This has been the best spring break ever, and is also in the running for the best break ever.
I raced at princeton the first weekend, and then went to virginia beach. Hung out with my cousins there for a week and had a blast. We had two awesome bonfires. See, that's how good it was!
I went home for a few days, and spent friday night visiting friends at philly. It was incredible to see them. We had a great night on the town. Then, I headed back to wes on saturday to race the 3/4 race at bethel.
I have to say, I've been getting really forgetful lately. -I forgot my bike computer (srm head unit) in philly when I went to virginia, and my dad had to mail it to me. - I forgot my bike trainer in VA beach and after 200 miles on the road, I had to turn around to go get it. - I forgot my pajamas at a friends place in philly.
A little prequel to the race report: I'm a CAT 4. The categories go 5->4->3->2->1->Pro.
Cliff notes: 3/4 race at bethel. My 3rd race as a 4. Burned a match early in the race and decided to take it a little easy after that. Started cramping towards the end, but still got 14th of 70 (Official said that at the start). I was a little squirrely (wind was pushing me around) and guys in front of me kept swerving to avoid potholes. I felt bad for whoever was behind me though.
Had an interesting drive to the start. I was thinking about how this was my 3rd race as a 4 and I hadn't really trained over break (whoops). Saw a cop car out of the corner of my eye and slowed down a hair, the guy who had just convinced me to slow down a little (because he was flying) got pulled over. Sucka!
Got to the start sans warmup and lined up. Found myself next to CDR, which was a good thing since I wanted to say hi to him.
Off we went. The first few laps, I tried to do a better job of drafting than I did in my last race and succeeded. I found myself moving up on the climb and then realized that I was at the front of the pack, where I didn't want to be since I wanted to hide and move up later. Of course, this was after I bridged up to a small break. It got caught about 5 seconds after that, so pack into hiding I went.
At one point I ended up rubbing the tire in front of me, whoops... People were still shuffling around a bit, especially in the windy back stretch and trying to shift over to the other side as the wind direction changed. I had to move around to compensate, hence a little squirrely. Bleh, stupid.
There were a couple of breaks up the road, but everyone was confused about it. CDR launched off the front to chase down one of them and I followed suit.
There was a point where I was considering dropping out since my lungs had started to hurt, so I just backed off and took the hill seated a few times and that knocked out the stupid notion from my head. I had to back off again since my calves started to cramp again. I really need to figure that out...
5 laps to go, wait really? I started to drift back a little as people swarmed and went into the wind. I followed them up. Moved up till the top 25 or so, by the start of the last lap and continued to try to move up without spending too much time in the wind.
I heard someone go down to the behind to the right, so I moved into the slightly more open right side of the lead up to the hill and gunned it when I had a bit of an opening.
I had to take the long way home to avoid getting boxed in. I crossed the far side of the finish line in 14th. I'll take it.
All in all it was a good race, once I get this calf cramping issue solved I should be able to up the ante a bit.
Weather was beautiful, I finished safely, so all is well. I think the guy who crashed was fine since he landed in the grass.
I didn't really post much of a race report from Princeton since I was just concentrating on not cramping. This is what I wrote to a friend and I'll repost it here as a bit of a report and add things here and there. Here goes!
The course: Half a mile, with a short hill that was steep enough to hurt after many laps at speed. I was hitting the hill at 700-800 watts every single lap, that's probably why I cramped up. I should have taken it seated. Live and learn.
Race Report (ish):
The first race wasn't terribly exciting. I couldn't get the draft for some reason and was fighting hard to stay with the main group. I got dropped, and possibly lapped, but I still finished 10 of 30.
The race had a bit of a hill on it which started to wear down on me after repeatedly hitting down on it at speed. I started to cramp on my calves ... Read Moredue to my stupidity (lack of sufficient hydration, electrolytes, etc), so my race was basically trying to do whatever I could to not make it cramp. So that was that. Just taking turns at speed and trying to get a draft (and failing) and trying to stick it out. Legs locked up after the sprint.
I tried to take a few mins to make the cramps go away and then lined up for the second race. Didn't really help much, and I pulled out of the race after my leg started to lock up again.
I wanted to race at rutgers on sunday, but that didn't happen since my legs felt like crap.
The weather was beautiful. It was in the 60's when I showed up at the line. Incredible.
The course was well cleaned, and a good setup. The hill was sure to keep things interesting.
I rode the 4/5 race first. Everything was going really well till the end where my calves started to cramp and lock up. It's almost 12 hours after the fact now and the right one is still sore.
I'm getting more comfortable cornering hard and I was doing well with taking the corners at speed. I just couldn't find the draft today for some reason. It's always really hard for me to find the draft when everything is spread out pretty much single file. That hurt after a while. The calf pain at the end didn't help either.
Checked the results later. 10 of 30. Not too shabby for a first race back. I'll take it.
I started the 3/4 race since I'd already pre-registered. I dropped out after about 20 minutes. I'd rather save some energy, rest up, and hopefully do better on the race tomorrow. I decided to do the circuit race at rutgers tomorrow. It should be interesting.
I've been massaging the crap out of my calves hoping that the cramps and soreness goes away. I'm really hoping that it does. My performance today was a lot better than I had hoped, if I can draft better and pick a good wheel to follow tomorrow, I might be in contention for the sprint.
A good day, however, is a safe day. That's what happened today and that's all I want for tomorrow.
I'm a senior at Wesleyan University blogging about life and bike racing. I'm a lowly CAT 4 trying to rise up the ranks, while trying to enjoy myself and learn along the way.
My posts share some of the mistakes so you can learn without having to make them yourself. I've made my share of them.
Enjoy the read!