La vie de vélo

Adventures in cycling and life

Blazing saddles

When I pre-rode the Sisquoc road race course in early august, I wore arm warmers and tights. Today we stepped out of the car with a temp of 105 degrees! We were late for my race but luckily no warmup was needed.

We went off at 1:00. At the last minute they shortened the course to 4 laps for a total of 42 miles. The first lap was a cakewalk … everyone taking it super easy.

Second lap, four guys got away but i was stuck in the pack and couldn’t do squat. Eventually me and one other rider (named Matt as well) worked our way up front and rolled off the front of the pack. Easiest breakaway ever – we literally were just pushing tempo at the front and found ourselves 100 feet up the road! So we decided to work together and make it stick. We caught two of the breakaways, dropped one but never saw #1 or #2 up the road. It was rather rewarding to work in a small breakaway for 1 1/2 laps and really felt like a better (ie steadier) workout than the typical slow down-sprint crit riding pattern. I bolted up the final hill and left my breakaway companions behind to push the final 3 miles solo. I never caught the leaders but managed to pull off third place. I was feeling super strong and could have easily won if I had been in the right place at the right time. Yet another lesson learned.

Apparently heart rate is very heat-dependent. My previous max heart rate, since I’ve been keeping track of these things 13 months ago, was 181 bpm. Today I spent 15 minutes above 180 bpm! Topped out at 188 which (according to the 220-age forumula) is 1 bpm away from my absolute max. But I held 188 for 2 whole minutes. crazy. Maybe it was a hardware malfunction but I suspect the heart just has to work harder to keep you cool. Probably a sign that I should not have been riding in that heat.

Having John C. handing off bottles in the feed zone was a lifesaver. The bottle of ice on the last lap was heaven sent. I started with a wad of ice stuffed into a tube sock which i put under my jersey on my upper back. Sweet icy cold water dripped down my spine for the first 2 laps. That combined with 3 bottles of fluids, gallons of pre-race water and 2 bottles of water dumped on my head kept me relatively cool. I was popping endurolytes as well which seem to prevent the cramping issues I struggled with earlier this year. Hydration was definitely the largest challenge in this race (the hill, while somewhat decisive, was not that steep or long).

Overall a great race. I have definitely found my form for this year. With all the life changes recently and work craziness there are lots of decisions to be made so my mental focus is far from bike racing but god damn my legs feel good.


August 30, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Great job buddy. I was telling everyone at the finish that you were going to f’em on the last lap. I was spent just standing in the feed zone with that heat and I didn’t have to do squat!

    Comment by J.Red | August 30, 2009 | Reply

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