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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Carondelicious Circuit Race

[Special Note:  I have a "Music Player" gadget, 4th down to the right. You may run audio from it or the video as you see fit by pausing the music player or muting the embedded video. Enjoy!]

Hello race fans!  Here's my video of the Carondelicioius Circuit Race.  I was basically skunked in this one, but I'm ok with that.  Racing in the rain, typically isn't my bag.  I did accomplish some of my primary goals though.  1. I raced.  2.  I finished.  3.  I didn't crash.   So other typically goals would include having some degree of fun (otherwise why do it?) and placing well or hopefully winning.  I failed on the last one, and I had a mix on the fun category.   Stacie Tindle and Cory Redmond put this race in the "fun" column.  I did not expect their hijinks, but it was greatly appreciated by at least me.  I think it helped everyone's moral who was standing at the line in the rain while waiting to race.

The rain and in particular, the poor visibility put this race in the "not fun" column.   Part of that was my own fault.  I wore my prescription sunglasses instead of contacts and my "Transitions" eye-ware.  It was much darker than I expected.  Also, not warming up before the race started put this race in the "not fun" column.  But I recovered from that and adjusted to the shock of not being able to see well (for a visual reference see the end of my next video..... my vision was actually worse for a while)  and returned mostly to the fun column.  I was going to set up my tent and trainer, but I was solo on this trip and simply didn't have time.  Typically it is advisable to warm up before a criterium or a time-trial.  There are many ways to do it, but as a general description for a newbie with no high tech heart-rate or wattage gadgets I would suggest the following:  30 minute warm-up.  1st 10 minutes easy to moderate, then 3-4 30 second bursts (80-90% effort) with a minute of soft to easy pedaling in-between. Follow this with a steady pace that would allow conversation if riding next to a fellow teammate/racer.  There are plenty of other variations including some short threshold (a maximal effort that you can sustain for up to an hour) intervals for a minute or so with plenty of recovery to eliminate lactic acid. 

Two important points of the race:  I was afraid of crashing and the other important point is that I was afraid of crashing.  Despite not warming up I choose to race at the front early on.  This is very good advice for racing in the rain.  I always want to be in front of a crash instead of in or behind one, plus I can pick my line and not get tire spray in the eyes.  I did make a couple efforts at the end, but I was pretty much gassed for the actual sprint and again "I was afraid of crashing".  I'm sure hard core racers will criticize me for this, but to that my response is...... I will be racing another day, no broken bones or bicycle on this one.

As a matter of fact, I raced the time trial just a few hours later.  I was 2nd fastest in the category 1-2 field.  The funny thing is that I had an absolutely fabulous tt, one of the best I've ever done, only to find out that I had mistakenly turned too early!  The race official (Buddy) asked me if I turned early and I truly thought I hadn't, but after a bunch of questioning we figured out that I had in fact made an error.  So I said, "No problem.  I'll just do it again."  I did, but it just wasn't like the first one.  I was about 20 watts lower, plus very slow near the area that I had mistakenly turned on the first go round.  The road is not visible at first.  At first glance (while traveling near 30mph) it appears as if the road loops back upon itself.  The actual road/course is hidden from view, downhill and sweeping to the left.  Most people got it right (they were probably going slower and had more time to see the road), but some other riders also made the same error as myself.  I'm only half dumb.  This is one case where a video would have either vindicated me or implicated me.

I have some really good rain racing tips that I'll share in the next post which is shortly coming up.

Have fun cycling everyone and try to keep your pecker powder dry!

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