Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bulldog Bike Race

March 1st found me at my second road race.  It was a hard decision to make, the Baker to Death Valley race and the Bulldog race were the same day, but in the end the logistics for Baker were too hard, so I raced local.

Arriving at the race I was very impressed by the size of it, if you ever have a chance to race at Camp Pendleton do it.  They know had to run a smooth event.  In fact I am almost tempted to sign up for the duathlon even though I don't like running anymore.

My warm-up for this race was better than my last, but once again I had a bad start position.  This time it was because I was at the wrong entrance to the start chutes.  As the race started moving, I felt pretty comfortable because this is a course that I had ridden before.  Things were going pretty great until we hit the first big hill.  I dropped my big ring perfectly, but I was not as successful with the rear cassette.  As the hill ramped up I over shifted and the chain dropped between the cassette and the spokes.  I was stuck and came to a stop.   Luckily I did not take anyone down and I got my feet off the pedals in time.  

I quickly reached back, got my chain free and started pedaling as hard as I could.  I quickly started to pass people, but some were from the heat before, and some from my heat.  As I went around the round-about and started back down hill I saw a pack ahead of me, and made my big tactical mistake.  I should have continued to push and bridged the gap back on;  I then could have sat and recovered.  Instead I let them go and I never saw them again.  

I then switched to time trial mode and tried to minimize my lost time.  After a couple of miles I was caught by two riders.  I sat on them for a while, but when I tried to get them to start taking turns pulling I killed what I had left in me and was dropped.  The next two guys that came buy I hooked on to the back of, but this time I just sat.  Although I did not say anything, in my mind I made the decision to not contest the sprint  in exchange of not pulling.

The results:

In my age group - 12th out of 23
In my heat - 31st out of 81
Time to complete - 1:17
Avg. Speed - 21.3 MPH

What I learned:

- I need to work on my shifting!!
- I set a new high heart rate of 191 from 185.
- Always bridge the gap, sitting exposed is death.
- There is some serious strength in my legs, and the weight loss has helped, which makes me feel better about the technical problem.

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