Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hellyer Omnium Night Wednesday, June 24, 2009

After the race tonight I cornered Rick and asked him if I should upgrade since I've done five races and four beginner sessions. His answer: "Absolutely! Do not put it off." The only thing is that I really would like to experience a win or two before catting up. I'm always up there but other than the repeat heat of the Kieren at my first race, I am without the W. And once I cat up it's going to be major pack fodder time and soon enough I'll wish I'd enjoyed a win when I could've scored one.

And after tonight and a little feedback I've gotten regarding my "poor me" of the Diable Hill Climb I stepped out of myselfish tonight and appreciated that I am really fortunate to have the health, legspeed and tiny amount of talent and discipline to be in the races. Too often I concentrate on why I'm not better and the truth is that I'm as good as I am and that's all we can expect.

Cough. Same format as -cough- two weeks ago. cough.

Points race: 9 laps with sprints -cough- e'ry 3 laps. El sprinto uno. I dunno. Came up fast but maybe not fast enough to catch people fading at the line. Maybe scored points. cough. El sprinto dos: Probably did better. Lungs started to BURN. I was afraid of my low-grade head cold -cough- making me hurt tonight. cough. Sprinto final: Nowhere near sprinting for me. Watched the pack sprint and tried breathing through my on fire lungs. boo! Immediately took two puffs on the inhaler after the race. Drank alot but an evening of cronic coughing began here (and continues now).

Scratch race: Nice and fast for a C race tonight! Great, it felt much safer at the quicker pace with less balling up and bunching. I sucked wheel then sucked wheel some more then sucked more wheel until el sprinto. Long windup and couldn't come around in three and four. Managed a third somehow. Cough cough cough cough HACK cough.

Miss and Out: Have I got this down to a formula or what? The secret to success is to count heads then keep a running count of laps during the race. After four or five people get out, I go to the front and own the pole lane and simply don't let anyone come by me. Some laps it's dead simple and some laps the sprint works its way up to me. The onliest problem is that after towing the pack for eight laps or so, I don't have enough -cough- left in the legs to win. Still, I was very happy to get a second place.

Points race with the B non-pointers: I popped the 14 on the rear for this race and ran that gear for the first time. It was easy to push, surprisingly. But I had no gas for the sprints so I just sucked wheel the entire race. Well, that's not completely true. I took one mini-flyer and took a pull or two at the front but it was always between sprints. My lungs were so messed up by this time I just was happy to cruise and watch the sprints from a ways back. I went for the final sprint and was maybe in top 5.

I'm definitely learning a few things. NEVER stop sprinting until the line. Several times tonight I passed two or more people in the last five meters. My endurance is just fine. I'd like to work on acceleration. It's good for now but when I went to the ~90 in. gear, I lost alot of explosiveness. And that's what I'll need for the Cat. 4 and up racing.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mount Diablo Hill Climb TT June 19, 2009

Wow. All I can say is that I proved that shit can roll uphill as well as downhill. Really not a best effort. The wind was horrible but everyone had the same wind and that's no excuse. I just really couldn't push hard. My heart rate numbers say I was working hard but the legs and lungs weren't along for the ride. Average heart rate over the race was 181, max was 188.

The starts were at 30 second intervals. Due to no-shows, there was only one guy withing reasonable time ahead of me to chase and I thought was doing good when I caught him in the first five minutes. But then, three minutes later, my 30 second and 60 second guys both came by me. That's it. If there's one thing I've learned about myself and time trials it's that I NEVER do well in a time trial once I'm caught. It's mentally just too hard without knowing you're shitty enough to get caught and will never make that time up again. I was eventually passed by my 90 second, 120 second guys. Then, to make it all that much more demoralizing I was caught by my FIVE minute guy. Then eventually my 150 second guy.

End result was a horrible time of 36:09 and 19th out of 30.

This sport can be a cruel bitch sometimes. Especially when today I can go out and set a new personal best time on my mountainous 50 mile bench mark ride. WTF???


Despite the tone, today is a good Father's Day. My family got me a cow bell! The sweetest sound will be my son's voice yelling Allez! Allez! and ringing that cowbell during the cyclocross races this Fall.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Creating Traditions

When I was a kid we really had no family traditions that I can recall. I think we moved too often so maybe moving was a tradition! Of course we celebrated the ones on the calendar but there were no yearly rhythms or functions. I don't know why I expect that to happen for family-ness but I'm happy to establish new ones for my little home. So Jasper and I enjoyed our third annual Dad and Jasper getaway mini-vacation after the last day of school.

Unfortunately funding* and lack of imagination dictated that we do the same thing we did the last two years and go up to Kris' family cabin in Cazadero. I shouldn't say unfortunately since we both love it there and never fail to have a great time. And a great time it was. We took little hikes, spent HOURS down in the creek swimming hole (despite the less than warm conditions), played horseshoes, swinged, did artwork, watched videos and ate like a couple of bachelors. It was great.

I talked to Kris and Saturday night to inform her we were having too much fun and were going to stay an extra day. She guiltily told me she was actually enjoying having the place to herself -if only to be able to clean a little and not have it immediately messed up by us boys. But that's the point! The trip is half for us to get away and have fun and half to give Kris a brief moment in her hectic life to have some time to herself.

I'm a big believer in leaving space inbetween. Space to breath. Space to enjoy a little peace. In music it's an important concept. Not every single quarter beat has to be filled with something. Sometimes taking a beat and putting NOTHING there makes the sweetest accent on what IS there. Get that? It's a beautiful concept.

Unfortunately the realities of both of us having to work, commute, cook, clean, launder, fix cars, build stuff, maintain the ranch, bike race (wait, how did that get in there?) just don't provide alot of that necessary space between the notes. So we have to really enjoy the ones we have.

*Spotty got bit by a rattlesnake weekend before last and let me tell you that you don't want to take your dog to the emergency vet hospital on a Saturday night if you don't want to spend an OBSCENE amount of money on an animal. I can't believe how expensive that was. The good news is that Spotalot survived and is pretty much back to her normal self already. Her face is still a little swollen but that's it. Next time we will have our ranch vet make an emergency call and then take our chances. But this time, I'm pretty sure Spot would have been a gonner (she's such a petite little thing and was definitely going into system shut down when Kris drove her in) so the money is well spent. I just worry she's gonna do it again. You really don't want to gold plate your dog just to lose her...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

6/10/09 Hellyer Wednesday Night Omnium Racing

Since last Wednesday night, my legs have been a bit iffy and I haven't been feeling too good on top of that with a migraine day yesterday. Today I took a quick lunchtime ride and decided my legs were good enough to race tonight. So...

12 Lap Points Race: Points every three laps. I tried to take a flier on the first lap but - FAIL! I held on for third on that sprint. Then there was alot of sitting in and not getting position for other sprints (mostly due to the wad I blew in the first three laps). Sprinted on the last lap and was 4th? 5th? I'm not sure and it prolly don't matter.

Scratch Race: 8 laps. It started off sane. With three laps to go it started getting a little sketchy back in the pack so I moved to the front and ended up providing a perfect lead out. I held on for 4th? 5th? (do you see a theme here?)

Miss and Out: Despite this being a race I don't enjoy, I seem to have it figured out (at the C level anyway). Made the final three again tonight but had no zip in the legs. none. Zipless. So took 3rd.

15 Lap Points Race: They made all the B racers with no omnium points race with the C's so it was a LARGE pack. But I sucked up my fear and rode an aggressive race. I don't think I came out with a single point but I did due diligence trying to get the best placing possible on each sprint. It was fun and the lights didn't screw me up like the last time.

I probably wasn't as good as last week as far as omnium placing goes but it was more competitive tonight and I survived despite my post migraine haze and somewhat dead legs. I'll take it!

Now off for four days with Jasper to Cazadero for hiking, swimming in the creek, and whatever else the hell we want to do.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A (Fri)Day in the Life of a Roybob...

5:15AM(ish): Wake up. See Kris is gone. Hear tires on gravel below on the driveway. Smile to myself at the thought of my wife out on her bike in the morning with the doggies and maybe a few goats trailing behind her.

5:16 to 6:30AM: Is it sleep? Dozing? Lucid dreaming? I dunno but it ends with my watch beeping at me.

6:35 to 7:55 AM: The usual blur of getting breakfast and lunches put together for me and my boy while also managing the bathing and getting dressed and all that other morning goodness of a Dad at the helm for his one shiny point of the day.

7:56 to 8:17 AM: Split time between watching my son draw a hilarious picture of himself and his TaeKwanDo instructor and spinning my wheels trying to put stuff together so I can sneak in a mt. bike ride during lunch today.

8:18 AM: Look at my watch and realize that we are going to be horribly late for school. Again.

8:19 AM: Realign my thinking to go for a quick mt. bike ride before work thus saving myself from having to shower this morning. Toss a ratty t-shirt on with some equally ratty jeans and a hat while shoving work clothes in a pack.

8:19 to 9:20 AM: Attempt to drive quickly -yet safely- to school. Apologize to son since today it's "all on me" that we're late.

9:21 AM: Walk smack dab into the end of the year class celebration full on with all the kids' parents and everyone looking nice (remember I'm in ratty clothes I picked off the closet floor).

9:22 to 10:15 AM: Apologize to my son for screwing up the thing this morning while hanging out with him in the class room and then explain to various other parents what a dolt I am for not knowing this was going on today. All the while trying to remember if I bothered to slab some deoderant on under my probably smelly ratty clothes.

10:16 AM: I get a little tear in my eye when my boy runs to the playground fence to pass a little more time with me as I walk out to my truck.

10:17 AM: Sit in the truck, look at my watch and suddenly realize that I simply am not going to go into work today. Before you cast me off as the worst slacker of all times, this is my swing day and no one is expecting me at work anyway.

10:45 to 1:45 PM: Mountain biking! But really its just two and a half hours of flogging myself and realizing that I am way way way too beat up already and shouldn't be riding up and down all those damn hills out at Lake Del Valle. End ride dead beat red tired and remember that dead legs and brains were the reason I was going to take a short ride today - oops. Eat my chicken and cheese sandwich that has been stewing in its own juices in the car for the entire morning and wonder if this is the last thing people who die of salmonella usually do.

2 to 2:30PM: Head over to the garden supply place and get a yard of "garden soil" plopped into the back of my Ford Ranger. Oh dear God did I just hear the frame crack? I hope not cuz I'm motoring.

2:30 to 3:30PM: Truck that load up the hill over dale and through the woods (in other words, drive home with it).

3:45 to 4:30 PM: Try to ignore the stabbing pain in my lower back while digging all that dirt out and wheelbarrowing it over to the new raised bed. Feed Kris' horses and the dogs.

4:35 to 5PM: Shit shower and skip the shave (having a beard is so cool).

5PM: Call Kris and coordinate and realize I have a few moments.

5:02 to 5:16PM: Take the sweetest little cat nap a man can have on a play hookie mt. bike and dig a yard of dirt Friday afternoon.

5:18 to midnight: Drive back into town, meet Kris and Jasper, drop Jasper off at a Summer Special party at TaeKwanDo, go get some eats with my babe, shop and then buy a new mattress, chuck back to livermore, grocery shop, back to pick up Jasper, back up the hill to home, get Jasper in bed, play with transformers (how the hell is the kid still awake!??!?!??!!!??) kiss the almost already asleep wife good night, eat too many cookies while interwebbin' then write a ridiculously complicated blog that no one will read.

I got a pretty good life. Dead tired achy back and knees and shoulder and head and everything. the Heart is ache-free.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 3 Omnium Wednesday Night At Hellyer

Back to the track again! (Maybe there's a reason track rhymes with crack???). I had no teammates to ask questions or chat with and no beginner session mates to hang with tonight so it was a little lonesome.

Chariot Race: I drew Heat 1 so had no races to watch in preperation. The race is simple, though. You get held, they count down and six of you race 1.1 laps from a dead start. Into turn one I was still uptrack. A quick look down and I followed a young kid into the pole and that's the way it stayed. Sweet! I'm in the final! In the final I figured it wasn't going to be so easy. I honestly can't remember if I was 3rd or 2nd. In my memory there is someone coming second who I don't recall seeing again the rest of the evening. This stuff makes you hazy.

Win-n-out: Simple rules again. You win a lap and you're done. But first there were 4 laps of jockying for position. Stupidly, I found myself at the back (a recurring theme...) when a guy took a flyer and won the first lap and the race. I moved up and started my sprint in turn one. Passed the pack on the back stretch, went over the top in 3 and 4 and won the lap for 2nd in the race. That may have been the hilight of the evening flying past the pack on the backstretch and holding it to the line. I'm not sure why everyone was so tentative.

Scratch: Same dude took a flyer again and most of the race was unorganized chasing. We caught him with two to go and the field sprint was on. Sprinted from the pole lane and passed folks but was 4th.

Miss-n-Out: This time I knew to stay up track uptrack uptrack. Then when the first five folks got weeded out I had a few close calls with almost getting last wheel so I went to the front and pulled the pack for the next four laps. That worked pretty well so I stayed there. I actually didn't realize I'd made the final cut until the guy behind me said, "You guys know this is a neutral lap, right?" Way to pay attention Roybob! Anyway, they made me lead on the front stretch and then came off me in turn two. I stayed in the pole and held off the third guy to take 2nd.

What a blast! My legs are definitely toast now. But that's good. As I left last night, I called up a "Thanks" to Rick in the "office" and he gave me a "Hey. Good riding out there." back that made my night of seeming anonimity a little sweeter.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June 2, 2009: Hellyer Tuesday Night Points Race.

Back to the track again! That's three times in four days if you're counting. Format tonight was 30 laps with a sprint every five laps. Only I couldn't sprint since so many ladies showed up they earned their own race. So I surfed the back of that pack. The 48-15 gear was feeling way too big and my knees were kind of feeling tweeked by the end of the race.

During the B and A races, I hanged out, chatted with my teammate Jonathan and thought about changing my gear. In the end I stayed with it and added arm warmers and - more importantly- knee warmers. During the second race I surfed the back and my knees felt better. On the sprint laps, I let the pack gap me about a quarter lap then tried to sprint up into the back of the pack in 200 meters. That was giving a pretty good workout and sort of simulating the sprint pace. Halfway through the race I dropped back to paceline with three others and that was that.

I then jumped back to the rail to do ten laps with the B race. The pace was faster but I was able to hang on just fine. But it was getting dark and the shadows from the lights were playing havoc with my periferal vision so I dropped out. The main thing to note was that the faster pace put me more into my powerband and my knees didn't feel a thang.

I might go back tomorrow night. We'll see.