Sunday, April 20, 2008

SEA OTTER CIRCUIT RACE (lengthy bike crap)

Saturday and day 2 of california racing. I came down to california for a few reasons. The wife is due in June and wanted to go on vacation without the kids before she had the baby. I checked around a bit and asked her if she wanted to go to monterey, california. she agreed and then i told her that there was a race on friday morning and another on saturday afternoon. I don't think this is exactly what she had in mind when she said she wanted to go on vacation but she was a good sport and figured, if nothing else there wouldn't be any laundry and someone else would clean our room and make our bed for us for the next few days. I also wanted to come down to california to race to see how i stacked up against racers down here. As it turns out, i stack up about the same. slightly better than the middle of the pack. I also wanted to get down to some warmer weather and enjoy the sun for a few days since it has been snowing every other day in utah for the last 6 monthes. I have seen the commercials for california and how it is always sunny and 72. We came to the festival on saturday a few hours early to check out all of the vendors and the other events and races going on. it was so windy and cold that we ended up sitting, hiding behind a cement barrier for a long time watching the pro NRC circuit race and getting sand in every crack we had. Megan was a trooper and stuck it out for my race to start at 5 and then sit there for another hour while i rode in circles for an hour. It was a fun course and suited me a little better than the road course mostly because after a bunch of short really steep climbs, there wasn't a long canyon i needed to climb at the end to the finish. After the first lap, i was feeling it in my legs and was wondering if i was actually going to finish. I was certainly feeling the effects of fridays race. After the first lap, my legs warmed up a bit and i got into a groove. with that steep but short hill at 12-15% grade every lap i was wondering if it was going to come down to the best sprinter that could climb or the best climber that could sprint since the finish was fast and flat. it was very windy which helped keep most of the group together other than the guys that got spit out the back. It came down to the last lap and me not in very good position for the sprint. i finished 13 or 14 out of around 50 and felt good except not having much kick for the finish. the other thing i thought was interesting was i ride a 12-27 because i don't have much power and it is nice to have that for the long canyons we have in utah, but i big ringed the climb every time and found myself getting spun out in the sprint. i think it might be time to look into SRAM's 11-26 cassette. It came down to the best sprinters that could climb. it was so windy that with the cat 4 group, if anybody could get away on the climb, they wouldn't have been able to stay away on the flats.

Here are some pics of the GRAND PRIX course we raced on.

After The start/finish line it makes a quick right where you do a couple hundred meter climb at 5-6%

After a couple hundred meters of gradual hill it comes around a corner and kicks up for a little while longer.

after climbing this steeper pitch it crests and immediately drops down what is called the corkscrew.

after coming down the steep winding section i flattens out for a minute then one more little rise before it comes down flat into the start finish again.

It is a little over 2 miles per lap and we ended up doing 10 laps in an hour.

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