Wednesday, April 22, 2009

FDM Crit 4/21

Go fast, turn right. For 28 minutes.

An improvement of 13 minutes over the last 2 weeks and the best of the year. Saturday's Ivan Mukasa race did me some good mentally and physically, and additional saddle time Monday afternoon helped as well. Legs are starting to come around to longer distances at intensity.

I changed my warmup a bit, with a little less time in Z2, and added an additional 30 second sprint, with the normal 10 minutes for staging. Seemed to open up the legs and lungs a bit better.

At one point the race was just a smooth flow, pedaling through the corners smoothly, finding the right line, hiding well, etc. Looked at the computer once at 4 minutes and again at 24....just out of curiosity. Avg. MPH 1/2 lap after I dropped was 25.2. I heard 25.7 from a top finisher. That's pretty quick for an old fat guy :)

Doing at least 2 hours tomorrow, track Friday, Matrix Challenge Saturday. Track is the focus, MC is for fun since its free. And flat :)

Cyclist to pray for: SK.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ivan Mukasa circuit race report

Saturday, April 18 was the Ivan Mukasa Memorial Circuit race in Slidell, TX at Eagles Canyon raceway.

This is a motorcycle (and cars?) race track, 2.5 miles, lots of turns and way more up/down than I was expecting. I really thought it was much flatter. Oops.

I want to thank Andy Hollinger, Team Bicycles, Inc and all of the volunteers for making this a great event! Nicely done folks.

I entered the 35+/Cat 4 category, which I affectionately refer to as the "dad class." Normally for road events I'm in the Cat 4. I really was simply looking to see how the two compared from a handling and speed standpoint.

The handling is about the same, but I could definitely tell this was a category full of guys with wives, kids and jobs to get back to...not a bunch of win at all costs, testosterone fueled maniacs!

The speed was hard to compare, given the multiple times on each lap we were going up or down some rise on the course.

We started off nice and easy on the first lap, really just taking a look at the course "at speed." It ramped up a bit after that. A few guys took solo flyers just to see if they would stick, but we brought them back without working too hard. Some of these flyers went directly into the wind and little chance of success. On a course with this many turns, you have headwind, crosswind and tailwind several times per lap.

The climbing got to me on the 4th lap. I made it up the short, steep one on the backside, but blew my lungs in the process and coasted the downhill straightaway to recover and waved the wheel truck by. Normally at this point I head for the pits. But...since this is such a unique venue, I decided to go ahead and just enjoy the ride. There were two other riders behind me that popped before I did, so I raced them the rest of the way, staying ahead as best I could. I almost got caught at the end by the trailing rider and the pack. Managed a 33rd place out of 35 scored finishers. Not Last!

Key takeaway for a fat, old cyclist in the rookie ranks:

22 minutes on a rolling, windy course is a stronger performance than 15-20 minutes on a flat Tuesday night crit course :)

Cyclist to pray for: Bryan S. Haven't heard from him in awhile...


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ugh...where was my head?

Somedays you're on, some not...

Last week, I stayed in the weekly crit for 15 minutes and felt pretty strong even though I pulled out.

This week, I stayed in the weekly crit for 15 minutes and it was a death march suffer fest. Mentally I was never there. Lined up too far back, never moved up even when I could. Bad lines, in the wind....all the wrong things.

Sleep? Stress? over/under trained? Who knows :)

At least I got to help someone by lending my training wheel out in the A race. Yay for doing the right thing!

Cyclist to pray for: Landon, and his torn meniscus...


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Track report

Friday was a great day at the Superdrome.

The youth development session saw kids rolling around all over the place, including three fresh faces that I was able to get through 'Kevin class.' One can be easy or hard...3 can take the whole session easily depending on their current bike skills and how quickly they learn. By the end of the devo time, all three were up on the track to some degree or another doing the "up and over" drill with Suzie. Very cool :)

The first night of Friday night racing started at 7:30 with somewhere around 90 racers, which is huge for a track event. I raced in the 35+/Cat4 category as usual on this night of scratch races.

My results were 3rd, 10th and 7th. Good enough for 6 out of 15 in the omnium. The second race shuold have been better but I made the mental mistake of working at the front too much and the entire group went by when I went uptrack with 7 to go. Spent the next few laps trying to work forward again.

The 3rd race (20 laps) was going too slow for my taste so I took off the front with a half lap standing sprint 2 or 3 laps in. The group let me go for 6 or 7 laps before they started chasing. Once they got close enough I sat up and recovered for a bit before trying to move into position.

Overall, I'm pleased with my results. Went with a new warmup and "between races" protocol, but didn't get all of the warmup I should have...started late. More tweaking to come.

Cyclist to pray for: Rob S. involved in a crash Friday night....sore, but ok and healing. No lasting damage.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Over the top? I can never tell :)

Yes folks, track season is upon us. Last Wednesday the Youth Development practices started up at the Frisco Superdrome. We had 2 brand new kids plus most of the older faces were there as well.

I volunteer my time on Wednesday and Friday afternoons to assist Youth Devo director Suzie by helping the newcomers learn to get a track bike stopped and started safely. Once they graduate "Kevin class" we send them up to the apron to start turning left in Suzie's practices. Its a hoot.

The first race of the Superdrome Points Series (ATRA sanctioned) is this Friday night and I couldn't be more excited. 4 weeks of crits and 3 months of training have lead up to this. Now, I'm old enough and experienced enough to not expect wins right off the bat, since I'm not the only one that has been training, but I do expect a decent performance.

The first 2 weeks are all scratch races - basically mini-crits for those of you not familiar with track racing. 8 laps, then 16 laps, then 20+ laps. I actually have a warmup routine for the first time. Last year's warmup was something along the lines of "Go ride some laps, rest, ride some faster laps, rest, ride in race gear for a bit, race."

Why am I so excited about track? Its fun. Its safer than crits. I've actually got a shot at winning from time to time, and its spectator friendly :)

Send me your youth and we'll teach them to ride, work together and have fun doing it!

Cyclist to pray for: Richard E.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The crits just keep on coming

From a team email thread about last night's Plano Crit:

I'm pleased with my race. I stayed in the pack for 20 minutes before deciding to drop back and recover. I was pushing hard on every corner and still starting drift backwards where its gets even more difficult, especially coming out of turn 1.

Recovered at about 15 mph and then jumped back into the pack in the back 1/3 of the bunch.Once I got established and at speed, I was able to move around and keep pace with relative ease. Found myself coasting into a top 10 spot unintentionally when the pack sat up for a bit. Had a brief thought about jumping, but as a lapped rider that would have probably gotten me some nasty looks.

Pulled out with 3 to go to stay out of the way of the sprint (and the crash before the line).
Week 1 - 7 minutes
Week 2 - 13 minutes
Week 3 - 20 minutes

I'm very happy with my improvement, since I've done very little intensity training this year...mostly base miles at Zone 3 or less.

Cyclist to pray for: Rich Enthoven - injuries from a crash last night