero time to fix it, so it’s all about the Big Ring today…. Lucky the course wasn’t too hilly or with anything steep which required a small ring.
This year’s M45 Cat 4 race was completely different than last year’s Cat 5 race. Elite Cat 5 was blazing from the start to finish. This year’s race was rather slow, with little action, and no one willing to work at the front. No attacks or breakaways so most of the time we promenade as one large group. The only thrill was watching the motorcycle Ref bark at racer for passing over the double yellow line. During their conversation, the dude somehow took a spill. His team mates turns his head to watch the action, and he goes tumbling too. All this is taking place right in front of me!! The guy is bouncing along the asphalt and I’m trying to avoid him, and his cart wheeling bike, and trying to keep my composure and cause the situation any worse. Fortunately the hole between between rider, and his ride stayed open long enough for me to go straight through unscaved…
During last year race, the speed on the return leg to the finish increase twofold. I figured since the pace was so slow, and heading into the wind, the same result would happen. So I started making my way to front 5. Afterwards getting there I realized that nothing was happening beside bitching n complaining about who is going to work. That’s when I made a critical error, and drifted back in the pack. Feeling strong With 2K to go it was time to put the hammer down, but was stuck in mid pack. Mark and I were riding side by side block in. Two many riders, and not enough room, and that motorcycle ref in tow.. @$@#!!!.
200m to go on the uphill finish. Riders started to die on the vine. Small opening started to appear just large enough to squeeze through. With the finish line approached to soon, I was able to work my way up to 9th and Mark to 5th.
Overall it was a good day. Perfect weather, good roads, didn’t go down, Achilles didn’t hurt too bad, and the Team got two Top 10’s…
Jan 7, 2013 Road Race
I’m really excited to start racing in 2013 and i love climbing so this was a great way to get going. No better way to ring in the new year then to race up a mountain. The course is about 3.7 miles and about 1100ft up. The first half is about 7-8% up Guadalupe Parkway before the turn into San Bruno Mtn Park, and then 8-10% up Radio Rd to the top. Temps were chilly but not too bad low 50s and the winds were coming out of the south about 5mph at the bottom and 8-10mph at the top. Teamates racing that day were John Lem 45+4s , Cynthia Wang Jnrs, and Darryl Leung E5.I meetup with my brother at his place in South City to swap wheels and get my shifting dialed in. Headed over to the start around 9am, got ready and warmed up on my trainer. Wasn’t going to go too hard on the warm up just get my heart rate up a bit and spin the legs. I had pretty high expectations for this race since this race suits my style pretty well but with the weather recently I hadn’t really been able to train as much as I would have wanted too. I knew the other guys i’d be racing with were going to be strong. Guys winning this race do it in the 16 minute range so my goal was to do it under 17. I prerode the course a few days prior in the rain and did around 22 minutes so lots of room for improvement.I lined up at the start around mid pack, downed a Gel Shot, whistle blows and we’re off. It was a combined E4 and E5 field with 15 and 35 riders for a total of 50. My plan was try not to go too hard at the beginning and then try to follow wheels up to the top but I knew I’d have to go pretty hard from the start to have a good time. Up the first section i worked my way to the outside and started to move up. Guys were moving over to the middle when they hit the front and soon i found myself at the front of the pack at the top of the 1st incline section. It didn’t feel like i was going that hard yet i was leading the pack on to the flat section before the 1st stop light. There was a slight tailwind pushing us up the hill and the other guys must have been holding back quite a bit. The guy that eventually won my category finally came by me and asked “How’s it going?” and I replied slightly out of breath “Great!”. I stuck to his wheel for a little bit then two other guys came around us and the second guy got out of the saddle and attacked. That was that pretty much the last i saw of them.
I finished 6th out of 15 in E4 and around 12th out of 50 in the combined field. My official time is 17:59. Strava says I did it in 17:50. I checked John’s time as well since i know we’re pretty similarly matched and what do you know. We have the same exact official and strava times as well. Crazy. My take aways for next time are: Don’t go so hard out of the gate. Follow wheels as much as possible but try to go at a pace you can sustain. Train harder. I lost quite a bit of weight towards the end of last year which is great but it’s time to make more power. Until next year.
Men – Cat 4
6th Michael Leung : 17:59.6
Men – Cat 4/5 – Master – 45-99
7th John Lem (5 – Cat4) : 17:59.6
Men – Cat 5
13th Darryl Leung: 19:40.4
Men – Junior – 15-18 (Including Junior women)
6th Cynthia Wang – 25:53.5
Henleyville is on the outskirts of Corning up by Chico. Drove up late Friday night and spent the night at the Corning rest stop. Got about 4-5 hours of sleep and headed over to the course 5 minutes away around 6:30am. Checked in at Reg, kitted up, ate breakfast, prepped the bike, drinks, food, and was ready to go at 8am. No teammates at this race and most of the fields were pretty small which was probably due to the location and how late in the season this race is. E4 was supposed to start at 8:10 but there was only 4 of us in E4 so the official gave us the option to combine with the M35+4s which we did. The 35+4s were 12 strong so much better then 4. Since we combined with the old guys we’d only do 3 laps(54 miles) instead of 4 laps(72 miles) and started a little later at 8:30.
Race started and we were off. The course is super flat, 18 mile loop on farm roads(a bit bumpy in spots and a few potholes), one small hill(more like a roller) where the feed zone is. The start/finish is flat. They originally had planned to have the finish on a hill on one of the side streets but they ended up changing it to just be at the start line. The whole race was pretty slow except the finish. There were only 2-3 occasions where the speed picked up higher then 22-23mph. A few guys got dropped but caught back on when we slowed down. Didn’t seem like any one wanted to work except one or two guys. I ended up at the front a few times. I wasn’t going to put too much effort into pulling the pack around so I pulled at around 21mph for a few miles and then went to the back. We passed the Women’s P/1/2 field on the 2nd lap, got passed by the Mens P/1/2 and M35+ 1/2/3 fields right before the finish. We got neutralized once after being passed and for a while were only doing 18mph after getting the green light again.
Heading into the finish we were still going pretty slow on the finish straight. The finish straight is about a mile and a half straight stretch. The last group that past us was still visible in front of us and some of the guys were saying they might interfere with our finish. It almost felt like we were riding neutral because of it but as the finish got closer that group sped up and was a none issue. Since we were heading into the finish pretty slow around 21mph i was able to move up to the front. I was third wheel when we hit the 1k to go and then all of the suden everyone swarms to the front and starts to take off. I lost quite a few spots but was hanging on to the pack. The 3 other E4s had huge sprints and moved to the front. I could not hang. I found myself on the outside of the pack. The guy next to me really wanted to get out and almost crashed into me. I let him out since he seemed a bit dangerous and he proceeded to crash into two other guys at about the 200m mark. Pretty scary mid sprint probably doing about 32-35ish. The pack blew up after that, I made it around the crash safely and rolled through the finish 4th(unfortunately it was out of 4) in E4 and i think 7 or 8th in the group.
I was pretty satisfied with the race(got a nice T-shirt out of it) after DNP in the last couple of crits. I know i’ve been getting stronger all year so I just really wanted to have a decent race before the end of the season. Had the finish been on the hill I think I might of had a better shot as I am not much of a sprinter. My form seems to be coming together more as a climber so i’ll probably be training more towards that during the off season. Other then seeing guys crashing while in an all out sprint the race was enjoyable.
The following report it’s about my race @ Winters on 08/25 (I know kind late), I went there w/ lots of excite after all It’s have been almost 2 years since my last race in the 2010 GoSF, as many of you have been watching me @ the TNT I’m still on the work to get on a perfect racing fit,My category was the Cat 4/45+ which was full and there where lots of teams w/at least 3 riders (Me=0 teammies).
I arrive around 7;45′ish and after found a nice spot to park (just around the corner of the start line) and pick up/pin my number all of this in about 15min I have enough time to warm up (thank you Gonzo for borrow me your trainer) my start time was 9:05 and I have about 45/50 min of warming up ,We get a Neutral start about 1.5 of a mile then we get the green light and everybody was having good time (including me) then from 15 mph we jump to 22 then back again to slow speeds all this on a flat section which is running along w/505 freeway We have 5 maybe 6 pulls like this then settle down to a more moderate speed I was happy w/ this speed probably around 18/20 mph and I knew sooner it will be another pulls as soon we hit the rolling sections about 2-3 of rollers shorts but those kind if you are on the middle or the back of the pack it can do some damage fortunate for me I were on the front pack, I survive all this pulls and the burst of speed on the flat section and the last roller just before the climb;by the time We hit the bottom of the 1st climb where is located the Feed Zone legs decide not to respond and sadly I saw how all the pack where leaving watching around me to see if I can spot a rider to work together and get back on the pack I realized there was none but only me My hopes come back again when I spotted 2 riders in front of me and I target them to try and catch them to see if the 3 of Us we can minimize the damage but again my legs didn’t response and felt like they were full of rocks so heavy and can’t find my smooth pedaling by the time I get to the 2nd and last climb I was totally out and riding myself then I remember after this climb Ironically called “The Cardiac Hill” it comes a nice downhill section with a step and very sharp left turn (I heard there were 2/3 accidents here) and then is a long straight line where you can go over 45 mph then is a right turn and from there is flat till the Finish line which is located outside Winters town,by the time I was reaching the 2k to finish my 1st lap (i did 2 laps x 24mi.) I catch one of the riders of my Cat and I ask him to join me and work together He refused telling he was ok with the last place on the race so I decide to leavr him and do my own race which @ this point for me was to try and get my same time for my best lap and same finish from 2 years ago when I close the 1st lap I were up my time with about 5 min but my MexiCAN pride force me to finish no matter what. bottom line is i finished my back on business race about 11 min above my best time from 2 years ago I think it is not that bad since I don’t have any racing miles on my legs,but the disappoint came later when I check the results and the officials put a DNP next to y name (WTF seriously) I contact them to obtain an explanation and until today they didn’t reply back,I do the maths and from 40 racers 19 where DNP that’s 49% of the pack and just 21 riders where able to place/finish the race.
Anyways I’m happy with my 1st race and learn something new (yes I do):
1- Never try a new water bottles: my Clean Bottles 1 was leaking and the other was so hard to squeeze and I decide to throw both of them,thank you Neutral Feed Zone for being there.
2- Log more base miles
3- Drop more Weight still bit “Gordo”
4-Start offseason work outs
5- learn from my mistakes
Any comments are more than welcome; complaints or criticizes are welcome too you’ll never know when those can help you too
Aug 20, 2012 Race report
Did the 55+ which was only 2 laps and 42 miles, finished 5th. Even though it is 2 hours plus away I like this race, even more so this year as a number of the formerly rough roads were newly paved. Oh, pulled 5 goat heads from my tires right before the start, thanks for the reminder, Mike. This is a good course for me, no big climbs and a long uphill drag to the finish. After the second time up the long uphill the pack thinned to about a dozen guys. Throughout the race the 3 or 4 Morgan Stanley guys attacked one after another. Most of us participated in chasing them down.
The last three miles or so I was soft pedaling at the front and since last year I got boxed in on the uphill before the left turn to the finish and finished 8th I was not about to let that happen again as I felt very good. At the base of the hill after the bridge a Taleo guy took off and I got on his wheel, in hindsight I should have waited a rider or two but I didn’t want to miss out again. But just as he ran out of gas about 5 guys went around us before the turn and I was able to catch on and pass one guy for 5th. (No Morgan Stanley guys in the top 5.) A little disappointing but hey, I got a t-shirt. (Let’s see, a tank of gas $55, entry fee $35, San Ardo RR t-shirt, priceless.)
Aug 14, 2012 Race report
Category:35-44 age group
No in field:12
Finishing position: 7th
Position in age category: 3rd
I thought with this being the State Champs there would have been more riders in my category, two age groups were merged together so at the start there were 12 of us.
The pace started off very slow which surprised me considering most of the riders were cat 1′s and 2′s, I thought they would be off the front straight away. The pace lifted once we were passed by another group, at this point a couple of riders dropped off the back. Myself and another girl hung on a bit longer and once we were dropped we rode the last part of the climb together. Once we reached South Flynn she told me that she was only riding one lap so I carried on by myself.
Luckily there were plenty of other riders about so although I couldn’t ride with them I constantly had someone nearby so I kept the pace as high as possible.
Although I rode the second lap solo it seemed to pass very quickly although i did unship my chain with a mile to go I finished the race.
Results took a long time because with the categories being mixed if you finish outside the first six you are listed as dnp. With this being a state championship I had to wait until they split the categories and then announce who were in the top three. Eventually after about an hour I found out that I had finished third overall for the bronze medal.
I enjoy this race purely that it is close to home and is challenging. Hopefully more team members will ride next year.
Results: I finished
Others racing: Mike B., Chris M. Rey S.
45+ 1/2/3 group B with about 20 racers
Temperature: 80 – 110 deg F
I drove up with Chris M. which turned out to be a lifesaver because after suffering heat exhaustion I needed the rest on the way home. We arrived about 6:30 am with lots of time to warm up, actually too much time. I did close to a 45 minute warm up ride which was too long considering the length and temperature of the race. Last time I did this race was in 2010 when it was one lap. The extra lap and the heat made it a very different and difficult race.
The first lap was active with several break attempts. By the beginning of lap 2 a break of two was 10 seconds ahead and soon were out of sight. The field finally jumped and I missed it. Three of us worked together but then my two friends shutdown so that was the end of our race. The next thing we knew someone turned on the furnace and the temperature quickly rose to 109.4 deg. I was out of water with several miles until the next feed zone. It was no longer a race but a challenge just to finish. Our average speed was dropping fast. We pushed on and eventually made it to the feed zone where it looked like we must have been some of the last on the course. I lucked out and got two ice cold water bottles and one lukewarm one. It wasn’t long before I was out of water again with over 10 miles to go. Somehow I managed to keep going and the three of us finished together. Back at the parking lot Chris was waiting but most of the 100′s of others had already left.
What a race. My lack of training really showed in this race. I need to do some longer riders!