Monday, June 1, 2009

Bill's Training/Racing

Amphib Racing picture by Lydia Netzer

That's a race! I did the Bryan Park race today with a 75 rider field that was star-studded. The 1.8 mile loop was tackled 26 times for more than 40 miles of good, old-fashioned bumpy critin'. The race started about as slowly as possible and guys were low-swinging for the spots that mattered when the hitting began. I thought that the last third was best(not by choice, but by dumb luck and a dropped gel). I did not feel like the bad start was putting me into to much difficulty, so I took the time to figure how the pack was morphing each lap. I saw three possible spots to move up without adding danger to an already sketchy place.

For the first half of the race, I was completely a passenger on a rollercoaster. I began to get POed about that role(good for others/not me). I took my three spots and got up to the front in two laps(probably too quick from where I was). While there, I could see the break of 5 drop to three as two guys up there crashed hard! I did a little to get up and across, but it was(admitingly) half-hearted and exhusting. I assumed my position as the red lantern.

It was at this moment that I noticed that Jinks was absent. He had been my motivation and bulls-eye the first half of the race. I might also point out that he was surfing up there a good 20 spots ahead of one Johnny "The Cat" Sundt. Great job Jinksy. With two to go, I was sitting 5 from the back and not getting anywhere on that crowded course. I really needed some calories right then and felt light-headed from that dropped gel in the 1st frakin lap.

I took some calculated riskes in my three movement spots and watched for exiting riders through the field and found my way up,inside the top 30 for the bumpy sprint. I wish my position for the mele at the end was better, for I had to break twice in the sprint. I finished in the top 15 and felt pretty good given the field size on that fractional course.

The lessons were many in the race too. Six major things to watch or do better.


  1. Tuesday not a walk in the park. I went to the park to do the intense LT work, but knew that the past two sleepless night hindered recovery. I met Steve and gave it the old college try. The first rep was just about in the exact power place I wanted, but took some doing. The second rep was quite depressing, as the power # dropped and speed remained about the same. The writing was on the wall that perhaps the LONG race had taken more of a toll. I decided to attempt the third one, but the # was sow low, that I imediately pulled the plug. Smart move, as the rain and storms moved in. I will try my luck tomorrow with the VO2Max.

  2. After yesterday, I lowered my expectations-unnecessarily it turns out. Again my schedule and Steve's were on par and we did the 3 min full-on intervals in a chase/be chased mode, alternating who was in front. Again, he made me really dig, especially down the hills. I have the most difficulty hitting the power a few seconds after the crest on a hill.

    Last week the final minute of the rep was pathetic and powerless, but this week I kept the effort going almost to the end of the 3 min(2:50 was the popping point). I view this as progress! It's the little things that keep us from scratching our heads.

    One observation-my 1 min, 3, and 5 min power averages are quite high right now. It is probably coming at the expense of my LT. This is why TT guys are not sprinters and vice/versa. Hopefully there is some crossover.

  3. In my never ending quest to find new bike info(currently I follow 43 different blogs), I just found the funniest and most real quote. It is from a Lattitude/ABRT rider up north. "The fatter I get, the faster I was." That, self, is frakin funny!

  4. That's better than begging to back it off "Half-A-Crank".

  5. Ride plans for Sunday were messy, but five of us were able to do our meet and hit the road. After a decent warm-up, we started with 10 sec. pulls and really started to rip it. Everyone was around a 7 on PE so we kept it hot. It took about 20 min before things began to get dislodged. We pulled it together for everyone's benefit and hit it again only to come to a completly flooded road(going toward Paige Rd). It was only 5-10 inches deep and Merriwether Norair forded the swamp first. It was here that my deep-dish rims filled to the brim with water.

    As chance would happen, I was getting tired quickly and my jumps took much effort and the climbs even more. At anyrate, we attacked and countered for most of the way back to town. When we came to a stop at Long Branch, I sloshed to a stop. We picked up Tommy Eskam. There I saw water spilling from the rims, but it would not drain out. The trip back was firey and fast. 42 miles and great speeds on average.

    I took the tire, tube, rim tape off and about a cup and a half POURED out. Way, way more than the one paper towel laid out on the living room floor could ever hold. I was quite tired in the entire leg all afternoon and today. But great training.

  6. I went out into Caroline to do today's workout of 2x15 min at LT. My LT efforts have been quite modest over the last weeks, as the VO2Max efforts have gotten more attention. The first one was hard, especially after the 10 min mark. My numbers were on target and I was drenched from the effort. The second one had me chasing the numbers then entire time. The effort did feel the same and my speeds were certainly faster, just the number did not reflect. Research states that this usually happens to three kids of athletes. 1.When there is a weakness in that work. 2. When current fatigue drives up the first set, but the others sets are stable. 3. Less time in that position affects quality/quantity of power output.

    The jury is still out on me, but 1,2 are obvious. My VO2max intervals, on the other hand, are great! AHHHHH the balance. Bring on the sprint 'cause there goes the TT.

  7. Bill, A big THANKS! The work is paying off. The juice is worth the squeeze.

  8. Amphib Race-Greg and I were the sole reps for the 1,2,3 race and what a race! All the plans changed quite a bit when a truckload of Richmond Pro riders showed up to change the course of the course. The standing water was inches deep and everywhere. The sandy spray made visibility limited and touchy. Our laps averaged between 2:35 to 1:57 and were marred by attacks and counter/counter/counter/etc attacks for the duration of the race. It was single-file every time it wasn't. Greg and I did more than a good job following out attacks, attacking, and pulling breaks back when both of us were not yet recovered to full-on jump.

    Somewhere at the mid-point, Mason and a RPC got away. About 10 attempts were made to get across to it, but it was going away. A patient Capri rider went on a well-timed and POWERFUL jump with another RPC in tow and that was the winning break of four. Greg and I continued to mark attacks and keep the pace up. There was about 5 minutes where I thought that blowing up would be a blessing.

    Last lap Greg attacked off the front of the heavily dwindled field and tried to hold until the line. I was third wheel hoping he would stay away, but the group was coming up fast. Because I could not start the sprint, I was slow getting up to the line, but was quite excited about just finishing with those stars. For the third race in a row, I was the 1st cat 3, not that that holds any weight in getting to a 2, but shows me something positive. By the way Greg was the only other 3 to finish. We did 13th and 15th.

  9. Here is the video finish.

  10. Funny, if you turn sound ALL the way up, you can hear Bill's afterburners kick in.

  11. The PLT. I think that could easily be an acronym for something bad. Well, for two bucks more at registration you get a ton of the SAME! I will do ONLY one more of these jokes and then I'm protesting their existance. CHIP TIMING IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!!!!

    Now, on to my race. I was a bit hammered after the efforts at the Amphib. "When was it going to fall away?", that was the question. I started a bit conservatively and was quite concerned about wind on the way back from Steve's intel. By the third section of seven, Craddock already passed me and he wasn't stopping to chat either. He must have been mashing at 70rpms and moving away. I usually equal most of his efforts and then I knew I was in trouble. From that moment I tried to keep him in sight, but my crotch was fumed and I could not stay seated. I gave it my "full-on" the last three miles into the open and was slightly satisfied to see Scott Sheble just in front of me. I ended up 4th out of 16-17 guys, but missed my PB by 17 seconds. This kind of ended about how I figured it would, as my racing VO2 and repeatibility has been really fine, my LT efforts have dropped off. BUT not by a ton. How the heck can guys do both of these really well at a concurrent time? That it can be done, makes me believe. That I can't do it, ticks me right the frick off. I'm taking three complete days off the bike and getting ready for 6 races in 8 days! Two words-"Chamois Cream"

  12. This is the week I've been wating for! 6 races in 8 days. Today the plan for Greg and me was simple. The second lap in, the crew rounded the 180 degree corner wide and hot. Greg hit the curb rim and tumbled several times, but was able to collect his parts and get back into the race a lap or so later.

    We had done a ton of work when needed and on the second to last lap, I crashed out and not allowed to finish. Disappointment-yes. Hurt-little. Totally pissed at much of the stupid riding that perpetuates the cycle. I'll leave it at that. Next time I will show.

    Opps that would be tomorrow. Heal dang you!

  13. Hope all is well. check out the photos. there's some great ones of you n Greg.

  14. State TT-"How well can I recover after a crash?" I was a bit stiff during the 1st few miles of the race and could not tell whether I was going well or not. By feel, I was not doing well, but my 30 second and minute man had not yet found me(after all...I was 3 miles in). Well, by the 6 mile mark, I was caught and by the 12 mile turn around, I was caught again. I knew these two were of the absolute fastest and I could not even pace with them, but for a few moments. I was in real pain in my left shoulder, wrist, hand. Finished strongly pushing my 11 all the way. I wished I had a 10,at times. 6th on the day(thought I'd finish or 9th).

    I watched Robert Garwood on the way back into the heavy winds and learned a very good lesson from his ride. He did not try to get max speed where the wind was most gusty. He would level off in the massive winds and I would start to come back a tad. Then, when the trees blocked the wind or it died down, we would hit max effort again. WHY? Holding speed high and busting it into the wind only pushes you into VO2max. He must keep it at LT to limit losses and then pick up the big gains when drag was lower. I'll be implementing that technique for certain. RECOVERY.

  15. Garwood's method sounds familiar... oh yeah, that's what I do. There is a slight advantage to going a bit harder on hills and into the wind, but not too much harder. When the drag is lower or there is a slight downhill, I still push it up into the LT range instead of letting power fall into Tempo. Seems to work well for me.

  16. Stage 1- Working Man's Classic.

    I'll let the other success stories be told by the BWR guys. For me, frustration. I race because I want to push myself beyond what I think I can do and to impact the race often. That really didn't happen and there are absolutely no factors to blame but me.

    I started on the line about three rows back(probably top third). I knew there was going to be a heap of trouble when the first row clipped in and began to sprint full-on to the 1st turn. In that 5 second delay to get clipped in and up to speed, I was already 30th wheel(and I'm a fast clipper). Jinksy's position to the front is always my benchmark, because he's so darn good at getting there. This time he was beside me and the proceeding 10 laps were single file and the main four teams were really hitting the accel. There was a terrible crash at lap 4 that took down 4-5 riders at 35mph(the sounds of screaming were a bit much for a guy that did the same a year ago here).

    There was so much blocking and accelerating that I felt condemned to the back third of the rapidly dwindling group. I had to take some massive and unsafe risks to push myself up a few riders, but would loose the spots when it got blocked up. Here was the race...single file and 32mph(to move up meant go into the wind and do 40 to move up three spots) or it was so blocked across, you could not move if you wanted to. This went on for 32 miles(that's what my computer read for about the hour).

    At one point(of all places to attack) I used the hill and a long 800+ watt effort to get to and off the front(got a prime), which was completely driven by frustration. It amounted to nothing and again I found myself in purgatory with 5 to go. It seemed that that many were frustrated as well(Jared for one said "Bill, we just don't have big enough teams to kick these guys"). I decided not to sprint for 30th so I coasted in, hoping to release that sprint tonight. I'm really learning "how" to recover. Tonight I am going to try every trick in the book to stay at the front.

    Here are the factors I blame myself for...Too timid to take THAT many risks, obviously not fit enough to stay off the front of that field, and mentally, I unrealistically think I can beat these guys(I'm not backing down on that one!)

  17. Quiet about just how hurt I really am, but I had to
    make a wrist support. Can't pull on the bar. Shall see to ight

  18. Stage 2 WMC

    I hate excuses!!!I must have fallen harder than I thought on Sat. With 13 laps to go my shifter broke and would not down shift. Anyone who's ridden Bryan park kknows that there are 3 different shifting points on course and a total 5 gears used.

    I found myself at netural support with Jack trying to help me get it to work. I got it into the 15 on the back and had to ride that race with that gear. Not a challenger with 140rpms on the back and 60rpm on the front half. Finished peeved once more.

    Side note: Jinksy got to and took a big pull at the front. "My boy is all growed up!" Nice job to the BWR 4/5 team tonight as well!

  19. I am feeling quite tired, but my excitement for tonight is high. I took my broken shifter to Dre this AM and after much rebuilding, we put on my other broken shifter, which seems less broken. Can't wait for the two 130 degree turns. Check out gamjams to see the report. Ken is sitting 6th overall I. The 4/5! Dre, you are great!

  20. Stage 2 WMC

    Tonight is the night. Finally, I put in a ride that I'm proud of. This was the finale of the stage race and there were many party favors to give the racers. Two 130 degree turns that would cause you to break to 15mph and sprint out at 30mph every single lap. Then there was the uphill drag race between the two points. Throw in some of the fastest pro teams and it's a party. There were probably only 55 racers starting this day(this has been faster,larger, and more tactical than last year). I knew that I needed a good start, but with "call-ups", I was plenty far from the front. "Go!" and I'm fighting up to 40th place in a single file line that stayed thin as a Tour rider after stage 18.

    I watch both of Bryan Vaughn's video clips to find where people might be moving up and there were no secrets, you have to go into the wind when it's thin and fast. When things are slowing down, the course gets blocked. I got up to the frontish and fought tooth and nail to even stay there.

    At one point I heard Jinks from the sideline yelling "Bill, move up. You are near the back!" I thought this was impossible, as I am in the middle. Four guys behind me and nobody else is there. Everyone was getting dropped out the back like a toot after a burrito. I finally got off the front into a move and then was countered and got over to that one as well. I'm in a break and then another serious move jumped off our little group and there went the winning break, and all I could do is pant in defense.

    I was fighting for about 30th wheel during the last few laps as the big team's trains were hammering. I was grabbing a spot or two the last laps, but this is where a massive team comes in. I sprinted up into 15-20th and was quite justified with 96 miles of critting in three days.

    Jinks was so impressive this week. He got the 1,2,3 slug and rode faster than I've ever seen. Ken and Jack both were major players in the 4/5 race and I enjoyed watching them every day. As great teammates, they cheered and Jack had drinks for us after the race to hand off. Thanks for those little details! Dre, I shifted 1 out of 3 shifts, so it was a success!!!

  21. Oops Stage 3 that was supposed to say.

  22. Wonderful similes, Mr. Evans! As sharp as Berhnard Kohl's doping needles! Sounds like you had a great set of races, and you survived with all your bones intact! See you tomorrow at the HAMmerfest!

  23. Two-Man TT or not to be...That was the question. Yesterday's Smithfield TTT was the end of a very tense block of racing. I was quite anxious about letting Steve down, as I had just had my legs ripped off by a man eating Harley, whilst wearing a pair of Mountain Kakis. The legs were great as I found out. I am the biggest proponent of compression tights and the hot/cold combo shower.

    As to the race, we had several things standing in the way. No good warm-up, Steve probably has broken ribs, my "cooch" was torn(like packages on Christmas morning), and finally, Steve was looking at this as a TT and I as a two-man breakaway. That little nuance had an impact on our less-than-stellar ride. I tried hard not to pull through too quickly, but it still was too fast. To do it all again, I would have liked to practice several different methods to see what worked best for us. Getting a draft at all in a TT completely drops power output, so it is a unique senerio.

    It seems that the longer the pulls(2-3minutes) the closer to a TT effort. Jordan's normalized power(basic avg) was stable by going up in power on the pulls a bit above the NP and a bit below on the draft. That worked great for his and Jack's win, but the problem is the differences in recovery between the riders. My recovery is at its absolute quickest point in the season right now.Therefore, I was dropping into mid tempo too quickly in the draft and coming back to the front ready to kill(unfortunately that would be Steve). Long or short, we'll have to see what's best. The winners were taking 20 sec. pulls and rotating probably like a break, as neither are massive TT gods usually. I did find the 3rd brake very useful(8-10 applications). This race was all about doing something fun. Getting the chance to ride with my great friend Steve is always that.

    I hope they continue to do this event Great job to Jordan and Jack for yet another BikeWorks Racing victory!

  24. After a day off the bike, I was simply ready to go out for a nice SLOW and long E ride. Jinksy was happy to come down and we set off on a 3.5hour easy ride with beautiful weather, no traffic, and a good food stop at Rozelle Store! I had a great time!!!