Monday, 3 March 2008

The Smell of Motor Oil and Breaking Hearts

Ergonomics are something of a challenge for me. I have wicked short arms and legs but a super long torso, with duck feet, slightly bowlegged. After getting really frustrated about my right knee's wild movements through the space/time continuum, I did a bunch of research and found out I have a valgus condition. Good thing that my Speacialized shoes address a varus condition, which is the opposite and far more prevalent condition. Just switching out the insoles from my old shoes into the new ones felt a world better. Shimming the outside of my cleats darn near made the angels sing. Watching my knees go straight up and down, feeling my hips stay in place and having my spine stay in column throughout my pedal stroke us just great.

The only good thing about Tradezone for me was that I did a couple of ridiculous efforts, maybe not feeling great but suffering well. Good warmup, freezing and sweating simultaneously is a remarkable way to lose a hangover. I spent a lot of time off the front but missed the good break, having gotten reeled in myself just before the good break went away. Tried to bridge to the winning break, but when 28mph wasn't bringing them in I got the picture that they were gone for good.

Bike Doctor did an excellent if sometimes inelegant job of blocking. They were really good at disrupting people's pulls and stuff but sometimes the road plugging/cutting people off were a bit much. Still, I'd rather see that than another boring procession around the track, and it's nice to see a team work together effectively. Well done, guys.

Dangerous and blatant yellow lane rule violations were still rampant, with a guy cutting in while I was leading a team mate out for the field sprint and nearly taking us all out (yes, #150, this is directed at you).

My misery was complete when I got home to download the file from yesterday's race to find no file in memory. I had either cleared it or some software bug took it away. I'm pretty sure I set a power PR or two in there. The workouts I do where you do an interval and then force yourself to ride at threshold or at least tempo afterward are really effective.

All in all, a far more interesting race this weekend, I just wish my shot selection had been a bit better.

Training camp next weekend.

4 comments:

Bryan said...

Some thoughts on "blocking". I wasn't back there and I'm not directing this at Bike Doctor. They were protecting my break ;) Having said that, I'm a big advocate of better racing in Cat 3/4. There shouldn't be any negtive racing like blocking people's access to the front or moving into lines, etc. If someone does that, tell them to stop. Better yet, take 4 of your guys, go to the front, start pulling and stay there. In the A race, that's exactly what happened. One of our guys and 2 Harley guys were away. 6 DC Velo riders went to the front and stayed there taking all the pulls. 6 harley guys were right behind - not doing any work but definitely not interfering. In the end, a really good break was caught. That's good racing. Lastly, a quick story. In my first road race race with Pros last month in NC, one of our guys and 2 from pro team were in a break. Me and 2 guys from the pro team were patrolling the front to keep control. 6 of the guys not in the break came to the front and started pulling. Me and the Pro guys were right behind. But I was kind of teasing the last guy in line - half wheeling them - making it a little difficult to drop back into line after coming off the front. The pro guy said, "just let them back in and do the work". he was right. That's the difference. Hopefully this year we can have more legit breaks in races; and better team tactics and race skills in the pack. My 2 cents.

Chuck Wagon said...

First, good job yesterday. I wished like hell that I'd had the gas to make it when you guys went, but I'd just gotten off of a flyer myself. A lap or so after you guys went I tried to bridge and made a bunch of ground on the back stretch, then you guys just took off before the last corner. No chance. A team mate and I tried to drive the group but we didn't have the firepower to make it happen. And that's really what it boils down to - we didn't have the firepower to make it happen. It was up to my team and another with somewhat similar uniforms (but who shall remain nameless) to bring you all back, and we didn't.

Most effective riding by Bike Doctor was when I made my second (yeah, I was that dumb, and it was getting frustrating and boring in the group) bridge attempt. One of their guys came with me about a third of the way up the gap, at which point I was starting to get a little cross-eyed, and he just pulled up to me fresh as you like having sat on me the whole time I was busting a gut. What a mindf**k. There were some instances where they went to the front and soft pedalled pretty hard, but a more awake chasing team wouldn't have let them in the front like that anyway so I saw that as them playing their card. The thing that got me pissed was when they'd drift over into the advancing lane, which happened a time or two more than I thought was sporting.

In general, I'm a huge fan of what happened with your break. That stuff needs to happen.

Bryan Vaughan said...

Look for more. If I have anything to say about it, we will have less slow pack rides and more suffering. If people are not getting dropped off the back - it's not fast enough. If there are 10 or so guys that are going to ride a real race, everyone else has to - it's that simple. In 1/2/3, there will be real attacks in every race. Period. Your'e already willing to ride at the front - so stay there. You will mark a lot of stuff that doesn't go anywhere but at least you will be up there to have a shot. My advice is to be prepared to dump your tanks at least twice in a race. Attack hard yourself and put down 200 meters before you even look back. Me or someone else will come to your wheel but don't stop. Invest at least a half lap full out. If you get a gap, go for it. From what I remember your power numbers are good. An hour race isn't that long and someone who is training right should be able to attack or counter 5 or 6 times. Btw, bridging to a break is a good move. When we started, we had only 4. Two guys bridged up, including Rob from Bike Doctor. When you feel good, let me know and we will go for one for fun.

Jim said...

Bike Doctor did an excellent if sometimes inelegant job of blocking.

It's nice when a team pulls that off intentionally.

Man, I gotta get my ass out and do some Tradezone. Nothing works to kick my ass into gear on the diet and training consistency, like getting it kicked around for an hour in a training race. Just starting slow (intentionally) after that hella long 'cross season.