Tag Archives: race report

Quad Cross 2015

Labor Day has passed, the days are getting shorter, the mornings are getting cooler… that means it must be time for cyclocross!  Yes, yes it is.  As usual, I started off with the “official” season opener for the #NECX of Quad Cross.  Some people may race cross earlier, but that’s pre-season racing if you ask me.  Although with Labor Day being as late as it was, there were definitely plenty of options for people to start racing.  But many people waited for this past Sunday to kick things off.

Although I don’t race for Quad anymore, I still volunteer and help out with the race every year.  So I woke up early, got in the car and headed over to Maynard to help with registration.  Things were surprisingly smooth as people started registering — it’s almost like after a number of years of doing this, it’s starting to be something that we know how to do.  That said, racers — have your license handy!  If you don’t have a paper copy, install the USAC app on your smartphone and then you can show that.  Having to look up your license info slows things down for everyone.

Once registration was well underway, I hopped on my bike and went for a quick pre-ride of the course.  Although it had rained overnight, it wasn’t particularly muddy — just not the usual dustbowl.  The course was fast and fun.  But I knew a lot of pedaling was going to be required for it.  I got in a second lap and then went back to help with registration some more after the Women’s 3/4 fields kicked off.

As that wrapped up, I got in a third lap (wow, it’s like I almost warmed up for real!) and it started to mist.  We headed to the line and it was a little bit less than organized getting people set up.  And thus, I chose poorly in terms of starting position.  Then we were off and I basically got boxed in more than I would have liked 🙁  But I kept moving forward and generally was riding okay.  Some of my cornering was bananas but that’s to be expected in the early season and not being used to having brakes that can actually stop me.  Anyway, I raced, it hurt and I finished.  Ended up 26/63 which puts me right back where I was before I upgraded a few years ago.  Given that I was being demotivated fighting for not-last in the 3s, I downgraded back to a 4 this year which definitely seems the right thing to have done — I felt like I was really racing again.

Keeping it tight!
Picture courtesy of Patricia Tamagini-Dayhoff

But maybe the best part of the day was hanging out afterwards.  We had a huge presence for the Keep It Tight team at the race and the tent set up and were just generally chatting and encouraging everyone else in other fields.  I also got to see and catch up with a ton of folks who I pretty much only see at cross races… too many to name them all.  A big fat reunion for the (perhaps dysfunctional) family that is the #necx.

And next weekend, I’ll be at it again.  Another chance to test myself.  A chance to do better.  And onwards.


Looking back on a day in the mud – 2015 Rasputitsa

Back in mid-January, the weather in New England had been unseasonably nice and it was looking like we were going to have a mild winter. I had completed the Rapha Festive 500 at the end of the year and felt like it would be a good winter of riding although it was starting to get cold in January. Someone mentioned the Rasputitsa gravel race (probably Chip) and I thought it looked like it could be fun. There was one little blizzard as we neared the end of January (and the registration increase!) but things still seemed okay. So I signed up, thinking it would help keep me riding even through the cold. Little did I know that we were about to get hit with a record amount of snow basically keeping me off the bike for six weeks. So March rolls around, I’ve barely ridden and Rasputitsa is a month away. Game. On.

I stepped up my riding and by a week ago, I started to feel I’d at least be able to suffer through things. But everyone that I’d been talking with about driving up with was bailing and so I started thinking along the same lines. But on Friday afternoon, I was reminded by my friend Kate that “What would Jens do?”. And that settled it, I was going.

I drove up and spent the night in Lincoln, NH on Friday night to avoid having to do a 3 hour drive on Saturday morning before the race. I woke up Saturday morning, had some hotel breakfast and drove the last hour to Burke. As I stepped out of the car, I was hit by a blast of cold wind and snow flurries were starting to fall. And I realized that my vest and my jacket hadn’t made the trip with me, instead being cozy in my basement. Oops.

I finished getting dressed, spun down to pick up my number and then waited around for the start. It was cold but I tried to at least keep walking around, chatting with folks I knew and considering buying another layer from one of the vendors, although I decided against.

It's overcast and chilly as we line up at the start
It’s overcast and chilly as we line up at the start

But then we lined up and, with what was in retrospect not my wisest choice of the day, I decided to line up with some friends of mine who were near the back. But then we started and I couldn’t just hang out at the back and enjoy a nice ride. Instead, I started picking my way forward through the crowd. My heart rate started to go up, though my Garmin wasn’t picking up the HR strap, just as the road did. The nice thing was that this also had the impact of warming me up and not feel cold. The roads started out smooth but quickly got to washed out dirt, potholes and peanut butter thick mud. But it was fun… I hadn’t spent time on roads like this before but it was good. I got into a rhythm where on the flats and climbs, I would push hard and then on some of the downhills, I would be a little sketched out and take it slower. So I’d pass people going up, they’d pass me going down. But I was making slow progress forward.

Until Cyberia. I was feeling strong. I was 29.3 miles in of 40. And I thought that I was going to end up with a pretty good time. After a section of dirt that was all up-hill, we took a turn to a snow covered hill. I was able to ride about 100 feet before hopping off and starting to walk the bike up hill. And that is when the pain began. My calves pulled and hurt. I couldn’t go that quickly. The ruts were hard to push the bike through. And it kept going. At the bottom of the hill, they had said 1.7 miles to the feed zone… I thought some of it I’d ride. But no, I walked it all. Slowly. Painfully. And bonking while I did it as I was needing to eat as I got there and I couldn’t walk, push my bike and eat at the same time. I made it to the top and thought that maybe I could ride down. But no, more painful walking. It was an hour of suffering. It wasn’t pretty. But I did it. But I was passed by oh so many people. It was three of the hardest miles I’ve ever had.

The slow and painful slog through the snow. Photo courtesy of @jarlathond
The slow and painful slog through the snow.
Photo courtesy of @jarlathond

I reached the bottom where the road began again and I got back on my bike. They said we had 7.5 miles to go but I was delirious. I tried to eat and drink and get back into pedaling.  I couldn’t find my rhythm. I was cold. But I kept going, because suffering is something I can do. So I managed to basically hold on to my position, although I certainly didn’t make up any ground. I took the turn for 1K to go, rode 200 meters and saw the icy, snowy chute down to the finish… I laughed and I carefully worked my way down it and then crossed the finish line. 4:12:54 on the clock… a little above the 4 hours I hoped for but the hour and 8 minutes that I spent on Cyberia didn’t help me.

Yep, ended up with some mud there.
Yep, ended up with some mud there.

I went back to the car, changed and took advantage of the plentiful and wonderful food on offer before getting back in the car and starting the three hour drive back home.

Mmm, all the food
Mmm, all the food

So how was it? AWESOME. One of the most fun days I’ve had on the bike. Incredibly well-organized and run. Great food both on the course (Untappd maple syrup hand up, home made cookie handup, home made doughnuts at the top of Cyberia, Skratch Labs bottle feeds) and after. The people who didn’t come missed out on a great day on a great course put on by great people. I’m already thinking that I probably will have to do the Dirty 40 in September. As for next year? Well, with almost a week behind me, I’m thinking that I’ll probably tackle Rasputitsa again… although I might go for more walkable shoes than the winter boots I wore this year and try to be a bit smarter about Cyberia. But what a great start event for the season!

Fire.  Chainsaws.  Alf. Basically, all of Vermont's finest on offer.
Fire. Chainsaws. Alf.
Basically, all of Vermont’s finest on offer.

Lake Auburn Road Race 2009 Recap

Yesterday, I raced in the Cat 4 men’s field of the Lake Auburn Road Race. Unlike last year, the weather was much better and I had a much better result.

Instead of going up the day before, I woke up extra early to drive up. Picked Kate up and got on the road basically on time. The roads were empty and as it got light, there was quite a bit of clouds. Right as we crossed into Maine, there was a little bit of drizzle and I was worried that we were going to have a repeat of the rain from last year. But it let up after about five minutes and then the sun came out and the cloud cover burned off.

We got to the course start with lots of time to spare and actually had the time to pre-ride a lap of the route. Even more shockingly, the rest of the team (minus one person) had made it there with plenty of time to spare as well. So we headed off as a team to recon the course and jog our memories from last year. It was good to do as little things like “landmark for the turn before the hill” doesn’t stick with you for a year… but half an hour before the race start it certainly does.

The race itself was to be three laps of an 11.5 mile circuit. It started with a quick downhill followed by a little bump and then a steeper little climb. Then a few turns and a mile or so with a slight downward grade to the back half of the course which was about six miles and pretty much flat. This was thus a bit on the fast side. The course then took another turn and began going back up towards the finish with one steeper and then one longer and more shallow section to a bit of false flats for the final kilometer or so. Total of about 600 feet of climbing a lap. Pretty much good pavement for the entirety of it, well marshalled, etc. Honestly, it’s a great course and I was looking forward to coming back and doing better.

Map of the Race
Map of the Race
Course Profile
Course Profile

In the Men’s Cat 4 field, we had six people in the field out of a total of somewhere between fifty and sixty — myself, Jim Gomez, Charles Wescott, Nessim Mezrahi, Kenton Eash and Andy Tucker. My personal goal was to finish with whatever the main pack ended up being and from a team perspective, we were hoping to get someone at least in the top ten. The race started on time and it started out pretty quick. I was at the front and was able to maintain my position through the fast descent in a nice improvement from last year. The first lap continued pretty quickly; I know I saw an average speed of above 25 mph at one point on the back stretch. When we hit the big hill up to the finish, that dropped a bit. We had definitely started to drop some riders off the back, though.

The second lap was much of the same and I realized that hanging on was really about all I was going to be good for. I did get in some good work with moving up in the pack and raising my comfort in doing so. It helped that the peloton for the field was pretty smooth overall. The exception was that for every corner, the speed dropped somewhat dramatically and then people accelerated like hell on the other side of the corner only to let up after 100-200 meters. A little annoying, but I kept with it. Andy and Nessim spent some time during the lap attacking and trying to weaken some of the stronger riders in the field. I was content to just sit in and let things happen.

By the third lap, I realized that the only Quaddies who were left were Nessim, Andy and myself. I talked briefly with Andy and he said that Nessim was going to try to set him up with a lead-out. I didn’t really have anything to add to the effort, so just was going to keep my head down. I also noticed at this point (not far into the lap really), that there was a rider a little ways up the road and that the pace car seemed a little further away. Not that I was going to be able to do anything about it. As we started up the hill for the finish, though, the gap dropped — by the time we were cresting the second hill up to the finishing flats, we passed the guy who had jumped off the front and this was when people really cranked it up a notch.

With a little more than a 1km ago, someone decided to start pushing for the sprint and I decided I had done enough to accomplish my goal. So I sat up and got passed by 6 or 8 people coming across the line about 26th although I did make it look like I was sprinting for something. Andy ended up with 7th and Nessim was somewhere in the pack between 15th and 20th. All in all, a respectable day by the Quaddies.

A sprint for the photo at least
A sprint for the photo at least (photo courtesy Charles Wescott)

By the numbers:

  • 34.7 miles, overall average of 24 mph
  • Second lap was the slowest by a small margin, first and then the third was the fastest
  • Pretty usual race heart rate for me averaging 170. Max was only 193, though, which is a little lower than usual for me in races
  • Cadence only averaged 80, although maxed out at 132. Low average is probably as I got to do some decent coasting sitting in the pack and the Garmin averages in those zeros
  • 1750-ish feet of climbing and some of that was serious grades. Not long climbs though

So overall, a very satisfying result from my point of view. I finally feel like I’m getting back the right level of fitness for racing. Also, a pretty good team result with the seventh place plus we also had two women in the Cat 4 women’s field (Nancy Labbe-Giguere and Kate Leppanen) who finished fifth and sixth out of a field that was probably about twenty deep.

X-Pot 3D Race Report

This past weekend was MIT’s ECCC race weekend out near Mount Wachusett. I wasn’t able to get out for the crit on Sunday but I was able to go out for the road race and TTT on Saturday.

The day started out very early, leaving the house at 5 am to head down to MIT and pick up people and bikes to drive out to the venue. We were on our way roughly on time and made pretty good time out to Westminster. I got my race numbers, pinned them and got ready. First event of the morning was a team time trial so I headed out with my team to pre-ride the course as a warmup. As we warmed up, it was colder than I thought it would be so I was glad I had grabbed arm and leg warmers as I left the house. We mostly got into a groove and got back just in time to line up. A little bit of waiting later and we were off. Being on the new bike with a new pedal system, I was a little slow to get clipped in, but I don’t think I slowed us down too badly. We rode hard and I enjoyed it… final time for the 7 mile course was just under 18:30 giving us sixth place.

Then a cool down and stood around a little bit to wait for the road race. Did something of a warm up (aka climbed a few of the close hills) and lined up. Ended up standing lined up long enough that the warm up probably didn’t matter. The start was a neutral rollout with a large field (56 riders). As we went down the first hill, the sketchiness began — between the riders, the potholes and the oil slicks (!), it was a bit nuts. As the pace car pulled away, the field started to stretch a little. Still lots of sketchiness, plenty of disregard of the yellow line, and watching people moving into the other lane with cars coming in the other direction. I picked a semi-safe spot, but wasn’t really able to move up with the way the pack was working.

As we reached the fourth mile, we turned onto a road with a sign mentioning the Wachusett ski area. And at this point, the field blew apart as we began the climb. I was moving forward but the front of the pack had surged forward. I tried to bring along one of my teammates (Zach Y) but he was in pain so I kept moving. As I reached the top, I pulled together a small group and started urging them to work together so that we could catch however many people were in front of us. I didn’t know how many there were, but I knew working together was our best chance. To some extent, this was successful as a few of the people eventually fell into working with me in a pace line. And we caught up with some more people. But as we moved forward, the pace line began disintegrating. By the beginning of the second (of three) laps, it was largely to myself and one other guy working together. But we kept at it. Unfortunately, on the hill on the third lap, my left leg cramped in a major way. A combination of the heat and a lack of drinking much through the race were the probable causes. But in any case, I fell off my little group and limped my way up the climb. From that point, I basically soloed the rest of the course. As I came to the final finishing climb, I started to cramp again, but as an RIT guy who had originally been in my little group but not working much started to pass, I dug deep and sprinted for the line. End result of 33rd. Not what I had hoped for, but there were definitely some good parts from a learning perspective. Hopefully I can put some of them into practice soon, maybe even this weekend at Blue Hills.

After the race, changed and then got to work for my task of shuttling marshalls around to their posts. I was kind of glad to have a job that let me sit in the air conditioned car as the temperature was above 90 degrees at that point. Then, eventually back to Cambridge and then home.

A well run race weekend and a good chance to get out on the new bike and see how it performs. Answer is that I’m pretty happy with it. Now just to work on racing smarter and not missing when the front of the pack goes off rather than being towards the middle and falling behind.

Back to Myles Standish

The Myles Standish Road Race was my first race last season and so after having circumstances keep me from going to Dartmouth for the weekend, I decided to sign up for the Cat 4 race there this year. Unfortunately, due to the road conditions, they weren’t able to run it on the road race course (~ 7 miles) and instead had to run it on the Charge Pond course that I raced on earlier this year. So basically a crit. Okay. Not what I was hoping for, but you deal with the cards you’re dealt.

Given that and the fact that I had crashed on the course a month ago, I went in with very simple goals. Stay upright, get in a speed workout, and get past any lingering anxiety in the pack after the crash. With those, I’d say I succeeded. Another win of the day was that I didn’t forget anything I intended to bring with me. The race results were a little less great

Anyway, the race started off fast. Very fast. I didn’t have a good position at the line and so was struggling with the rubber band effect from the go. After a couple of laps, the pace cooled down a little bit, but not too much. The corner and hill before the finish line had a strong impact on every lap but with the pace immediately following it, I never managed to pull myself far enough forward to make a difference going into the next lap. After about half the laps, I snapped a little as we went around the backside and fell a little off the back. I kept driving on and pushing for another few laps but knew I was falling further and further back. I decided to pull out before getting lapped since I expected at that point there was a break which had gotten away that would be closing in. As it turns out, no break had gotten away and so I don’t think I would have been lapped. I wouldn’t have caught the pack though.

Next weekend, heading out with the MIT team for the MIT sponsored race, X-Pot 3D. I can only do the road race on Saturday (and the TTT if another man is needed) as Sunday is my niece’s baptism. But hopefully the road race there will be a little bit better for me.

First race of the season

Made a last minute decision (yesterday) that I wanted to go ahead and get some racing in, so went down today to Plymouth to race in the 4/5 field at Charge Pond. The race is held in the same state park as the Myles Standish Road Race that was my first race of the season last year but it’s a month earlier, it’s a 4/5 field and it’s a much shorter circuit (1.1 miles vs 7-ish miles). Kara had class today, so I talked Kate into going down and she talked Jon into driving for us which was awfully nice — he also played the role of photographer for the day.

We got started early enough and pulled into the parking lot at the park right after 9 for the 10 am race start. I got out and registered and pulled on the appropriate clothing for the fact that it was about 35 degrees out. We went for a few laps around the course to warm up and also do a bit of recon work. Overall, the road was in good shape; there was some sand on the edges, but that was about it. The end of the course had a pretty good corner after a downhill that was a little tricky… it was even trickier in the pack as everyone slowed down for it (including me) — definitely need to work on cornering more.

As we lined up at the race, there were about 8 other Quaddies present as well as 4 other guys from the MIT cycling team in the field of 50+. So went in with a good number of friends in the field. The first lap was very very mellow. Not sure how mellow, as the one thing I left at home was my GPS/computer. On the second lap, Kenton came up around the outside and began pushing the pace. That set the tone for pretty much the rest of the race. Someone would go up the side, push the pace, and then things would pull back together. I tried staying in the front part of the pack to varying degrees of success but it was good to get back to riding in a pack.

With what ended up being seven laps to go (wasn’t sure, they weren’t showing lap cards yet), Charles decided to follow a guy up the road and tried to get me to go with him. My legs didn’t feel like they could bridge the gap, so I instead stuck back and tried to control the pace of the pack so that he could get away. It was successful for a little bit, but then Charles ran out of steam. Was fun to try to do, though. The effort sent me to the back of the pack, though, to regain something for the end

Coming up the hill on the back side of the course with just over two laps to go, the guy in front of me had someone cut in front of him and he then went down. I was right behind him and so had no choice but to slow down a lot and then basically go over the guy. I went over the handlebars but the only real damage was biting my lip, a little bit of skin on my left knee, a bruise on the right knee and the nose of my saddle coming off (that may have been from the guy behind me who also went over us). Shook me up a little, though. So I mostly got out of the way and tried to calm down until the race ended not long after. Then I did a cooldown lap slow and relaxed with Kenton and also to stretch out the muscles.

Overall, a fun time even with the jarring and unintended ending. The big positive is that my legs mostly felt pretty good keeping up in the pack, so hopefully that can continue and translate into having a good time the rest of the racing season. I’m definitely getting more into the racing spirit, which has been a little bit of a hurdle. Hopefully the new bike will help get me the rest of the way there.

I am though now looking at saddles to replace what I was using (a Specialized Toupe). I’d been thinking about trying something new so this seems like a reasonable excuse. Suggestions welcome. Right now, I’m trying out a Fi’zi:k Antares and from the two miles I did on it, it seems okay but the real test will come tomorrow when I put 50-60 miles on it.

Bow Road Race, 3 August 2008

Yesterday was the Bow Road Race, also known as the Central NH Road Race. I was wanting to get out and do another race again and wasn't really feeling in the mood to go to Wells Ave (… again) and so tried to get together some other people from the Quad team to go up and do it. The email met with moderate success and we ended up with a total of five Cat 5s, but they split the field by age group and so there were 3 in the 35+ Cat 5 field and then only myself and another guy in the Cat 5 under 35 field.

I got up early early early in the morning and got ready to head down to meet my ride. I grabbed a light and threw it on my bike as it was still not quite light, but once I was out the door, it actually seemed like it would have been light enough without. There was a light mist in the air and so I was wondering how much this was going to parallel the other non-Wells races I've done this year where it either rained right before or during the race. But we got on the road and as we made our way up I93, the sun started to come out and it looked like we might just have a nice day for a bike race.

We got to the starting point, registered and got ready to go. Managed to get in an almost decent warmup even, although I avoided attacking too much of the climbing while warming up just to sort of save my energy. I also was trying to work out some sort of muscle knot that I had gotten in my thigh on the drive up. We went to the start line and I positioned myself near the front with Matthew right with me. This was when we learned that the start was neutral for the first mile up the hill. Figured okay and then we were on our way. Once the pace car saw us and actually started, it kept a slow and unsteady pace up the hill. He'd go, then he'd slow down, causing the same sort of things through the entire field. Ugh.

Finally, we hit the top of the first hill and the pace car sped up and the field began to move. I kept with, trying not to push too hard but also doing what I could to stay with the group. And I succeeded for a little bit, but after one of the hills, I dropped off the back of the front end. I was determined not to let that discourage me, though, and so continued on. Not long after, I caught up with a few more stragglers and attempted to organize the group to work together. This was almost successful, but not quite. We'd work together and then hit a downhill and one of the guys would go bombing down the hill, forcing everyone to scramble to keep up. So when we were halfway around the second lap, the entire thing started to fall apart with pretty consistent attacking. I just didn't have it in my legs to keep up with that through the hills and fell back.

The rest of the race was pretty much a time trial effort. I had a couple of brief periods of working with another person, and it really helped a lot when Tyler (who was in the 35+ race) caught me right before the KOM hill and gave me some encouraging words, helping me to at least not feel that I was entirely in No Man's Land and thus a much-needed-by-then boost of confidence.

I ended up finishing about 18 minutes behind the leader, averaging 17.6 and about 4 minutes ahead of Matthew. Overall, a third of the field had dropped out (13 of the 39). So while the results weren't what I had gone in wanting to get, I still feel somewhat successful. And I didn't have the problem of over-wariness when descending in a group like I did at Lake Auburn earlier in the season. But if I'm going to do Bow (or races like it) next year, I definitely need to spend more time out climbing longer and steeper hills. The GPS said like 3500 feet of climbing over the 32-ish miles for the course. So ~ 150% of the climbing of the usual Quad ride in about 50% of the distance. It was definitely enough climbing that I felt it for a good chunk of the day. The course, though, was great even with that. Very very well marked with signage before every turn, a marshall at every turn stopping traffic and ensuring you went the right way and nice roads. So even with the amount of climbing and pain involved, I do think I'll look at doing it again next year.

And I think I'm likely to do something next weekend, probably Wells Ave unless something better shows up that I'm not seeing right now. And in all likelihood, there's I think only one or so non-Wells races with a cat 5 field left this season (other than Jamestown).

Myles Standish State Park Road Race

I headed down to Plymouth today to take part in the Myles Standish State Park Road Race as my first race of the season following up on racing last fall in Jamestown, RI. Kara and I picked up Kate and John on our way down to help keep things a bit more exciting. A stop at Starbucks in West Medford and we were on our way. Made reasonable time on the way down, though the park was a bit further from the highway than we expected so we didn't get there as early as I would have liked.

Took my bike off the rack and managed to have my first slight mis-step of the day. In the process of pulling the bike off, I somehow managed to snap the plastic for my speed sensor — oh well, I can go by feel mostly. Then, I went to top off the tires and the valve of the rear tube blew out. Not the way I wanted to start things out. Changed the tube out without any problems. I do think that I'm done with the Conti tubes, though — this makes two of them that I've had valve related problems with. Between this and getting down a little late, I ended up not having as much time as I really kind of wanted for warming up. Did a quick warm-up around the parking lot just to mostly make sure everything was feeling good with the bike and with my legs. Then, we started staging. Where we sat on the line for the better part of 20 minutes. Which would have been great for getting warmed up.

In the Cat 5 under 35 field, there were about 25 people. From Quad, there was myself and Kenton. Given that we're both relatively new, we had a pretty simple plan for the race — “try to stay with the pack, if we fall off, try to work together”. As we started off, the pack got going at a pretty good clip, especially considering some of the potholes and upheavals in the pavement. But we managed to stick with the pack for a couple of miles. And then, someone decided to pick things up even more. I was pretty much at my limit and ended up falling back a bit as did a number of other people including Kenton. Of those that had fallen off, there were about five of us and at first, we did an okay job of working together, although everyone did pulls that were too long. As we got through the first lap (~ 5.25 miles), two of the five fell off the back including Kenton. I stuck on the wheels in front of me, though, and the three of us kept going for another lap or so. Then, one of the guys took off leaving just myself and one other guy. This was pretty much my “pack” until the last two miles when another two guys caught up to us and helped to get us energized again. Coming across to the finish, I managed to pull out the tiny bit I had left to keep from being passed by both of the two who had caught us.

I ended up in 18th with a time of 1:00:06 which I was pretty happy with for a course that totaled somewhere between 20 and 21 miles. And I managed to both have fun and learn some things for future races. Things to keep in mind for the future, even if they're a little obvious

  • Leave more time for warming up. Yeah, I had to deal with some unfortunate bits, but leave time for those. My legs hurt for too much of the first lap of the circuit because I hadn't had a good warm up.
  • Try to stay together better to work as a team better. And alternately (or better, in addition), try to get better cooperation with whoever else has fallen off the back. The latter sort of worked, but there was some lack of understanding on working together (I had a nice wheel, the guy I was riding with kept not drafting)
  • If you lose the pack, it's really hard to catch back up. I didn't see them again.
  • Come up with a more consistent training schedule so that I can be stronger and more consistent in a race.
  • Racing is fun!

Kara took a lot of good pictures of the race as well — link to come later once they're up. We then stuck around for the women's race (since Kate was in it) and thus also watched the 3 and 4 men's races. Kate probably had the best day of the Quadies coming in 6th in the women's race, which had 11 riders. The Quad riders in the Cat 4 race also were looking good. All in all, a good showing for Quad and a fun day for me. Now to figure out what race I'm going to do next…