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I’m A Roadie Now

5 Apr

Screw all you poseur mountain bikers out there, you have no idea what racing bikes is all about. Let me tell you.

I’ve now missed 2 out of 2 ICUP’s this year and not sure when I’ll get out for a proper mountain bike race so what’s a boy to do? Road race. Not counting a hill climb and maybe a crit many years ago, it might have been a cross race, I have never raced in a road race. Hell of the North on Saturday was my very first taste of road racing. I didn’t spit it out.

I was shocked, absolutely shocked at how slow these things start. Compared to a mountain bike race where you pin it from the get go we all soft pedaled for the first 5 miles or so. I was so tempted to just go but being the newbie felt like I needed to take cues from the group.

About 18 started with our Master’s B group. With a one day license you can only sign up for a couple different categories. 7 of us got a bit of a gap pretty quick and remained together for the rest of the race.

Since this was my first road race I’ll assume all races are going to be like this; start easy, push the pace for a couple minutes, recover for a while, repeat.

I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to keep jumping to the front and doing some work to make it feel like a race and then I’d think, “wait a minute, someone else should do some work so I’m not fried for the last lap.” I’d then sit up and wait for someone to take over. turns out there were only 3 of us that were willing to do any work.

In the end, 2 riders out of our group of 7 that had NEVER taken a turn at the front took off with 1/3 of a lap to go. None of the worker bees could really answer so they finished 1,2. I think I rolled across 5th or 6th. I’m not complaining, not too much anyway. I got a better workout than the guy that won and that is why I was there.

Here I am telling the peloton, can I use that word, how to pitch a proper knuckle ball.

One thing I noticed from these pictures is that you don’t really need two hands to road race.

I’m sure I’ll be back for more, if nothing more than to speak out of turn at the start to piss off the race official. What is it with the officials? Is it just Utah or road racing in general? I’m bringing them some moan to go with their bitch next time.

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Heat Training

28 Jun

I don’t do well in the heat. I’ve suffered from heat exhaustion on more than one occasion and even ended up in the ER after the Brian Head 100 one year. So, I always try to do some training in the heat to hopefully acclimatize before a big race, I’m thinking the Park City Perfect 10. What better way than a 5 hour ride starting at Noon in the middle of summer?

The family has gone to the Grand Canyon yet again this year and I stayed home. I did however, ride to Spanish Fork Canyon with them to pick up Kendra from camp and then I bid them farewell as they motored on to St. George and I pedaled home.

I do not know my way around Utah Valley very well and wasn’t sure how to find my way to Provo. I figured if I could get to Provo I could make it home. It turns out I’m either a human GPS or Utah Valley isn’t too complicated. I prefer the former. Within 45 minutes I found myself turning down 500 N in Provo to stop for a pee break at Racer’s.

I was pleasantly surprised to find both Racer and Maren working on a Saturday. To be honest, I’m not sure if either of them was working. Racer was busy building a bike for Maren and Maren was busy picking out color coordinated grips and cages. I couldn’t help myself and offered them my valuable fashion advice.

I then made the mistake of asking Racer if he wanted to join me for a ride around the Alpine Loop. I say mistake because I wasn’t expecting him to say, “yeah, give me 15 minutes to finish Maren’s bike” and then take an hour and a half to pedal out of the shop with me.

I’ve climbed pretty much every canyon along the Wasatch Front multiple times and I have to say the Sundance side of the Alpine Loop is hands down the best. It’s steep, very steep, long, twisty, painful, scenic and has a rhythm to it that I haven’t found in any other canyon climb. I love it! Did I mention that it’s painful?

Racer went down the AF side with me and then he split off and headed back across the front of Timp where I’m sure he stopped to refuel at Fish’s house as I pedaled alone through Alpine and over Traverse back home.

I’m pretty sure I may be the only person to get Racer out on a big ride in a very long time.  I think he enjoyed it. 

Mark from up in Boise who is down on vacation recognized me limping through Alpine and stopped to see how I was doing as I was heading home. Pretty cooked and starting to melt is how I was doing.

One big heat ride down and I’m feeling good, embracing the heat.

OMG! I just typed 500 words. What’s wrong with me? Oh yeah, my family is out of town.