my weekly race log

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

CRCA scratch race in central park, 5th place

cutty, Saturday, 8 March 2008 14:00 (fifteen years ago) link

4 laps--it was raining pretty hard

final breakaway was me and 4 others--i sprinted too early in a huge gear and cost myself a better placing. learned my lesson for next time. 3 of the 5 were BRITISH. i think we were too friendly by the end of the race and not strategic enough. we started to enjoy each others company ;)

cutty, Saturday, 8 March 2008 14:03 (fifteen years ago) link

spring series race in central park, didn't rank cause i got caught up in crash.

lycra ripped on my tights and skinned knee, bike is perfectly fine...

looking forward to next weekend

cutty, Monday, 10 March 2008 01:15 (fifteen years ago) link

5th is a good result

we started to enjoy each others company

ha thats only for when youre otb

Hunt3r, Monday, 10 March 2008 15:08 (fifteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...

1st place ;)

cutty, Saturday, 5 April 2008 13:09 (fifteen years ago) link

had a solo move on the last lap and stayed away for a couple of minutes from the field, they caught up to me, but i stayed up at the front (4th or 5th wheel) until the crunch. had a nice lead out for the sprint and held it for like 500m. RESPECT!

cutty, Saturday, 5 April 2008 13:10 (fifteen years ago) link


Hunt3r, Saturday, 5 April 2008 13:47 (fifteen years ago) link

what a sport

cutty, Saturday, 5 April 2008 13:53 (fifteen years ago) link

Woohoo! Nice work cutty. Did anyone take photos?

Mark C, Saturday, 5 April 2008 14:11 (fifteen years ago) link

there should be some posted on eventually, i'll be sure to post some

cutty, Saturday, 5 April 2008 14:30 (fifteen years ago) link

ha, i almost started a thread about vanity event photos a while ago

Hunt3r, Saturday, 5 April 2008 16:28 (fifteen years ago) link

plz post pics

cutty, Saturday, 5 April 2008 22:16 (fifteen years ago) link

high five broski

gbx, Saturday, 5 April 2008 22:53 (fifteen years ago) link


cutty, Sunday, 6 April 2008 17:20 (fifteen years ago) link

good job cuttye.

Steve Shasta, Monday, 7 April 2008 15:33 (fifteen years ago) link


caek, Monday, 7 April 2008 15:36 (fifteen years ago) link


wilter, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 05:40 (fifteen years ago) link


cutty, Friday, 11 April 2008 14:37 (fifteen years ago) link

nice dude!

sleep, Saturday, 12 April 2008 05:02 (fifteen years ago) link

5th place. tried to take a solo win a la cancellara and got caught 20m from the line :/

cutty, Saturday, 12 April 2008 17:29 (fifteen years ago) link

How many were racing in total? Unlucky fella. Is there some kind of ongoing points total?

Mark C, Saturday, 12 April 2008 20:05 (fifteen years ago) link

there were over 30 racers in my field

cutty, Saturday, 12 April 2008 20:06 (fifteen years ago) link

no ongoing, but as long as my name keeps showing up in the placings, i am happy.

cutty, Saturday, 12 April 2008 20:06 (fifteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...

my first out of town road race, the jiminy peak road race

8th place ;)

and i am now a cat 4

cutty, Saturday, 3 May 2008 23:34 (fifteen years ago) link

good job

omg i used to ski there when i was a kiddo. is it still a ski hill?

Hunt3r, Sunday, 4 May 2008 13:45 (fifteen years ago) link

yes the race was on the roads around the ski resort

cutty, Sunday, 4 May 2008 18:01 (fifteen years ago) link

should have attacked a little later on the final climb to the finish. have to get better at choosing my final wheel and holding back until he's busted a nut...

cutty, Sunday, 4 May 2008 18:02 (fifteen years ago) link

also i had never seen the fricken course. next sunday is bear mountain, more hilly.

cutty, Sunday, 4 May 2008 18:02 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't really understand this category stuff, but congrats!

Laurel, Monday, 5 May 2008 17:05 (fifteen years ago) link

4th place at the bear mountain road race. check out my race number:

Cat 4 Men, 56 miles, 89 starters

1. 412 Andrew Walsh
2. 500 Adam Zimmerman
3. 468 Colin Prensky, CRCA/Sanchez Metro
4. 420 M4tthew Cuttl3r, CRCA/Affinity Cycles
5. 422 Louis Donato, GS Park Ridge/Cyclesport

cutty, Monday, 12 May 2008 00:07 (fifteen years ago) link


Mark C, Monday, 12 May 2008 12:59 (fifteen years ago) link

ha. my fitness is pretty great and i'm learning more tactics with every race i enter. this race i did exactly what i said i'd do upthread:

should have attacked a little later on the final climb to the finish. have to get better at choosing my final wheel and holding back until he's busted a nut...

i had a great position at the finish for a downhill sprint--if the rider to the right of me didn't bang into my rear derailleur right before the finish (i thought my chain had dropped, had no idea what the sound was) i would have maybe even been able to go around the guy in front of me and place in the top 3.

cutty, Monday, 12 May 2008 14:00 (fifteen years ago) link

great result

Hunt3r, Monday, 12 May 2008 15:20 (fifteen years ago) link

good job!

sleep, Monday, 12 May 2008 17:07 (fifteen years ago) link

Congrats! Was teh rear mech ok?

wilter, Monday, 12 May 2008 22:31 (fifteen years ago) link

rear derailleur bent a little, rear derailleur cable shredded in the back. all better now. dude apologized profusely afterwards.

cutty, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 11:05 (fifteen years ago) link

rear shot just so you can see my 420 hee hee

cutty, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 14:04 (fifteen years ago) link

k wtf, ive never seen a race with the numbers in the middle of the back unless you have a bike tag

Hunt3r, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 16:05 (fifteen years ago) link

is that for the refs to get u for yellow line?

for riders behind u to cuss u out?

Hunt3r, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 16:06 (fifteen years ago) link

i think it is yellow line, yes. last week had mid of the back too.

cutty, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 18:06 (fifteen years ago) link

raced my first criterium today--20x1 mile loop. averaged around 24 mph and maxed out at 36 mph on the flats!

i had second wheel coming up on the final lap. managed to get pinned in the pack and decided it's not worth my well-being to sprint for 10th so i must have placed somewhere in the top 20 pack finish. the hills are where i belong.

cutty, Sunday, 18 May 2008 22:15 (fifteen years ago) link

cutty serious question do you like the movie "breaking away"?

deeznuts, Sunday, 18 May 2008 22:17 (fifteen years ago) link

cuz i love it but didnt that kid hit like 60 mph on the interstate or something? seemed kinda impossible to me

deeznuts, Sunday, 18 May 2008 22:18 (fifteen years ago) link

American Flyers is the fucking shit tho.

wilter, Sunday, 18 May 2008 22:40 (fifteen years ago) link

he was drafting on a truck, it's possible

cutty, Monday, 19 May 2008 00:35 (fifteen years ago) link

speed record not drafting

record drafting

Ed, Monday, 19 May 2008 09:33 (fifteen years ago) link

love that cog:

Ed, Monday, 19 May 2008 09:34 (fifteen years ago) link

love those jeans.

cutty, Monday, 19 May 2008 14:54 (fifteen years ago) link

OMG wear cycle clips srsly, that is a fatality waiting to happen.

Mark C, Monday, 19 May 2008 17:29 (fifteen years ago) link

That's a brilliant photo!! You are a fucking MAN.

Mark C, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 11:42 (twelve years ago) link


*effete wrist gesture* rowr

Mark C, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 13:57 (twelve years ago) link

three weeks pass...

End of season wrap-up:

This was my first full season racing, and also my first year on a proper team. My goal was to learn as much as I could from my mentors and to continue learning what my strengths are (still learning apparently haha). I mainly raced in a selfless support role which was a bit of a transition from last year where I was focused on selfishly racing for results and upgrading through the ranks.

+My first crit of the year had a hairpin in it and was one of the most stacked 1/2/3 fields I'd race with all year*, I got crashed out of the hairpin about midway.
+My first road race I tried to lead out my teammate from too far out but we got passed by another train on the run in. He held on for 10th out of 88.
+*The arguably next most stacked field was my next road race where I got dropped after 5miles at 30.3mph. DNF'd. Pain.

+Did a circuit race, got my teammate in the break and then I got top 5 in the field sprint. Felt like I was getting stronger.
+The next weekend I did three races across four days:
-First was a crit, got 5th after missing the break of 4. My first field sprint win of the year in a pretty high profile race, 3 of the guys who beat me were cat 2s by May.
-Next was the circuit race (held on the Laguna Seca race track), puked a couple times. Teammates were up the road in top 5-10. Miserable race.
-Last was another crit, felt like ass the entire race until one lap to go, I moved up from the back to the top 7 with 500m to go, but then went backwards up the final climb. Horrible.
+The week after I did a small crit in insanely windy conditions on a hilarious boomerang shaped course. Missed the break but went off solo and spent the last half of the race in no man's land, got 4th.

+I did a bunch of boring office park crits and realized that I hate them.
+I think I like downtown crits run by good promoters better.
+Really my worst results of the year were in May.
+But then I went to LA and won a boring office park crit so who knows. Forced a breakaway, then attacked the breakaway. <= my mantra for 2012, seems to work?

+Did 2 crits:
-One was a flat office park ordeal, finished just outside the top 10.
-The other one was an 8 corner downtown crit on a hill, finished just outside the top 10 but I did mucho work to bring a dangerous break back and get my teammate on the podium.

+July 4th was my largest crit of the year, almost 100 entrants. Started in horrible position due to taking a warmup lap only to find the whole field staged already. Spent the first 12 laps getting to the front, and then I went off the front but got reeled in a couple laps later. The end of this race got messy but I got a top 10. Our governing body has an algorithm that rates your races based on the level of talent that you outperformed and those that outperformed you and interestingly this was my best performance of the year (on paper).
+Did a big 4 corner crit the next weekend to help get my teammate on the podium, he got 4th, I rolled in from the leadout 15th out of 55.
+Worst crit of the year a couple weeks later: I get in the break with 4 other guys, 2 of whom are friends of mine. We get a 20 second gap but these guys are not relenting and my pulls are not up to their standards so they keep attacking our break and each other, even with like 10 laps to go. I get shit out the back and roll back to the pack to find my teammates not pleased with my effort for the day. Feeling awful, I sit in for a couple laps and then take the front and go into crazy TT mode to pull these fuckers back. We get them in our sights and another one of my teammates takes over while I go pick up our sprinter from the lounge at the back and just while we're going into 3 corners to go, I jump up and start my sprint (uphill section), my back wheel gets taken out and then I go down, taking a few people down including a teammate. Teammate has broken elbow and broken frame. Just a shit race all in all. I ended up in the ER with a deep gash into my elbow, pretty gory shit.

+Did a night crit. Sketchy as fuck, potholes and grooved road that is dangerous in full daylight. Broke my saddle. Got 4th and a prime, and got a super cool photo taken.
+Next crit was a 4 corner downtown crit that my teammate was keen on winning. I told him we'd take control of the race with 4 to go and get him to the last 2 corners in the lead. We almost executed perfectly, he got 4th in a super close race. 2 juniors who finished 1-2 catted up after the race. The guy who got 3rd is a total sandbagger (he won the previous race, wtf! like 5 mins before this race started).
+Did my first road race since March, the Masters State Championships. The big attack was made halfway and guess what happened, I didn't make the selection. My teammate did and he got 4th. I did nothing to help him, he's just a super strong guy.

+Got tangled up in a bunch of crits that I did well in last year, just bad luck of being in the wrong spot in the wrong time. Sitting top 10 and some shit goes down that you just can't avoid. I can't really beat myself up over that, it's just disappointing because I'd like to continue that success. There is always next year though.
+Did a couple circuits where I top 10'd pretty easily without doing too much. Missed the break in both cases (this sandbagger solo'd!!! to win both races) but a good way too finish off the year and test my legs on some climbs and the final sprint.

Next year, I think I'm going to race less and try to focus on races that suit my riding style, helping out teammates where I can.

citation needed (Steve Shasta), Friday, 4 November 2011 20:18 (twelve years ago) link

6 top 10s, 5 top 5s and a win. 2 crashes.

citation needed (Steve Shasta), Friday, 4 November 2011 20:21 (twelve years ago) link

scary good

yeah, niche-y, that's what i meant (Hunt3r), Friday, 4 November 2011 21:36 (twelve years ago) link

Finally, the final, final, final race of the season yesterday: my club's annual hill climb. I've finished second for the last two years, narrowing the gap to the guy who always finishes first from about 19 seconds to 14 seconds. Yesterday we had a much bigger field than normal as loads riders from other clubs turned up, so I came 6th out of 24:
However, out of my club (which is what counts for the medals!) I came second, again, to the same guy who always wins. He's not in best health at the moment and went slower than normal. I was about 4 seconds slower than last year, but was only 5 seconds behind him.

it's yours next year then. now put the 2nd place medals on the rail for the train. :)

dead precedents politics as usual (Hunt3r), Monday, 7 November 2011 12:19 (twelve years ago) link

five months pass...

Tuesday Night Racing started up again at my local velodrome. Rode around for fitness, without trying too much in the burnout paceline warmup and the 10 lap snowball races, then executed what was tactically my best spring ever in the 35 lap points race. Followed the right wheels at the right time and came around the guy leading out the sprint at the right time (middle of turn 4) to take full points at the line. Ended up 4th overall in that race. Stoked.

sous les paves, Wednesday, 11 April 2012 21:53 (eleven years ago) link

yr in Cali yes?

catbus otm (gbx), Friday, 13 April 2012 15:07 (eleven years ago) link


a single goddamn marshmallow fucked me for LIFE (Hunt3r), Monday, 23 April 2012 15:35 (eleven years ago) link

Raced the Barrio Logan grand prix, a crit that our club promotes annually. It's also the (California) state crit championship for the juniors, so a lot of them came out. I raced the cat 4 race. The course is .8 miles per lap, with 8 turns (6 right, 2 left), so you are always cornering and you hardly have space to move up. I missed clipping in and got a slow start at the beginning, and even though I had no trouble riding around the back, every time I would try and move up 4 or 5 places on either of the short short straightaways, I'd lose them to kamakazi cornering on the next turn or two. I finally resigned myself to rolling in at the back, and at that point was able to give myself a gap before each corner and ride the last 4 laps without hardly touching the brakes. My 3 or 4 hours of training a week just isn't cutting it.

Strava recording:

Tomorrow I am racing the Dana Point grand prix, in the ur-orange county suburb or Dana Point. That race is on the National Criterium Calender, and has a $15,000 purse for the pro race, so it's always super high-profile and well attended. I think the 4's field (which rolls off at 7:55am! fuck!) has 135 guys signed up for it already. I have the fear.

sous les paves, Sunday, 6 May 2012 05:11 (eleven years ago) link

you haven't happened to encounter Team Pegasus or my friend C4le have you? he is a tiny monster, just 4th or 5th in the st4gecoach 400. also an excellent dude in general.

catbus otm (gbx), Sunday, 6 May 2012 20:08 (eleven years ago) link

I do in fact know that dude. Raced with him on the velodrome last night, then drank a beer with him at the post-race pizza joint session. He can crank it up, and is indeed a bro.

sous les paves, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:33 (eleven years ago) link

Pic from last nights track race. Here's me bridging up to an early (ill fated) break in
the 5mile scratch race:

sous les paves, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 15:47 (eleven years ago) link

Nice picture

Pacific Trash Vortex (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Wednesday, 9 May 2012 17:26 (eleven years ago) link

I did a 10-mile time trial yesterday, for the first time in 2 years. It was a bit gusty, but mostly a crosswind. This was on a fast course (one of the 'dragstrip' dual carriageways), but I hate riding them - it just seems suicidal to have juggernauts going past at 70mph. I did it in 24.27 (about 24.5mph), which is 17 seconds slower than my PB. The winner (Michael Hutchinson, who wins just about every national championship every year) broke the course record for a staggering 18.10.

Pacific Trash Vortex (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Sunday, 13 May 2012 22:57 (eleven years ago) link

one year passes...

Did CO state champ 40k. Super fast course. Flat, only light breeze, a fairly smooth set of traffic free farm roads. Only goal was to break an hour, got it done 58:15 or so. I couldn't have given an ounce more effort, yet it still felt almost easy at the same time til the last 2 km.

fill up at the ilx quipnjibe (Hunt3r), Saturday, 15 June 2013 18:30 (ten years ago) link

I came in second to last out of 29 in my category. Adjusting attitude with wine, it's working out pretty great, really. Someone gotta be second to last. After the tryhards and cheaters.

fill up at the ilx quipnjibe (Hunt3r), Sunday, 16 June 2013 00:48 (ten years ago) link

are you building up for the ride you mentioned in july?

fill up at the ilx quipnjibe (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 21:35 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, but without doin the actual event, just the training runs the group has organised. This was ok, not cycled 40k in a long time but once the loooong hill was over it was great, as top speed of 75kmh attests to

should we bin tapping? (darraghmac), Tuesday, 18 June 2013 22:04 (ten years ago) link

A woman in my race on the velodrome last night crashed hard and is in the ICU with a slim-to-none prognosis for survival. It's a really tight-knit group there at the track, we're all shaken up. I did not see how the crash happened, which I'm thankful for. Be safe out there, take care of each other.

sous les paves, Wednesday, 19 June 2013 15:14 (ten years ago) link

that sounds horrendous, sorry to hear that

Hearing moyes confirmedare we hearing m (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 15:38 (ten years ago) link

yeah, i'm very sad to hear of that, take care man.

fill up at the ilx quipnjibe (Hunt3r), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 18:06 (ten years ago) link


should we bin tapping? (darraghmac), Wednesday, 19 June 2013 20:38 (ten years ago) link

She passed. It is crazy to think I was right there riding beside her moments before her end. Tough.

sous les paves, Friday, 21 June 2013 07:16 (ten years ago) link

sorry to hear it, that's awful.

should we bin tapping? (darraghmac), Friday, 21 June 2013 10:19 (ten years ago) link

ugh, that's terrible, heard about it from a buddy of mine (c4le), too.

well if it isn't old 11 cameras simon (gbx), Saturday, 22 June 2013 17:23 (ten years ago) link

two weeks pass...

It was karaoke night at the velodrome last night. Sang "head on" by jamc and "True" by Spandau Ballet in my skinsuit, came in 3 in the combined field points race. Stoked.

sous les paves, Wednesday, 10 July 2013 18:00 (ten years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Had my best win ever on the track, the 6 mile (29 lap) scratch race finale in the 'B' Class, last Tuesday night.

I was feeling absolutely terrible all night long and had no motivation or ambition for the race, so I sat on the back taking tickets for the first 20 laps. Breaks went and I just sucked wheels while stronger dudes closed them down. With 9 to go I started feeling OK and noticed the work otherwise was being shared, so I stopped skipping pulls and started moving up. On the second to last lap I was 4th wheel, behind a big, strong guy that I knew would go early. On the back straight, the leader pulled up track, leaving me 3rd wheel as we crossed the line for the final (333meter) lap.

The new leader started his sprint just before the line, big guy in front of me held 2nd place untill the back straight, and pulled even with the leader in turn 3. Between turn 3 and 4 I made my move, and we were three wide through turn 4, with the original leader fading hard. I was worried that I was too far on the outer perimeter of the track, but big guy faded too, and my position near the top of the track let me accelerate downhill on the finishing stretch, and I crossed the finish line in a comfortable first place. I was really worried that one of a few guys in the field who have been riding very strong lately would come around me at the line, but they were nowhere close, probably victims of chasing down early breaks.

It was hard to believe I had won the thing at first, as I really didn't feel that tapped out. Ironically, I think my low expectations allowed me to go all in on one strategy (hang out in the back) and to stick with it, without getting antsy and changing my plan mid-race. Lucky for me none of the attacks stuck, and I am now the San Diego Velodrome Class B Scratch Race Champion of 2013. Wierd!

sous les paves, Saturday, 27 July 2013 01:38 (ten years ago) link

that's awesome.

on fire after blowout in gulf (Hunt3r), Saturday, 27 July 2013 02:47 (ten years ago) link

great work!

Hamburglar's smiling too (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Saturday, 27 July 2013 17:28 (ten years ago) link

two weeks pass...

First crit in 7 years. Yikes that was terrifying. With two to go, sitting 12 back, I got shoulder to shoulder with someone going into a right hander. No one went down fortunately. Total pack fodder finish for me.

joe sixpac hologram (Hunt3r), Sunday, 11 August 2013 15:29 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, I think to do well in those situations you have to somehow not care about crashing. I care quite a lot about not crashing.

Hamburglar's smiling too (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Monday, 12 August 2013 09:29 (ten years ago) link

It was probly not the best race for me to drop into after 7 yrs, it was a .8 mi figure eight with a couple of single widecorners. All those accelerations. we still were over 27 mph by my clock, which felt fast to me.

joe sixpac hologram (Hunt3r), Monday, 12 August 2013 12:31 (ten years ago) link

three months pass...

the last time i had on opportunity to race cx nats was 98 but i wasn't racing that year much, so i didn't. this year it's in boulder. i haven't raced a cx race since this. and i haven't trained for it this year, but my condition is good.

so today i got my license reinstated and i'm doing cyclocross national championships 45+.

usacycling has a "finish projection" feature on their website that projects that i will finish tied for last place. my goal is now to officially finish not tied for last, which will involve not getting pulled. i think it's not possible for me not to get pulled, but that is my goal.

critique by the phantom media (Hunt3r), Wednesday, 20 November 2013 22:51 (ten years ago) link

idgi - does pulled have a different meaning in cx or something?

eris bueller (lukas), Wednesday, 20 November 2013 23:49 (ten years ago) link

i'm using it to mean that the ref tells you to get off the course as a lapped rider, it's pretty common slang ime, but ? yeah, i don't mean like drafting if that's what you're thinking.

they don't always pull lapped riders, so perhaps i could finish a lap or two down- but they can if they feel there's liable to be interference.

critique by the phantom media (Hunt3r), Wednesday, 20 November 2013 23:55 (ten years ago) link

first race back, turkey cross, formatted like a training race, a/b/c. i did b's, started at the back really easy, pretty much stayed right there afaict, probly passed 4 or 5 along the way. i've never enjoyed a first lap so much, everyone was all "after you," "no, i'm good you go," "ok, thanks," "yeah right on."

my gorilla tubeless set up worked very well, no burps. i ran a lot of pressure because i still don't totally trust it, probly 37 front 39 rear. i can say this, 39 rear tubeless is like 35 or 36 with regular tubed clinchers, the tire is way more supple. i was surprised how much more.

Hunt3r, Thursday, 28 November 2013 19:32 (ten years ago) link

raced the boulder cx cat 35+. 9 deg F at start, but warmed up to 8 deg by the finish. it was dicey as fuck: off-camber ruts, frozen beach sand chicanes, and compacted parking lot ice. i finished...last! but i finished. not too bummed, after i went down suddenly (and hard) about 1/3 off the way through, it was just skills practice, with later interruptions by riders from an earlier start lapping me. i've not been lapped since about 1995, so i'd forgotten- once that starts, it's just endless pull-overs to stay out of the way. ran tubeless at 34/32 ish, would have been much better lower i think.

Hunt3r, Sunday, 8 December 2013 00:53 (ten years ago) link

Sounds horrible, tbh. I would hate to be cycling, never mind off road racing, in those temperatures.

Tiger City of Culture (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Sunday, 8 December 2013 09:03 (ten years ago) link

fun, but i think i got last again >:| when i arrived it was mid 20s, but bright sun with rapid warming. the race course went from sticky hard ice to slick wet ice as we went along, so of course i crashed again in one of the chicanes. i tried a little harder at the start, so i wasn't all the way at the back, and was mostly able to hold that spot, til i went down. need to ice my left knee and hip now.

dig the lou reed (Hunt3r), Saturday, 14 December 2013 18:10 (ten years ago) link

three months pass...

Thinking of doing this in september:

if gentlemantises are in the hood, interested, and wish to join, i may try to cobble together 6. The wildcard is weather- fraser, co in september could be a high of 65 degrees. or a whiteout. and man, that route is NOWHERE at 9000-10,500 ft elevation.

actually high comedy (Hunt3r), Sunday, 16 March 2014 02:00 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

I pinned on a number and raced for the first time since my heart attack (sept 11, 2013) in a road race down in Baja California, Mexico. The course was 2 laps of a fantastic route that started and finished in the wine-growing hills inland of Ensenada. I signed up on a whim after a couple who my Fiancee and I ride with (and who are 10 years younger than us!) mentioned they were doing it. There was a masters field (40+) that I qualified for, but I raced "segundo fuerza" (roughly equivalent to USA Cat 3/4) because it did two laps, and the masters only did one. My fiancee and her friend raced the elite women's field, and my buddy raced in the Pro/Elite men's field. The course started off with rollers and a long descent toward the coast. A break of 3 went away from the gun, and I moved up easily through the field and led the peloton over the last big-ring rise before the descent. At the bottom of the descent, a guy carried some momentum and looked like he was attempting to bridge to the leaders so I grabbed his wheel along with another dude, and the three of us made it up to the front three in about a minute of chasing. The third guy we brought with us was a teammate of a guy in the break, so I took real short pulls and made sure to let the two know we expected them to work harder. We got about a minute up on the main field by the time we hit the climb. I hung in with them well for about 8 minutes, but hit my limit and had to let them roll away. About a minute later the peloton blew by me like I was sitting still. By the top of the climb they were long out of view. I used a couple of cars (the course was open to traffic) to draft up to a group of stragglers (which felt pro as hell) but by the time we crossed the line to start the second lap we had no hope. I pulled out so I could give bottles to the women (who started behind me) and to my friend (who started before me, but would be doing 3 laps). Fiancee's friend finished 4th in the women, and her husband finished 7th in the Elite field, which contained the National Champion of Mexico and some local pros.

That course is completely gorgeous and a great race course, the organization was top notch, the riders fast and friendly, and the vibe was very familial in general. Also it started in front of a winery housed in a Bond Villain lair. It felt so great to pedal hard in a group again. Next time I'll probably race Master's, but I'll definately be back.

sous les paves, Thursday, 26 March 2015 05:05 (eight years ago) link

Nice! I never really thought about what considerations racing in Mexico would entail before- traffic safety, licensing, insurance, general logistics. Any worries or is it NBD?

Not really a race but I signed up for in Durango in Sept. It's been a long time since I rode down there. Need to blow cobwebs off mtb and start riding it regularly.

men without hat tips (Hunt3r), Thursday, 26 March 2015 12:05 (eight years ago) link

Totally envious over here, sounds totally exhilarating. Nice job on the break.

the most painstaking, humorless people in the world (lukas), Thursday, 26 March 2015 19:57 (eight years ago) link

Traffic was really a non-issue. Most of the route was on roads that serviced remote farm areas, and being a Sunday monring, it was dead out there. The parts that were on larger roads were also lightly traffiked (again, sunday morning), and there were many vehicles related to the race (mostly relatives going around to vantage points to take pictures of their racers) and as such were going plenty slow. This is how I as able to draft cars, one was some kind of offical vehicle, and the other two were going to feed zones to hand up bottles or something. I can't remember any cars actually passing the field at all. At the start/finish line there was an ambulance, and another was circling the field, and there were posted police at the main corners. My mom's side of the family owns a pair of houses on the beach down there, about a 20 minute drive from the race start, so I went down the day before and spent the night, which made getting there a breeze. My friend who races the elite field has a Mexican racing license, which is awesome. It is nicely laminated and has his photo and a watermark on it. Way better than the USA cycling license! For the rest of the fields, it seems like it's self-selected, especially if you're a gringo. I just walked up and registered and they really deriuidn't ask me anything. The racing fee (which was 200 pesos, about $13!!!!) came with some kind of accident insurance coverage, but I didn't look that closely.

All in all it was a very friendly, family vibe. Kind of reminds me of the vibe at the Velodrome, where it is very competitive, but everybody knows each other, so there is a high level of mutual respect and camaraderie. This race was #3 out of a yearly series of six races on the same course. They also have a criterium series around the new convention center in Rosarito Beach, and a couple of crits in downtown Tijuana that I plan on hitting up. A fantastic scene, overall.

sous les paves, Thursday, 26 March 2015 23:02 (eight years ago) link

What's the normal situation in the USA with road racing then? In Britain (unless it's a really major event) you're on the open road, usually on a circuit somewhere between 5 and 15 miles. The roads aren't closed to traffic, but there are marshalls (or police, in some areas) who can hold up the traffic for a minute or so as you approach junctions. So you always have to worry about oncoming traffic.

(Meme From) Essex Press (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 27 March 2015 20:46 (eight years ago) link

two months pass...

Doing this "race" this weekend, Tecate to Ensenada (Baja California, MX). It's probably going to be hot as hell at the beginning.

sous les paves, Friday, 19 June 2015 15:51 (eight years ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.