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NeoRetroGrouch
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Race Report: Parkside #1 3/12/06. University of Wisconsin – Parkside Campus. About 1 mile, rectangular campus road. Temperature in the mid 40s with 20 mph wind and overcast.

I had a hard workout yesterday with a 45 minute spin class and I feel good today. Hard training the day before an event seems to work for me.

32 of us 50+ riders are at the start line for the first race of the year. My thinking all week has been to go with the first break since it seems that, at Parkside, they either let the first one go or let nothing go. At the line I get nervous and decide to just sit in and try to hang to the end. The whistle blows and off we go for 45 minutes plus 2 laps. A rider tries to get away right off the start line and the group immediately pegs him at about 20 meters and lets him hang there and suffer. He finally gets the hint and drops back in.

Meanwhile, I move up to second and manage to stay there most of the race. One guy is spending most of the time at the front and just killing himself on the upwind straight between corners three and four. I hope his goal for today was a hard tempo ride, ‘cause he sure is getting one. Every time he pulls over, I pedal easy and move to the downwind gutter so no one can effectively draft and someone comes around.

Counting up the time – 23 minutes in. The race is being good to me with very few excursions past my anaerobic threshold. This winter’s training technique of just spinning every day I could may not have been the most structured, but I seem to be in relatively good shape. There are a lot of riders off the back and I’m not one of them – yet anyway.

Two things I have noticed: One is that I prefer to take the small hill in corner two different than the pack. I charge the bottom of the hill and use the momentum to carry me over the top. They seem to slow at the bottom and then accelerate as they go up and catch me near the top. When I was riding at the back, I always thought that this was intentional to force the slinky and make the back riders work harder. Maybe this is just the way skinny riders ride.

The other is that I can pedal while standing much easier and stronger than I ever have. This certainly can be attributed to all the standing in spin classes.

Well, the pace has picked up a bit and there’s a lot more movement in the pack and I find myself about half way back. I wonder what’s going on when, to my surprise, we get the bell for the last lap. (Pay Attention!) We are going at a good pace and, when we hit the hill, I go hard up the inside to get back to the front. Were flying down the back straight and through corner three into that head wind. I’m back about mid-pack again and there’s a split with about half the riders in a front group and me toward the front of the second group. We get almost to corner four and the front group sits up! We slam into the back of them going though corner four and the sprint is on. I stand and start pedaling as hard as I can and figure out that I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. Somehow, I’m going to have to learn how to sprint. Anyway, I just give myself lots of room and pedal hard to the line. I manage a 12th place finish and feel good for the day. Am I ever glad the racing season is back!

TF
 

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Awesome. TT, methinks you're going to have to drop the "woe is me, I'm always dropped, but I'm out there trying" M.O., and realize that you are a contender. Not everyone who thinks he's going to win does, but it's really rare that someone who thinks he won't does.

Good on ya, man. Now get that race face on!
 

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Yes, the wind was brutal. Our club Prez won that race (and placed second in the 40+ race, a few minutes later.)
I'm looking forward to a dry course with temps around 38 for Sunday's race. (roads stayed snow free around me last night)
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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MR_GRUMPY said:
Yes, the wind was brutal. Our club Prez won that race (and placed second in the 40+ race, a few minutes later.)
I'm looking forward to a dry course with temps around 38 for Sunday's race. (roads stayed snow free around me last night)
And I believe your Prez raced big time (Olympic trials?) in his day, yes? Stiff competition.

We (Mundelein) got about 4" of the white stuff. I lot more came down but melted on contact. Parkside could have been a few degrees colder and have a foot on the ground. Still, the walks, etc. may be sloppy, but the road should be mostly dry. If it sits around 32, there could be water in the sun and ice in the shady spots.

TF
 

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"And I believe your Prez raced big time (Olympic trials?) in his day, yes? Stiff competition."
.
He also ran the Schwinn Icy-Hot team for a few years after he "retired" from active racing. I guess that one of the perks of having your own bike shop is the ability to get in a few hours of training a day. He may not be the strongest rider out there, but I'm sure that he is the smartest.
 
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