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anyone done the Early Bird Patterson road race??(14 posts)

anyone done the Early Bird Patterson road race??Davo
Jan 10, 2002 9:20 AM
This'll be my first road race. Just wondering about the climb, finish, etc. Thanks.
twice did itDog
Jan 10, 2002 10:00 AM
It is an out and back. It is fairly rolling, with a net climb, until you get to the big hill. There is one huge hill just before a smaller descent and turn around. The hill will separate everyone if not before that.

It will be cold first thing, and could be very windy. Don't use deep section wheels. Plan on just tolerating the cold at first, or you'll burn up on the climb.

You parade for about 4 miles from the school to the start, on the other side of I-5. You may have to wait around a while to get started.

Ride very conservatively until the hill. There a series of small hills that could blow you up if you don't. Stay in the middle of the pack and suck wheel. I doubt any organized group will escape for more than about 1/4 mile. Don't worry about them. Stay with the main group.

The hill has sections of 15% or steeper. Make no mistake, it is a very hard climb. I'd use a 12-25 cassette, maybe even a 27. You may not need it, but it's nice if you do. If you are having a hard time keeping up before the big hill, it will be nice to be able to spin on the climb. Save as much energy as you can before the hill, and then give everything you have on the hill. If you get separated there, you are out of the running. There is a nice easy descent on the other side before the turn around, and the climb back up is not as bad.

On the reverse descent, be very careful. There are some nasty turns and a very rough cattle guard. If it's wet from dew, it could be very slippery.

Draft all you can on the way back, too. If you get dropped, find another group and ride with them. Don't worry about the "working with only your own group" rule if you get dropped. They'll likely not even score you, anyway.

The course makes for a good sprint finish for those together. The finish is slightly up hill, so don't start your sprint too early. If you are in the running, suck wheel until no more than 50 yards from the finish line. It will be clearly marked.

There may be many novices there, this being the first race of the season. Lots of guys will surge ahead like they want to break 10 miles into the race. Forget about them. The ones that do well are the sleepers who quietly sit in the pack until the hill.

Any more questions?

Thanks. About....Davo
Jan 10, 2002 11:24 AM
that big climb, how will I know Im on it?

Also, just curious as to what the scenery is like, pine trees, live oaks, etc.

Whats the altitude?

Thanks for the great info.
you'll knowDog
Jan 10, 2002 11:47 AM
The climb pretty much starts at the cattle guard. Even before that, though, you'll see the big hill. According to my topo map, it starts about 18 miles into the race.

Scenery is scrub oaks, some pines, and lots of rocks. The course follows a river much of the route. Altitude is about 300 feet at the start. Here is an approximate profile of the route, one way. I may be off on the start and turn around a little.

What Topo program are you using?jvr-oclv
Jan 10, 2002 12:04 PM
What Topo program are you using Dog?
Topo USA 3.0Dog
Jan 10, 2002 1:40 PM

Here are some examples on my website:

here's a 3d image of the courseDog
Jan 10, 2002 1:56 PM
fun, huh?
Wow, thanks a lot. nmDavo
Jan 10, 2002 2:13 PM
One more thing.Davo
Jan 10, 2002 2:57 PM
Im probably gonna need some warm gear for the descent huh? What do you recommend. I was thinking shorts, long sleeve jersey with regular jersey over it, and arm warmers. I dont like those flappy jackets. Do you think this'll do it?
One more thing.Dog
Jan 10, 2002 3:38 PM
The descent goes by so fast I wouldn't worry about it. I'd wear shorts, maybe knee warmers, a jersey, vest, and arm warmers. Then, you can remove the arm warmers and/or vest if you get hot. I agree in not wanting to wear a jacket. You may need some type of long glove, too.

This area typically warms up a lot after the sun comes out. You'll likely be hot by the time you climb to the summit, and also by then the ambient temperature will be warmer. Unless it's raining, no jacket.

Keep in mind that the return route will be much, much faster than the first half. It will be very important to be with a few other people to share the load at 25-30 mph. Both years I got in double rotating pacelines which really booked. In those pacelines, it cuts the wind a bit, too. So, do whatever you can to stay with a group, even if not the lead group. If you find yourself solo and falling behind, look behind you. No use in suffering off the front of an approaching group, when you could just relax and hook up with them. Hopefully, it will be some from your group, and not the Cat 1 ladies blowing by.

Do you remember about how long this thing takes roughly?Davo
Jan 10, 2002 4:19 PM
I know it can vary greatly but maybe just an idea of how long the first half is?
another newbie questionDavo
Jan 10, 2002 4:23 PM
Will the cat 5 group more or less stay together due to the different departure times or does it turn it to a big jumbled up mess with the racers not able to tell who they are competing with in their category??
Jan 10, 2002 4:33 PM
I'd say you'll probably average about 18 mph on the first half, and maybe 25 on the return.

It won't get jumbled up on the first half, but will start to at the hill and on the return. It varies a lot, depending upon you.

Race numbers are blocked together, so that the 5's will be 100-199, or something like that. From the numbers, if you are paying attention, you can easily tell if it's your group or not. If you don't get dropped, it's not an issue. You'll recognize your group people after staring at them for an hour or so. If you get dropped on the return, don't worry about it. Just find some group, hopefully not a lead group in their category, and just race along with them. There are not prizes, so it's no big deal. I would not, out of good sportsmanship, though, work with another group and then contest the lead, nor assist them to contest a lead in their category. That would be frowned upon.

These first few races are really just practice races. Just use them as learning experiences and don't worry too much.

Patterson road race CANCELLEDDog
Jan 23, 2002 2:48 PM