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...


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