Yeah, so Ft. Richie is a really well run event. Those guys have their act together when it comes to putting on races. That venue doesn't hurt, either. What a great course, and to have it all sort of out of the way, no way for cars to get in or whatever, just great.
I doubled up and did the 4 and 35+ races. The 4 race was okay I guess, I kind of rode like a mouse. Our new team mate Dan won, which is cool. I didn't do too much to influence that outcome. Never fully committed to putting on my big boy pants and making the move to get to and stay at the front. Did one nice "get there" on the back stretch and then gave it all back at the start/finish stretch. Made it back up a couple times but kept giving it all back. Probably netted losing about 50 or so places through the race from people diving the corner at the last turn. It got pretty ridiculous how willing people were to scam up the inside going into that turn, and then call out "inside" as though that meant something. If something works, does that make it a valid move? Pretty sure such moves would have resulted in ambulance trips in the 35, the 3 or the 1-2-3 races, but people get away with it in the 4 race. The real response to that from my inner coach is "why are you letting this even be a factor, just hit the freaking go button, get to and stay at the front and let the chuckleheads kill each other behind you." Which is the point. The fear that I've had is largely gone, now it's time to get my aggression back.
Figuring that the 35 race was a better intervals workout than I'd get any other way, I goaded myself into lining up and racing it. This gets to a funny point. Unquestionably, this race was a great workout and a great workshop for how faster races are raced. All the jamokey crap that happened in the 4 race was just gone in this one. The turn off the back stretch and the turn onto the finish stretch were taken at full pace, single file. It felt like the field always took a good line through the turns. The funny part is that even with all of these benefits, I wonder if being in a race with no real intention of forcing yourself to finish much less be a factor is a good thing. It feels like that's a dangerous behavior to learn. No doubt that having an hour and 40 minutes (I pulled out when Dave Fuentes and Chuck Hutch lapped us) is good for your legs, but does being in a race without actually racing the race rot your brain? I have my suspicions.
The best thing to happen on Saturday was that, having not ridden in the drops a tremendous amount during the 4 race, I raced the entire 35 race in them. It's easy for me to regress to bad form when I'm on the hoods, but not so in the drops. It's also a lot faster in the drops.
Four of us went on a nice ride on Sunday afternoon, all having been too socially involved on Saturday night to get out much before we did. Being somewhat time constrained, I opted for the short loop which was the 10am course. It was a good ride. I got some good work done on that speed slightly below top speed - the gear that allows you to move up real decisively in a constrained window of opportunity, but doesn't really burn a match. It's a bit harder than VO2 max but not a sprint. If you did it for 2 minutes you'd be completely knackered but you should be able to do it for 40 seconds time and time again without tremendous cost. Having that gear fully dialled is like having a get out of jail free card.
Hopefully no rain for Greenbelt on Wednesday and then a TT in NJ this weekend. We're babysitting my nephew and there's a TT at this State Park beach right near there. TT skills are going to play a pretty big role in this season's major goals so I need the practice.