Monday, October 20, 2008

Holy Crap That was Hard

I will post pics of the girls on vacation once i get a chance to go through them.
but for now, bike race stuff.
After feeling good about my podium finish last week, i went into the 2nd of 2 california races very optimistic. I should have never shaved the mustache. This was by far the hardest race i can ever remember doing, and not in a good way. I must admit that i like to see other people in pain, pushing themselves to new levels they didn't think they could achieve. This was one of those races. How much can a 50 minute race hurt? A LOT!
When i found this race, it sounded fun and exotic. Racing along the coast with the waves lapping at your tires. A nice, salty breeze blowing through your helmet as you cruised along the beach.
It was none of those things.

I like races with lots of tight, technical sections, and quick out of the saddle efforts with time to recover in between. This course had none of those. Instead it played to every weekness in cycling i have. The only 2 hills were less than 25 yards long. There were headwinds. Very long sections that you had to power through. I don't have any power to power throught those sections. Power is definately is not my strength. No technical sections. Just lots of long, sandy flat roads, with headwinds both ways. The run-ups were sandy, and i supppose that a sandy run-up is not a strength for anybody but boy those hurt. Riding in the very, very, very long surf section, you had 2 choices; 1.) ride high and out of the water but suffer through sand that is almost too hard to pedal through or 2.) Ride down lower where the water has hardened the sand slightly but try and dodge the waves as they come in. When the waves come in and you are bottom bracket deep in water that immediately softens the sand you are riding on, it is also almost imppossible to pedal. I found myself riding serpentine down the beach trying to get the best of both worlds but in most cases get the worst of both.
Coming into the second lap i was in second place, but that is where i peaked. I could make up a little time on the 2 short climbs and the run - ups, but the amount of time i could make up there compared to the amount of time i lost on the other 4k of the course was not in my favor. I started loosing places and finished in around 8th or 10th out of around 25 guys. My mustache could have really helped me. After the race, we found a donut shop, and a car wash so megan could hose me down and i could wash my bikes off before making the 12 hour drive back to utah.

I have a renewed sense of respect for alberto contador and his amazing story of coming from vacationing on the beach, to getting a surprise invite to the gyro de italia only a week before it's start and then winning it. All of the things i did on the beach last week do not help with bike racing.

Here is an edgy, out of focus, raw, independent film style video of the long beach portion followed by some sand running.

I had to include the picture of a guy wearing a dress for the race. The girls absolutely loved it. So much so that i am thinking of getting one to race in.
This is a pic i stole off the race site but shows you how much fun this course was


Rick Sunderlage said...

biking in sand is hard. So is running in sand. What were you thinking? And the stache could have been a great filter to keep the sand out of your mouth. Bring it back.

matt b. said...

Holy cow that run-up looks misereable.

By edgy, out of focus, raw, independent film style video do you mean no. 3 filmed it?