Monday, March 22, 2010

March Madness!

First Tuesday Night Worlds and Wednesday Night Hill Ride's in the books last week. Some crazy weather this past week for sure. Rode for the first time in shorts-sleeves on Thursday, then the blizzard on Saturday, and back to a beautifull Spring day today. Last Tuesday's Crit #1 was a rather brisk. Small group but definately quality over quantity. Pace started really quick. Everybody seemed to want to get warmed up in a hurry. Group stayed together with nothing getting too organized to go off the front. After a little pause in the speed around the mid-way point, things got heated up. I hadn't done anything to this point. Things started to really wind up with about 15min to go. I got to the front and hovered around the top five for what seemed like an eternity. It was fast (for me anyway) with Shadd Smith, Adam Mills, Andy Coacha, and a couple others periodically taking turns tightening the screws. I got extremely lucky in following the right wheels. All kinds of carnage was happening behind me us , but I was too focused just trying to hang on. A think the group split a few times behind but seemed to come back together. I never had to take one pull at the front, and probably couldn't have if I had to. Right around the time i'd get to 4th or 3rd, 1 or 2 guys would lauch up the side and string it back out. I'd get lucky again, be on the right wheel, and slot back into 4th or 5th, completely wound out. This happened a lot in the closing laps. I managed to hang in till the bell lap. Legs were in no way up for a sprint so I peeled off coming out of turn 4 and got out of the way. Considering I hadn't seen any leg speed like that since the last Tuesday nite crit last year, I was happy with the way it went. New bike worked like a dream. Nice to have 100% dialed shifting for a change. I found myself shift more often. Wednesday was the first of the Wednesday Night Hill rides. Weather warmed up a bit. Small group. First time up Lawrence Hill is always a shock. I don't do this hill on any other training rides, so i'd sorta forgot about it. Pace was good but controlled up the first few steps. This climb gets harder as you get towards the top. Mark Cole was riding well and was really putting it down. I stayed on him over the the last and steepest pitch right over the top and along the flat top section before dropping back to Midland. Legs were definately burning. Groupo compacto at the lights then onto Renner. Matt Dutcher and teammate Joe Houston set the pace at the bottom and up to the creek crossing, I came around Joe and onto Matt's wheel. It was an all-or-nothing deal by this point so I just had to stand up and go. Legs haven't burned like that since I don't know when. Managed to hang on over the top, Matt right behind me, then a good gap back to the rest. Cruised along Renner and the group was back together by the light at 87th. This was pretty much the end of the ride for me since I turn right at Praire Star and the group is turning left. Some last-minute speed work on Renner through the round-a-bouts and that was it. I'm guessing this weeks Tuesday and Wednesday night rides will be bigger groups and harder.