Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mount Hamilton Classic Road Race 2011

The race was a week ago and not that spectacular anyway so I'm kind of squeezing myself for any kind of a race report here tonight.

There was a 45+ group this year so, with those guys off in their own race, the pack was smaller than last year. But smaller meant faster. I started off smart and got myself up into the top 12 riders or so but it was quickly obvious that it was going to be a repeat of last year. By about ten minutes in I had a very high heart rate and just couldn't find a rhythm and get comfortable. Not too much later I realized some of the pack was slipping by and I was falling back. By minute 18 no one came by me and I looked back and... that was that. No more pack. PATHETIC!

From then on it was just survival. At the top of Mount Hamilton (the top after the observatory not the top at the observatory) I checked my time and saw 1:38, EXACTLY, the same time as last year.

I didn't have the same descending mojo as last year so I just got it done and, for the first time in about 20 times down that mountain, I got passed by someone going down. Ride ride ride. I was caught and dropped by several groups of 4 or 5 riders. I felt I could hang in with them but it seemed like I'd be risking a cramptastic day if I tried so I just let them ride away over and over again.

With about 18 miles to go I was caught up by a group of four riders, two of whom were in my race. We all rode it out together. I asked the two guys from my group if they were racing or just getting it done. One guy laughed and agreed it was survival mode while the other guy just kept quiet. Whatever. I tried to take my share of pulls and lead the mile before the last descent as well as the descent. At the bottom there was an ambulance in the road. I stopped since it was starting to pull out but the other two squeaked in front of it and rode off to the finish. With the ambulance gone, I rolled in and busted their balls a little bit for using an ambulance to shake me (all in good fun).

That was that. Oh, as I crossed the line I checked my computer and saw 3:49. EXACTLY the same time as last year!? WTF!!!??? I guess the difference is that this year I was just riding it. Last year it was a major goal for the year. I had better endurance this year too with no cramping and not the death march feel that last year had. That said, I was pretty disappointed with such a mediocre ride. I resolved to bottle that frustration and unleash it on my goal the next weekend, the TopSport Stage Race. So imagine my added frustration on Tuesday morning when I found out that race was cancelled (with only five days to go??? LAME!).

And so I decided to lead a team ride today and drove my stupid ass all the way to town and did the team ride all by myself and then drove my stupid ass back home (a 90 minute round trip). Grrr. I'm just generally frustrated and riding angry this week. I don't like that.

But on the bright side I had a nice family bike ride in the afternoon. I bought Jasper his first mountain bike yesterday (an 11" frame with 24" wheels) and got him dialed in today so he's not falling over all the time and is comfortable on it. He has no clue about shifting and I have to just bite my tongue since I just manage to piss him off evertime I try to "help" him but it's a beeyootiful thing to see him climb up a hill, turn around and come screaming down with a big old grin on that gorgeous little face. See? That's what bikes are supposed to do.

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