Friday, January 30, 2009

Mountain Biking, Crit Practice, and Speedway Races

Yesterday I got in about 50 miles total, between my mountain biking class and crit practice in the evening.

Class was enjoyable. I got kind of a late start, so was hammering pretty hard on the way out there. Part way I caught up with Matt Howe. We rode the rest of the way together. I don't know how hard he was pushing, but I didn't have trouble keeping up with him, which was encouraging even if he was loafing, because he's pretty much crazy strong.

Matt timed how long we were actually riding in class, and it came out to be 15 minutes. Yeah, 15 minutes out of a nearly two hour class we actually spent riding. WTF. Ah well.

The way back was much of the same - kept up with Matt no problem. I hate climbing hills on my mtb because the position just plain sucks for developing power. I've found that if I bend forward I get my butt muscles engaged a little more and that helps.

Later we had our first scheduled Thursday night crit practice. I was joined by Evan Halladay (Cat. A) and Walker (who will probably be racing C's with me for a while). After warming up for a bit, we did 5 laps hard, 4 easy. I only stayed for two sets because I had been out there since 6:30 and I needed some real food.

The first set was pretty rough for me - it took a while for my "instincts" to come back. I've spent so long riding with people in a non-race setting gaps kept opening up a lot faster than I was closing them. Evan, of course, put the hurt on me pretty bad a couple of times. But both sets I did I had something left to sprint for the line, which was encouraging to see. I can definitely feel my high end aerobic developing every time I ride.

The second set I locked onto Evan's wheel and let him pull for 3 of the laps. Then Walker blasted past and I jumped onto him and followed him to the line. I beat him in the sprint - I feel we're pretty equally matched. This wasn't the best workout, but for me it was more important to re-hone my crit skills.

During the 4 easy, I learned there was a speedway race tomorrow. Evan encouraged me to do it, so I've decided I will. It will be a good gauge of my early season fitness compared to other cat 5 and 4 racers.

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