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Anyone have experience with the Boulevard race in San Diego?(13 posts)

Anyone have experience with the Boulevard race in San Diego?DY
Jan 23, 2002 10:37 PM
I'm a beginning racer and I was wondering if anyone knew anything about the Boulevard race here in San Diego this Feb. Is this a good race for a beginner? I heard that it was "crash city" for the Cat 4 and 5 racers. I know the course is pretty much up and down with some pretty good steep downhills with some tight turns. Just wondering if anyone knew details or had raced it before. How many riders, what their experience/opinions were of the race. Also while I'm at it, does anyone have any suggestions for good races in the Southern California area to get some good experience?

Thanks.
re: Anyone have experience with the Boulevard race in San Diego?BryanJL
Jan 24, 2002 4:24 PM
Hey DY,

I did a race in that area last year. Not on the exact course, but one of the roads was the same, and it was rollers, nothing too steep. I don't know about the rest of the course. I have been told it has an uphill finish or finishing section--I don't think it's wall-steep but probably something like 4% would be my guess. Since it's at or near the end, it will probably seem steeper on those final miles.

I don't know about "crash city" for 4/5. In this race, there are separate Cats for 4 and 5--I don't know for sure, but they may combine if the fields for each are small. But it seems like a lot of Cat 5 races get called "crash 5" or "crash city"...some justifiably so, others just because.

Here's a link to more info about the event; the coordinator has responded to me quickly--her email is on the flyer.

http://www.socalcycling.com/2002/Boulevard.pdf

There aren't a lot of races in SD but there are a lot of rides. Try:

www.sdbc.org
www.cyclo-vets.org

For races in southern cal, try:

www.socalcycling.com

I'll be at the Blvd race--I'm going to try to ride the course this weekend--it should be a great race!

Hope this helps,

Bryan
lubic@mail.sdsu.edu
re: Anyone have experience with the Boulevard race in San Diego?DY
Jan 24, 2002 5:22 PM
Thanks Bryan.
I scouted the course yesterday. I couldn't really follow the course based on the description in the link, so I got lost a couple times. Once you take off from the gas station, you only go about 2 mile and then take a right. That is Hwy 94 even though there is no sign. Then the problem is that Hwy 94 and Hwy 80 don't intersect. To get a 22 mile loop my guess is that the course will turn right on "La Posta" street. It did seem pretty steep once you turn on La Posta for a while and then a steep finishing section about 4 miles long on Hwy 80. It is pretty isolated out there with a few trucks and tons of Border Patrol vheciles speeding around. I don't know what it will be like on a Saturday with the road open to traffic, since there is a casino there too right off the freeway. Should be a good challenge. What category are you racing in?
re: Anyone have experience with the Boulevard race in San Diego?Bruno S
Jan 24, 2002 7:43 PM
The description of the course is wrong and it should be a right turn on La Posta street. It was supposed to be corrected but it never happened. I've heard it is a good beginners race because its two 22 mile loops as opposed to most criterium races that are many loops of less than one mile. Criteriums tend to be short in duration therefore fast. Add sharp 90 degree turns and crashes are common.
re: Anyone have experience with the Boulevard race in San Diego?BryanJL
Jan 25, 2002 1:52 PM
Hey DY,

Yeah, I agree with all that you've mentioned.

See the post below yours from Bruno--the course should be:

Start on Hwy 80
Right on Tierra del Sol
Right on 94
Right on La Posta
Right back onto 80, repeating course for final lap.

I'll be racing Cat 5, unattached. I expect it will be a challenge, especially with a 4 mile uphill, those rollers on La Posta, and 2 laps at 22 miles each.

I have limited experience in Cat 5 races (..probably why I'm a 5, eh?) but from the race I did in that area last year, things start pretty mellow, and don't heat up until about 20 miles in. But, Cat 5 can be a mixed bag, with some strong riders. I have a feeling that there will be breaks on La Posta, and I am very interested to see what that hill does/what happens on it. Attack too hard, too soon, and the pack will get you before the finish. Got to remember not to get too antsy--it's as much a mental game as a physical one--someone once described racing as a "rolling chess match, where the win doesn't go to the strongest rider, or the smartest rider, but the strongest smartest rider."

Last year traffic was pretty mellow. There were people at intersections to clear us through on the four turns, and as you noticed, there's very few cars anyway. Plus, a pack of 80 riders gives a bigger saftey cushion against them cars!

I hope to get out there this weekend and check it out myself.

Have a great weekend and hope to meet you at the race!

Bryan
Thanks for the tipsLewis
Jan 27, 2002 4:10 PM
Good to read about the course. This is the first time I will be doing the Blvd. Race. A little bit of a training race for me.
Good luck in the 5's race Bryan (I don't race until 11:30). Knowing the course is a big plus for you. Don't build your expectations but have a goal in mind. Like "finish with the pack" or "place in the top 1/2 of the field". If you do better than that, great.
Remember, you have a whole season ahead of you and some racers still have their bikes in the garage and 2 feet of snow outside!
Do your best but keep it in perspective with your training.
Good Luck and relax before the race!
Thanks for the tipsBryanJL
Jan 28, 2002 9:35 AM
Hey Lewis,

Thanks for the support, tips, and luck! Scouting the course is one of the best things I've done in my race prep--it makes things a lot easier!

I'm glad to hear what you said about having goals.
My very (I mean very!) first race was a 52 mile race last year in the same area...got dropped 18 miles in...oh well, I knew going in that either way, it was a 50 mile ride for the day and I was glad to be able to even ride.

Now this year, and even this week, I have goals like you said...first, definitely finish with the pack, and my reach goal is a top 20. But who knows what the field is like. And, I know that I definitely want to have fun and test myself. And although it is a race, I hope I meet some cool people (you and DY both seem to fit this bill).

Thanks for the perspective, tips, and help, Lewis. Hopefully in a few years I will be starting with you at 11:30am! Good luck!

Bryan
Tips for youLewis
Jan 28, 2002 11:29 AM
Scouting the course will give you confidence because you know what to expect and mentally prepare for it.
I would say dont stratagize at all. Just keep your one goal in mind and let the rest go. Dont worry about anything else. It will keep you relaxed during the race.
You have a short race but dont forget to drink plenty of water and eat a energy gel when you get the chance.


I will share a little prerace strategy with you: Dont change anything on raceday. Dont mess with your bike the night before. Don't eat anything new on raceday. If you never use a energy gel dont start because I said so. If you do great training rides with water and a bagel, do the same thing for this race.
If you do that you just beat about 10 guys right off the bat.

One of the perks of not racing cat's. I dont have to wake up at the crack of dawn! Good luck
Tips for youBryanJL
Jan 28, 2002 1:18 PM
Lewis,

You're awesome! Thanks!

I've been "race-training" my foods/water/etc for the past few weeks. I tried Cytomax (yuk..didn't like the flavor) but then tried a different flavor (lime)...much better, but I noticed it didn't seem to give me the same kick as Accelerade does (or as I *think* it does).

Anyway, I'll be eating my usual routine, with a powerbar or clif bar about 20 minutes before the race, as usual. You are absolutely right...just be normal and stay relaxed (I say that now...I'll be nervous soon!).

One last question--I have to change my tires...they're making me nervous! Less than 150 miles on Michelin Hi-Lite Prestige and I've noticed a small puncture (no loss of air) on rear and a cut on the front (not to the casing, but I had the same thing happen on another Prestige the week before, and swapped it out).

Anyway...I am most freaked out about flatting. Any suggestions for a good tire? I've thought about having a racing only wheelset/tire combo, and then some trainers, but I don't race more than 6 times a year. So I hate to change stuff before a race, but I feel like I'd better change the tires, even if the cut is minor.

Thanks again for all of your help!

Bryan
Tips for youLewis
Jan 28, 2002 1:33 PM
New wheels are overkill in your case. Just get some new tires like Axial Pros.
Change them soon and ride them to get the tubes to settle in. You dont want to find a slow leak on saturday morning.
Use regular tubes not ultralightweight. A few grams dont matter if you flat.
re: Anyone have experience with the Boulevard race in San Diego?DY
Jan 27, 2002 7:38 PM
Bryan,
I'd love to hear how your ride out on the course went his weekend.

DY
re: Anyone have experience with the Boulevard race in San Diego?BryanJL
Jan 28, 2002 9:19 AM
Hey DY,

Here's my "pre-race report".

Went out to Blvd on Saturday morning with a training partner. Arrived around 10am, parked, etc. Hooked up with 4 other riders who were also scouting the course. We thought it would be good to have company, so we all waited for a few and took off together.

Overall, I like the course. The air was pretty dry compared to San Diego, but temps and wind were ideal. It was also very clear. Barely any traffic.

The course seems to have three basic parts: 94, which is pretty flat/downhill but has some fun twists and turns, La Posta, with rollers, and at least a fun roller coaster portion before Hwy 80, which is basically 4 miles of uphill (but it has some downs too). Not impossible, but certainly not a big ring sprint!! (Well, not for me anyway!)

I have two general concerns: Pre-race and race.

Pre-race: Parking may be a bit challenging...good thing the starts are staggered. Just have to be there early enough to get things settled, warm up, etc.

Race: The only section that really concerns me is on the twisties of Hwy 94...there was one fairly sharp corner, and I noticed a tiny pile of gravel/dirt flowing into the road about 1/4 of the way. Not a huge issue....but with a pack of riders going downhill around 28-30mph, maybe more as a pack, it doesn't take much to get a bit hairy.

Otherwise, I like the course a lot. It will be interesting to see what happens, and I am really excited.

Oh yeah....except for the shoulders on Hwy 80, the roads are soooo smooooth!! I loved it! Can't hear anything except the wind! Wow was that a nice change form regular streets!

That's pretty much it...oh, one more thing....out on La Posta, we just finished the first hill section, started downhill into the "forested" area (actually a dip where a few homes are) and WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!

A big dog started running inside the fence, and I saw an open gate!! I guess the dog pretty much knew its property, though, because it didn't chase us. But it did startle me!
And that's always fun.....your heart rate is up anyway, and then you get a quick "flight or fight" response.

Overall, a great course and I'm excited to ride it!

Bryan
re: Anyone have experience with the Boulevard race in San Diego?thenewguy11
Jan 31, 2002 11:29 AM
I did the Blvd. race a number of times when I was in school. If I'm not mistaken UCSD is hosting the event right?

Anyway, parking shouldn't be a problem. From what I remember, there is a dirt parking lot behind the restaurant about a quarter mile from the start/finish line. Plenty of space. Also, keep an eye out for the grates across the road. And lastly, if you should find yourself in the front group after the last climb and you have some gas left, put in an attack at the beginning of the slight uphill run to the finish (1K or so to go). From my experience, most riders are trying to position themselves for the sprint and if you time it right, you can usually get a gap. It works well, especially if you have some teammates in the pack to sit on and go for the sprint if you happen to get caught.

Just my two cents.