19 February 2011

training-team ride

7 Time
of Day
9:30 AM
Distance 73 miles Power  
Time Total – 4:30 Speed  
3343 ft Max Elevation – 787 ft
Breakfast 6:30 Am – cereal
Workout Food 2 large bottles each w/3 scoops Endurox R4, PowerBar, gel
Workout Type team ride
Weather upper 30s to mid 40s, sun, dry, windy
Course Snoqualmie Falls
Equipment Rain Bike
Clothing Sugoi shoe covers, Roubaix leg warmers, Roubaix knickers, Craft long sleeve undershirt, long sleeve jersey, wind vest, Polypropylene gloves, OR Gripper gloves, cap

Finally, a little more sleep.

We had a fantastic group show up today. It was my first time out with many of the stronger riders on our team and as I looked around I could not help noticing that I was the only person on a dedicated rain bike...

We headed east the pace picked up as soon as we hit Newport. This new guy named Peter would get on the front, get super low and just crank it up. His pulls were fast, he would accelerate out of corners, go, go, go. At times it was hard to not let a gap open up or to close the gap when it did. I could not help looking at all the carbon frames in our paceline. My bike? Sturdy aluminum.

The first climb of the day up to the Issaquah plateau resulted in an immediate selection. Four guys squirted up the road, then came me and a few others and then a couple more behind us. Half way up my pace was too anemic for those riding with me and they proceeded to bridge the gap to the leaders. I could only watch. All around me light wheels and tires. My bike? Really wide, wrap-around fenders and long mud flaps.

As we headed down the old Issaquah-Fall City road we rolled into the climb with a bit of momentum and Aaron S went to front. I think it was more of a move that resulted from momentum rather than an attack but it was still significant and suddenly I was gapped again as four or five guys rode ahead. This time I was able to keep them within reach and as we crested the last roller I gave it everything I had and not only closed the gap but managed to pass them just before the road tipped back down. Of course I was breathing so hard at this point that when Peter passed me I could barely get on his wheel. All the other bikes? Carbon bars and stems. My bike? Top-mounted cyclocross brake levers.

I pulled into the climb up to the falls and was maintaining a reasonable pace but maybe one third of the way up Peter went by me. He was promptly passed by Dave H who rode super all day long and the race was on. As Lyle T went by me he was nice enough to say something like, "Good job..." but I faded further back by the time we got to the top. All the other bikes? Fancy seat posts and saddles with titanium (even carbon!) rails. My bike? A front flasher light.

After fixing a flat, eating and resting a bit we carried and did the loop at the top of the falls. Once again Peter pulled into the steep hill with wild abandon and I was at my limit in fifth place. I even went so far as to tell Dave that he should go ahead of me as I was surely going to get shelled. In his usual supportive way Dave assured me I would do fine. As we turned right up the steep bit Dave was out of the saddle and GONE. If his previous accelerations were not so obvious, this was clearly an I-will-see-you-at-the-top-if-you-can-catch-me type of move. All the strong riders tried to reel him in and then there was me.

As I pegged my effort as high as was possible I noticed that I was not doing that badly. Either Dave slowed just a bit or the group in front of me sped up but they merged up the road. I was riding with another new guy and we weren't closing the gap but we were not exactly riding backwards either. As the descent started I coasted for just a bit to catch my breath and then went all out. We chased down the hill, around a couple of corners and then I saw them just up the road. My legs were dying a thousand deaths at this point but it was one of those classic times where you either make the bridge or you are gone. For the longest time I was within 50' and closing that last bit hurt. A lot. But I made it. All the other bikes? 28 or fewer spokes per wheel. My bike? 25c tires.

Leaving Fall City and riding over the rollers before the hill gets serious going back up the old Issaquah-Fall City road I could tell I was done. Sure enough, Peter was destroying me on the run in and then once we turned left Dave went rocketing off the front again. As people chased I could only look on. This time everyone simply rode away form me. I kept up what pace I could and didn't slow down but my pace was substantially less than what the guys up front were doing. Ouch.

As we headed east along he south shore of Lake Sammamish we got to the last rise in the road and someone (Peter?) surged yet again and I was off the back. This time no one waited and I was gone for good and did all of Newport with Dean J and Paul M for company. I would pull, pull, pull and then Dean would surge ahead. I would get gapped and then would s l o w l y bridge back up to him. Repeat. By the time we got to Mercer Island I was completely cooked.

For some reason we caught the front bunch here... they must have slowed down? Some people turned left for a lap of the island and I dearly wanted to come along but time was getting tight and I was fearful that I would only last a few seconds and then have to fight the headwind solo all the way back up the west side. Reluctantly I went straight but it was the right call. Those last couple of inclines crossing the island were torture for me and I would have been miserable had I gone south.

Crossing the I-90 floating bridge was an adventure. The wind was ferocious and out of the north so we got zero protection. It felt like I was tipped over the whole way across the bridge. Oh yeah, half way across I could not even hang with Den and Paul and was dropped again. For the fourth time today I believe?

Having crossed the bridge we said our goodbyes and I crawled home.

Not sure exactly how much of a difference the race bike would have made today but everyone else was on theirs. Just sayin'. :)

On the bright side I was able to take my wind vest off half way in and stripped off my out gloves on the way home. Nice. I would have taken off my leg warmers too but the pace was to high and I was too tired.

No comments: