Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Boulevard Road Race

I know it was over a month ago, but I am finally getting around to do a write up for the Boulevard Road Race (.pdf).  This was my first road race and it definitely hooked me on the sport.

As this was my first race I was pretty nervous about arriving on time and getting ready, so I arrived a couple hours early.  After watching the collegiate I learned that bike races are pretty boring to watch, at least on a downhill.  The different groups would just blow by and disappear.  Now watching the racers struggle up the hills, that might have been more exciting.

Eventually I started my warm-up, which was pretty pitiful,  I need to buy a trainer, and almost missed the start of my race because I can't read a clock.

My starting position was pretty poor, but as we started to roll I slowly started to push up.  The race consisted of two laps, the first half of the lap being downhill, and the second making up the altitude.  The peloton was flowing pretty nicely down the hill, and riding in a pack like that was exciting.  There was a moment of excitement when a man jumped in front of the peloton, luckily no one went down.

All this enjoyment soon came to the end when we hooked a right turn and started to climb.  I was completely unprepared for the first climb and was in the wrong gear.  Although it only lasted a couple hundred feet, my heart rate jumped and I did not have enough time for it to recover before the long climbs started.  As we started up those I tried my best to stay on, but quickly realized that if i tried to keep the pace up and was going to end up on the side of the road.

I decided to back off, save myself, and hope to catch people that had blown up.   From this point on the race was just climbing, the downhill portion again, and then more climbing to the finish.  I was able to pass some people, and I was passed by a couple of guys.

The end result, I placed 37th out of 47.

What I learned:

I need a hear rate monitor (which I have since purchased) so that I can monitor my heart better.

I need to lose weight so that I can climb better.

I need to practice my turning.

I need to pay attention on what is coming up so that I am in the correct gear.

Next race, Bulldog Road Race at Camp Pendleton.

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