Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sure we can go on vacation with your family...as long as i can bring my bike and find a race.

We packed up the family truckster and headed south-west for the week to avoid the snow in Utah. I love snow, but it is hard to go from the 80's to the 30's and snowing with no transitional fall weather to speak of.

Now to the majority of people that read this blog to read updates on the family, tune out because it is time for the boring bike stuff;
MORE COWBELL!

I did bring a couple of bikes with me because as much as i was going to miss not racing in the snow this weekend in Utah, i found a couple of cyclocross races down here to do. Having no idea what to expect from socal cross races, i went back and forth on whether or not to bring both bikes or just 1. in the end i decided it wasn't any harder to bring 2, so i did. They race things a little differently here. A little more official than the series in utah. You have to have a USCF license and the barriers are a regulation 18 inches high. They have actual categories instead of just A, B and C and race wherever you want.
We had around 35 guys in our cat 3/4 group to start, and i have been riding well in utah lately, so my goal was to win. Not having any idea what to expect from the field, it was a lofty goal. A friend has raced here before and told me that people will start to fade as the race goes on so, so i looked forward to that. I also wasn't sure what to expect from coming from racing at 4500', to racing at sea level and what it would do to me physiologically. I was expecting much more flat but it was fun terrain. Here is a picture of the 75 yard run up

My A#1 fans and their cousin, who would rather be at Disneyland

The start was insane, with 35 guys, headed downhill at 30 miles an hour, in 3 inch deep bark headed for a 180 degree turn. I tried to get out fast but got stuck behind a bunch of people, but luckily i wasn't in the back, where i could hear people and bikes going down. After a couple corners, i worked my way up to 3rd position. We had a long, uphill, single track section, and i worked my way up to the wheel of the guy in first. I sat there for a while, comfortably as we worked our way up. We came down a fast single track section and he got a little time on me but i was fine with that. We had 50 minutes and i knew if i could beat him on the uphill, i could hold him off on the downhill. I sat on for a few laps with 6 or 7 guys close behind. It was around the 3rd or 4th lap that i went down on a fast bark section and almost got run over by those guys right behind me. Although my rear does not look as firm and shapely as cousin Kevin's does and my crash was not as bad as cousin kevin's from earlier in the year, it still left a mark. Luckily, i came away from my crash much better than another guy from my race. This would make getting into the salt water very painful.
I got back on my bike after losing several spots and and plugged away. I made up several spots and finally came around to what i thought was the front. I asked a guy i passed if there was anybody off the front. He said that i was the the lead now. After another lap or so, i noticed that there was a guy with the same number series that we had, about 15 seconds in front of me. I knew that it wasn't a lapper yet, but he was in our same group. I tried to chase but couldn't make up any time so i knew he was in front. Before coming into the start finish and pit area, i felt my rear wheel getting soft. With a couple hundred yards before that point there is a barrier. After dismounting and remounting, i could feel it was rim on ground and was completely flat. I rode a flat to the pit and switched bikes. Luckily i had a good enough gap on 3rd place that i got back out fast enough to keep my 2nd place finish for the final lap to the line. I was also lucky that i decided to bring that second bike.
My heart rate in utah for something similar is around 174 . Down here it started at 180-182 for the first little bit and then settled down to around 177. I have been growing a beard lately, but megan brought to my attention that eventually i will shave it, and after spending a week in the california sun, it will leave a weird tan line. I decided to shave a handlebar mustache to try and intimidate the competition. Everyone was intimidated except for the guy who won. It is probably because he also has facial hair.

3 comments:

Lindsey Jaye Pope Parry said...

You must really enjoy your spandex. You are the only one still in it.

Rick Sunderlage said...

Nice finish. The facial hair looks good on the podium.

matt b. said...

Yea, i second Lindsay's comment. why are you still in your spandex?

But other than that. good job Carl!