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Scary Teddy Bear
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, did it.....sucked air, felt nauseous, raced for the first time. Started with the C group, which was designed for beginners/first timers, etc. It was a beautiful day, sunny and about 71 degrees at the start of the race. Brought my Kona JTS as it was a race on gravel/dirt roads and rare pavement. Felt good, had two bowls of cereal, kissed the wife, hugged the dog...Everything was serene.....it was a panacea unto itself, and then the race started.....We started going up a short not very steep hill and I was easily able to stay in the top four riders, we raced down the other side and into the first turn, felt good, felt strong, thought about attacking, but wisely decided against it. We rode on like this for about a mile until we hit the hill......

If Dante had seen the hill, he may have written about it in the inferno, I tried, lowest gear 36/25, made it about halfway up and then was struggling so hard I realized that I might move faster pushing the bike...this hill is anywhere between 18-21% at different points, I felt pretty lightheaded and no matter how hard or fast I breathed I could not move enough oxygen, everything was spinning.....made it up to a slightly better grade and remounted my trusty steed.....still couldn't breathe, but saw everyone else looking the same and felt better with that.....me and another guy, I had lost the lead group by now, raced each other taking turns pulling to catch up.....never did, about two miles further we hit a fast downhill with a hard right turn, it was VERY scary as it was sandy and rocky and the wheels were sliding a bit, but I managed to get a slight lead on the other guy. Pedaling was becoming a major effort as the loose sandy gravel made your tires move back and forth and created a major resistance. I made it up several smaller rolling hills, which didn't seem too bad, although the combination of riding terrain and a rapidly increasing wind made them fairly hard.

About mile 10 I start having a conversation with myself, the little guy on the one shoulder telling me that I am weak and should just quit, the other guy taunting him with "Quitters never win and winner's never quit". I tell them to shut the F up, then I have a quiet conversation with mother nature regarding the winds, now about 18-20mph with gusts about 25 or so, of course as a headwind. I tell her that she is a B*tch.....and then finally about mile 14 we hit the downhill stuff, fast and fun....my lungs and brain and legs finally begin to recover...then I discover I used all my H20.....sh*t.......had to brake quite a bit, as they were still loose roads with some turns......I come to the last turn now, time to head back to the hill.......can I do it?......I tell myself F YEAH...BRING IT....so I hit it HARD.. and get about 3/4 of the way up, panting, heart beating out of my chest, light headed, but determined, and then........LOOSE gravel..my rear wheel starts to spin only once or twice, but enough to loose any momentum that I had at that point I start to fall, just barely get my left foot out in time, have to push AGAIN.....so light headed not sure where the finish line is, but push on up anyway....cross and one of the other guys, sees me and decides it would be wise to grab my bike as I almost collapse....I stand with my hands on my knees and my head between them feeling so nauseous I am amazed I didn't throw up, and spitting out sputum.....Just then one of the A class rides up the hill at a good pace with a smile on his face...I think about the penalties for homicide.....decide it's not worth it....
All in all a good day, ended up finishing 8th out of 16 riders in the C group.....not bad I guess for the first race ever......;)
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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14,793 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
KenB said:
Good on you man! Lots of riders never even finish.

Now, for the big question: are you going to do it again?
Yeah, I will, strangely enough, it sucks so bad while you are going at redline, but afterwards you realize how rewarding it was....just to say "I did IT".......I have three more races planned for the year...A time trial in august/september, and then two cyclocross races this fall. Would like to do more, but I have to be careful with a new baby coming soon. I am doing them primarily for motivation. I know that if given the opportunity I will skip riding nights that I don't feel like it if nothing is motivating me. BUT, if I race 3-5 times per year, I ALWAYS have something coming up and therefore force myself to train, therefore losing weight and staying in shape. SO it's more of a motivator than anything else.....But it was fun...
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
KenB said:
Good on you man! Lots of riders never even finish.

Now, for the big question: are you going to do it again?

So Ken, are you going to do any races this year?
 

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Daylight Fading
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1,902 Posts
PA, you sound a little like me.

A few questions and thoughts.

What type of race was this? Sounds all cyclocrossy, and such. Was it supposed to be a road race or a mountain bike race?

the pain and discomfort you felt is very normal. I've felt that way during many of my races. I've never quit though. I'd rather finish. I figure, what the heck, I paid for it anyway.

It's tough getting older, huh?

BT
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Classics type race

The Carlster said:
Geesus, what race was this? How long was the hard hill? What gearing did the lead group have? Congrats on not punting too.

This was designed to be a classics style race. It is a road race, but raced over an 18 mile circuit with one hellacious hill, 18-21% and about 1/3 mile long...it's then raced over gravel roads. The people who put it on wanted something similar to the European classics to motivate people and get people out in the early spring...well, we don't have cobblestones, but we do have gravel roads. Hence the race. It was a blast.
 

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Genitive Declensioner
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12,146 Posts
physasst said:
Just then one of the A class rides up the hill at a good pace with a smile on his face...I think about the penalties for homicide.....decide it's not worth it....
All in all a good day, ended up finishing 8th out of 16 riders in the C group.....not bad I guess for the first race ever......;)
Funny how one can go from almost spitting up a lung to thinking it wasn't so bad and wanting to do it again in the span of about 5 minutes......that's why racing is fun.......

good job for your 1st one........
 

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Palm trees & sunshine!
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physasst said:
So Ken, are you going to do any races this year?
Bwaaahahahahahahaha! Not a chance. Honestly, I have zero interest in racing. I may do a couple charity centuries but that'd be about it. If I ever did anything competetive it'd be endurance stuff. Crits are too psychotic for me.

On a positive note, I hit my personal fastest sprint tonight -- 35mph over about 200 yards up a very slight incline. I cut into traffic and totally blew my estimation of how fast they were going. It was go NOW or get squished. Not very impressive to most but it was a milestone for me. Don't ever want to do it again.
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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14,793 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
svend said:
Funny how one can go from almost spitting up a lung to thinking it wasn't so bad and wanting to do it again in the span of about 5 minutes......that's why racing is fun.......

good job for your 1st one........

Yep, it certainly is addictive.....that's for sure..
 

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Awsome story.

I think the reason we all like reading stories like this is because in every one of them there is something we can relate to.

That is what makes this sport so beautiful.You can go from having to talk yourself into even finishing to being on cloud 9 at the finish of the race.:D
 

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Scary Teddy Bear
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14,793 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Pics

R.Rice said:
I think the reason we all like reading stories like this is because in every one of them there is something we can relate to.

That is what makes this sport so beautiful.You can go from having to talk yourself into even finishing to being on cloud 9 at the finish of the race.:D

Ken et al, if you are interested, or are not sure of what kind of race this was, there are some pics at the following link. Just click on the photos section of the Oxbow Classic Road Race listed on the below page.

Suddha, et al if you raced, you may be interested too..

www.skinnyski.com

I believe there are 270 photos...
 

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physasst said:
I stand with my hands on my knees and my head between them feeling so nauseous I am amazed I didn't throw up, and spitting out sputum.....Just then one of the A class rides up the hill at a good pace with a smile on his face...I think about the penalties for homicide.....decide it's not worth it....
Just remember this as a motivator when training and racing.

Thanks for the report. I can't wait to get into race myself. Unfortunatly, I wasn't very smart and took a college course on saturdays so that kills racing till college is out.
 
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