Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 26th, 2009 this is a long one...

I am pretty much over my cold completely. I feel I am at 90% health. I can say that racing when you are sick is very difficult and I don't recommend it. I am certainly happy that I did not prepay for Valley of the Sun or Callville Bay. I would be wrecked and stuck in AZ and NV feeling like a half eaten gingerbread cookie.

This past weekend I hitched a ride with my team mate John up to Sacramento to visit my favorite little guy and his parents. Dresden suprised me by becoming a walking person. It was such a great thing to experience. I hope I get to be there for as many of his milestones as possible, especially when he gets dumped by an older woman (maybe she'll be my age?).

Here is a little video I snagged to enjoy his first steps over and over again.

I also made the trip to get some riding in with Ben and Dresden's father Pat, as well as race the Brisbane Criterium on Sunday. (This is off subject, but I really hope criterium is added to the English dictionary soon). Saturday John, Ben, Patrick and I rode the river ride, which is a very fast paced group ride which usually garners some attention from Northern California pros. Chad Gerlach showed up, as well as come local Cat 1s. It was a pretty fast ride, and I still felt pretty bad at this point. Team Becher+ was able to mix it up still.

I will say, besides the tattoos, our team is going to be known for its peleton poise. (Peleton needs to be added to the dictionary too). I never worry when I am on the wheel of one of my team mates in a fast group ride or in a race. We manage to work our way up to the front intact, its really comforting. Especially since I hope to win some bunch sprints this year.

I spent a lot of the ride up front with Ben, until my cold got the better of me and I needed to drift back. luckily when I wanted to get back to the front I just had to hitch a ride onto Pat's wheel and we were back in business.

I am fairly new to this sport compared to most of my peers, but one thing I have learned is that respect will earn you a lot of rope. I also learned that you get respect by riding fast, hard, and on the front. I don't think Team Becher+ will have a hard time earning our respect.

My computer wasn't working properly so I don't have exact numbers, but I know we averaged about 20 mph for 50 miles. The weather was a little chilly compared to my Southern California standards, but it was otherwise uneventful and nice. The same could not be said for Sunday.

Sunday was the Brisbane Criterium in the marina of Brisbane, CA (just south of San Francisco). Sunday was cold and wet. There was discussion before we even left the house about whether or not we should even go. I think because it involved 6 people making a decision in unison, we opted to head out to the city for the race anyway. I personally hate racing in the rain, I do like riding in the rain and racing cross in the rain however.

Once we finally made it to the course I think the conditions started to get the better of everyone and we wanted to go back home. I had just come up from So Cal, so there was no way I was going to have driven all the way to Brisbane to waste a day by not even trying. I don't think the boys were happy with that.

My new Kenda tires actually made me pretty comfortable when cornering during my warm up, but I don't think anyone of us wanted to be there bad enough to get a proper warm up in. I mean we did waste 20 minutes coming up with excuses.

We actually were able to secure spots on the start line when staging started so I began to feel better about our chances. I looked at the boys and told them our game plan would never work on a day like this, so let's be safe and see what happens. (If you are wondering our plan was to have... wait the enemy may read this).

As you exited turn 2 on course there was a 10 foot wide puddle of water, in turn3 you crossed 2 yellow painted lines at an angle, and there was a hairpin turn. All of these things made the inevitable happen early and often; there was a crash before the first lap finished and that wasn't the last. Our boys stayed rubber side down, but one by one we dropped out. I think fear was the motivator. I was the best placed of the team, but as I kept getting gapped by scared riders I found it harder to maintain contact with the lead 10 riders. So much so that it became futile and when I saw Ben on the side of the road I knew it was time to go home.

I can take with me the fact that, despite the cold and the rain, I actually felt quite good. It was quite a moral boost after the effort I put up the weekend before. I actually don't think I have ever finished a race in February now that I think of it.

One thing I would like to point out, so that I remember for next time, is that I wasn't wearing my lucky cross necklace my grandmother gave me. I am not a religious person at all, I only believe in science and logic, but I do also enjoy symbols of love. I have never had back luck wearing that thing, so i need to remember to continue to wear it.

That was a very long day as evidenced by this lovely picture, I will get my revenge.

Here is a Team Becher+ video to really quantify the experience.

We're not done yet. Yesterday I did some recon for the new time trial that has been added to the Dana Point Grand Prix. The DPGP has always been one of my favorite races. Last year a crash by one of my future Team Mates, Wes, took me out of position for a podium into 13th place. This year we hope to work together and get Wes the big W. The TT that has been added is extremely interesting. It is not a very ordinary way to expand a criterium event. Usually there is a road race and a crit and they are paired together. In this case, the TT and the crit are mutually exclusive, but create an entire weekend of racing. I hope this leads to an even longer stage race in the near future.

The race is less than an hour from my house, so I rode down there and tried the course out. It is going to be hard! The race starts on the same straightaway as the crit, but going the other way and makes a quick right onto PCH then another quick right onto a pretty hairy decent for a TT bike.

From there you ride into a headwind on a nice flat that follows the harbor.

Then you make a sharp right turn into a s turn. Then you face a wall.

Do not let anyone tell you otherwise, this climb is going to be difficult and there will be big time gains made here. It is a steep punchy climb that goes for what feels like a kilometer and only gets steeper once you see the stop sign.

Once you finish the climb, you get a short period to recover before you have another right turn.

After this turn you have a downhill straight away that will be a ton of fun and extremely fast. this section takes you back to the backside of the criterium course which will finish out the TT at the Start/finish line.

I don't care if its fun or not, I will be doing it and I will enjoy myself. The climb definitely sucks though. Here is a video from the Dana Point Grand Prix website which covers every foot of the course, if you need more.

While all of this was going on Wes was up in Portland having fun, he starts his season off this Sunday. Follow Wes here:

Your song for the day is La Roux & Skream - In For The Kill (Let's Get Ravey Remix)
 01 In For The Kill - Skream's Let's Get Ravey Remix .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

1 comment:

Wesley K said...

Great post, and love the new page layout of course!! B+ 4-eva!!