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Back When I Was Younger, More Foolish, Single and Didn't Adequately Appreciate Coffee Rides

A race report from 2007.

This will likely be a somewhat abbreviated race report since it is already Wednesday and there isnʼt much to report.

Last Sunday I did my daily double, the 3s and 30+ races at Ontario. It was warm, but not excessively hot as far as Ontario goes during the summer.

The 3s race has a number of breaks go off, but I decided that I would sit in and try to position myself well for the sprint. I had to force myself to sit in because I was feeling fairly well and it seemed like a real waste to just let it go to waste. Nevertheless, I forced myself, even as some breaks made ground, with the last one gaining up to 25 seconds. While I sat in the back, I noticed a lot of clubs had multiple riders near me, which I found quite irksome because it meant that either they had a guy up the road and werenʼt blocking or they didnʼt have anyone up the road and were just lollygagging. As the race came down to three laps to go, the break still had a decent gap. Coming into two to go, I decided it was time to move up, even as the break was being slowly (and perhaps too slowly to be caught in time) reeled back in. When I went to move up, it was single file near the front and unfortunately, there was nowhere I could really tuck in anywhere close to where I wanted to be unless I sat out in the wind for the remainder of the very long straightaway and could jump in somewhere near, but not at, the front after the corner. Faced with the options of sitting in the wind, drifting far enough back to grab a wheel or going off the front, I opted with the final option and, as I neared the front, jumped off of it. Someone came up to me and was even willing to take some pulls, but this didnʼt last for long as the field had some fight left and wasnʼt going to let us go away. Before the lap was over, we were reeled in and I was somewhere mid-pack as I didnʼt have the energy to jump into a good position as I was getting caught. Although the two of us were caught, the break was still up the road and the chase continued. Coming into the start of the last lap, it looked like the gap was just too much in light of the lack of an organized chase. With that being the case, I decided to go again. That also didnʼt work so well and I was caught again. The break ended up being caught right at the line, or at least thatʼs what it looked like from where I was.

I had just enough time between the races to hit the porta potty and swap out water bottles. Since at Ontario, the promoter requires a separate number per race, and I like to minimize the number of jerseys I own that are severely pin-holed, I had both numbers on my jersey and brought scissors to cut off the 3s number before the start of the race. I didnʼt even have time to take off my jersey and cut off the number, so I got someone else to do it as the field was at the start line. I had just enough time to get to the start line before the official start. Karl was there in his stars and stripes jersey (from the 30-34 crit championships) and the fun began. Since it was a bonus race for me, I basically sat in the field while the guys way stronger than I could ever hope to be duked it out. I finished without any real cramping (perhaps since it wasnʼt too hard or possibly due to forcing myself to drink a lot) and was surprised to learn afterwards that the average speed (according to my computer) was 44k (27.3 mph).

When I downloaded my Powertap data, the computer told me that it wasnʼt a hard day at all. My legs disagreed and continued to disagree on the Tuesday morning ride, at which they refused to allow me to go hard. By Tuesday night, I had recovered enough to almost make it to the top of the climb into Rancho Santa Fe without anyone coming around me. I couldnʼt go quite fast enough to prevent Chris from taking a pull near the top and dragging the speed up. That effort saw me putting out about 350 watts with a hear rate on the 190s. It hurt a lot.

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