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Notes from the back and very near the asphalt…(14 posts)

Notes from the back and very near the asphalt…TFerguson
May 5, 2003 12:09 PM
44 mile RR this past Sunday, Cat 4/5. Allergies are bad and I'm coming down with a cold. Only stayed with the pack for 6 miles.

Probably should have stayed home, but I figure at this point in my "career" every start teaches me a lot. I was right. I learned a new pack trick - unfortunately by being on the receiving end. We're only about 2 to 3 miles into the race and I have moved up to the outside on the left about 4 rows back. I'm on a pretty good wheel and hanging on. Then this guy moves on me from my right and I just stay where I am and kinda lift my elbows in a defensive move. He moves in, sticks his elbow under mine and gives it a good lift. I'm near to laying the bike down on its left side and only a sharp turn keeps the bike up. Of course, then I'm pointed right at the ditch. I recover my senses enough to turn back straight and am riding along the far side of the left lane near the back of the pack. Somebody yells "nice recovery", but I'm still trying to figure out what happened. It happened so fast I still have no clue who it was.

The lesson? There's at least one guy out there that is willing to put another rider down just for a wheel with only a couple of miles in on a 44 mile race. Good thing to know.

My report from that race...noveread
May 5, 2003 12:31 PM
Here's my report from that race:

Today was the Wisconsin State Road Race Championships. As one might expect, the term State Championship brings out all kinds of guys who are targeting this race. Plenty of sandbaggers like our own Travis Goodland or Greg Andrews. Both of these guys have USCF Cat 5 licenses though! What a joke that is!

Anyway, the race was put on by the UW Whitewater club and held over a course that was advertised as moderately hilly in the Palmyra, WI area. It was a beautiful day for a bike race with clear skies and nice temperatures. It was a little chilly for our Category 4/5 race, which started, or, was supposed to start at 9:10. We didn't roll off until 9:50 though, so that made warm-up a bit of a crapshoot as everybody was on the line ready to go at, well, 9:10!

Part of the course, about 20yds, not long after the start finish line was all torn up and was only soft dirt. They moved the start of the races just to the other side of this dirt but we would have to cross this dirt during the race at the end of lap 1/start of lap 2. Other than that, the course was okay. Mostly nice surfaces but not nearly as hilly as I had anticipated. 70 guys lined up for our 46-mile race. My biggest goal was for a top-20 finish, which was a high goal I thought considering the race and the fact that I hadn't finished with the front group all year!

Like last week, I wasn't feeling so great on Friday but I woke up this morning feeling fine. On the other hand, Travis said he wasn't feeling so great so he wasn't sure how the race was going to go for him.

Essentially, for the whole race, I stayed about 2/3rds of the way down the pack. I didn't move around a whole lot but I did move around some to try and get some experience doing so. In a pack of 70 riders it was a little harder to move around than in last week's small groups. On that first lap, there was only one section where I was in any difficulty. But I didn't lose the wheel in front of me and didn't have to close down any gaps. But I made a mental note of that section for the second lap. The run-in to the finish was a bit sketchy however. And this is where I made my big mistake of the race: I didn't pay attention to the run-in on the first lap. I guess it is about 1.5mi or so from the finish you go down a pretty big downhill, the biggest of the race. We easily topped 40mph going down this hill. The road then runs into town, crosses some RR tracks and makes a 90deg left turn. Then there is an "S" bend and crosses the RR tracks again. After that it is a short run to the line.

Anyway, to start the second lap, we crossed the dirt section and no one went down remarkably. During the second lap I tried to move up a little in the field and did so successfully a bit. It was a good thing too, as about 2 miles or so into the second lap there was a crash behind me. Sounded bad and one guy who rode up beside me afterwards mentioned that all he saw was a piece of a helmet sliding across the road. Ouch, somebody hit hard.

Generally, the pace for the first half of the second lap seemed to ease just a bit. It really was not difficult to just sit-in. As expected, that one section I had made note of the first lap again put me in a little difficulty but I was ready for it this time. Towards the later part of the race I'd check my computer and it would read 16-17mph but I knew we were flying along in the upper 20s. Strangely, my computer always seemed to be registering the low speeds. I was watching the distance click off and preparing to get myself ready to move up. But somehow, I failed to realize that if my computer was not registering the correct speeds, it was not going to be registering the correct distance either. I hit 35 miles and I thought okay, just 10-11 more miles. But in fact, we were more like 40 miles into the race! This is where failing to really take note of the
Oops, didn't realize post got truncated, here's the rest...noveread
May 5, 2003 1:53 PM
This is where failing to really take note of the finish cost me. We came flying down the hill, made the turns through town and then we were on the finishing straight with like 50yds to go and I was no-where near to being in position to sprint. By the time I realized where we were it was way too late. So I cruised across the line, hardly winded, in 27th spot. Whoops. I looked at my computer and it said 39 miles. I checked with a bunch of others, and their computers all read from 46-48 with 46 being the most popular number.

All in all I was satisfied with my ride. I'd finished with the lead group, such as it was with nearly the whole field coming in together despite the 23mph average speed. So no, I didn't meet my top-20 goal, but I'm pretty sure I could have. My racing is getting better and I'm still learning each time out. This time the lessons learned included to make sure to pay attention to the finish and to make sure the sensor is properly adjusted on the forks! Ah well, my next opportunity for a RR is many, many weeks away. Bummer, I like the RRs much better than the crits.

Oops, didn't realize post got truncated, here's the rest...BeeCharmer
May 8, 2003 6:58 AM
Hey Andy,

I enjoyed your report and I followed the link to your club site and read the report of your first race in Madison last August. Guess who is wearing the red jersey in the picture (and also finished fourth)? Kind of wierd. I suppose I'll see you at my next race, the Wheels on Willy?

Take care and good luck and keep the reports coming.

ne iowa
How wild is that?noveread
May 8, 2003 7:36 AM
Chris, that is nutz! But honestly, I remember that guy in the red jersey being a whole lot bigger (thicker) than you from what I remember at the Waterloo race. But I do remember both riders to be quite strong, definitely a lot stronger than me!

Yeah, I'll be at the Willy crit! Ugh, a crit. They don't seem to sit well with me! Incidentally, willy will be the first race that I've had to pay extra as an unattached rider!

Also, those Tuesday crits have started back up just this week. GDVC is putting them on weekly out at the UW research park. If you happen to be in town, stop out! I think I am going to try alternating between racing them and volunteering fo them.

How wild is that?BeeCharmer
May 8, 2003 12:55 PM
I think I've dropped about 20lbs since then, lots of xc racing up north over the winter and some miles on the bike.

I'll probably work some of those crits in in a couple of weeks, after WOW. I want to peak for some of the SuperWeek races in July.

Re: paying more for being unattached, don't you belong to that Stoton club?

See you at the races,

ne iowa
How wild is that?noveread
May 9, 2003 9:03 AM
Dropped 20lbs! That's great and would be in line with my memory!

Yes, I am a member of Stoton, but they are not a USCF club so technically I am an unattached rider.

I'm going to be doing some Superweek races too. Not sure which ones yet, though I am 99% sure I will be doing the Tour of Holy Hill.

re: at the race alsopsycha
May 5, 2003 5:57 PM
I was at the race as well. One thing that really pissed me off was the complete lack of respect for the centerline rule. Guys were using the left hand side of the road to gain position all day long. I thought it was in very poor taste.
Not really understanding the centerline rule….TFerguson
May 6, 2003 5:31 AM
I may have been one of them (though not for long.) I started by staying to the right of the line, but it seemed to be completely ignored. There were lead and chase cars that were watching, so I figured it must be all right. Also, I had heard someplace that it only applied at a yellow (i.e. Do Not Pass) line. What is the actual rule and is it interpreted differently depending on the level of racing and by how much it is influencing the outcome like a lot of rules seem to be?

Not to be understood at this race...noveread
May 6, 2003 7:20 AM
Yeah, they said the centerline rule was in effect but what are they supposed to do when there is no centerline? How do you DQ a racer when there is no centerline? Do you wait until he is all the way over to the left side? What do you do when the DQ'd guy points out that there should not be any "gray area" with rules and that scores of other riders were also over the line, just not as far to the left side. They were over the line, they should be DQ'd as well. There is just no way to enforce the centerline rule when there is no centerline. I'm pretty sure the race organizers said the rule was in effect so that people were at least conscious that the road was open.

This is not a vague rule!psycha
May 6, 2003 4:29 PM
The rule refers to the centerline of the road whether or not a yellow line exists. I know the rule book talks about this situation explicitly. Many of the races I have been did not have a line painted on the ground but the rule was effectively enforced. I am not saying that you should be instantly pulled from the race if you move a bit too far left. I am referring to people using the left side of the road to make positional changes and attack. On an open course this rule must be enforced. Not doing so creates a very dangerous atmosphere where riders are using the left side of the road to race on.

p.s. the roads we raced on this weekend had a seam right down the middle of the paved surface, very easy to see
Not to be understood at this race...BeeCharmer
May 10, 2003 6:32 AM
Actually, the instructions were to 'leave a full lane open at all times' not stay to the right side of the centerline. I think folks honored the rule as it was stated by the race director before the race.


ne iowa
re: at the race alsoNightengale
May 6, 2003 7:13 AM
That stopped in D20 when the officials decided to aggressively DQ anyone who crossed the centerline. Now people respect the rule. Urge the officials in your area to do the same.
Yeesh, you got flicked! Report the bastard. nmSpunout
May 6, 2003 4:00 AM