Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cascade Cycling Classic: The Rest of the Story...

With apologies to Mr. Paul Harvey about the title....

Friday's stage was the trip around Mt Bachelor. About 70 miles, brutal climb at the end.

At least I call it a brutal climb. The racers all said, "it wasn't bad at all."

Sigh. It was plenty bad during my first triathlon.

At the start, I caught a glimpse of the wonderfully huge Mt Bachelor Sports Education Foundation van; the same one I've rented for our team entry in the Hood to Coast Relay.

Hood to Coast is 200 miles, 12 runners, straight through the night. Experience dictates that a larger vehicle is much desired over a mini-van. A few more bucks, but this sucker has 4 bench seats behind the driver. If I'm going to run 6 miles 3 times in 30 hours, I'd like to stretch out a bit in between.

We hosted a great rider from Boulder, Dr. Julie Emmerman. A sports psychologist with a growing practice, and she still has time to train as a pro rider. No grass growing under her feet. She spent the first 30 miles of the Cascade Lakes stage chasing down every breakaway, with no team support at all; she was racing unattached. Very hard to succeed in bike racing when going solo.

Saturday: oy vey. First it was 3500m in the pool with my master's swim club, that's over 2 miles. Then a nap, then meet Kristen downtown for the criterium. Zoe and I played Sherpa so racer Julie could ride the bike to the course; we carried the backpack and stationary trainer to the library entrance, where we met Julie in a nice shady spot near the book return. She set up the trainer and did a brisk 45-minute warm-up.

Saw the pace car gunning the engine before the race.

Nice enough, but I prefer a different kind of wheels.

A total of 7 bikes in our garage this week, very cool. The 416 and the other white one are Julie's, complete with pro-level components. I couldn't stop drooling; serious cycle envy.

Julie does some support work for Garmin Cervelo, the guys who just won the team competition in the Tour de France. That's big-time.

Our rider woke this morning very tired, what with Mackenzie Pass, the Cascade Highway, and two time trials already behind her. She figured on simply sitting inside the pack today and not doing much work.

Sure, it always turns out as planned. Except for most of the time when it doesn't. She was doing fine in the crit until all of a sudden, she's several hundred yards behind the pack. Not from fatigue; she got trapped behind a crash and was gapped in a hurry. She ended up in a small group but was doing most of the work.

Afterward, she said she felt fine, even while doing the majority of pulling to regain contact. "That's racing," she shrugged.

Meanwhile, Ed from Pisano's was out practicing his craft.

And MBSEF gave all drivers and volunteers free entree to their VIP viewing area, where we could watch the race and nosh. We were right in front of a pothole that the city graciously marked with orange paint, so that 200 racers going 30 mph would easily be able to avoid it. Uh, Mr. Mayor, it didn't work; there were at least a dozen flats from direct hits. A little asphalt patch might have been in order.

Next day, last day. My warm-up was a 3.5 hr cycling ride of my own, out the Powell Butte Hwy east of town. Bachelor, the Sisters, Broken Top, Black Butte, all clearly visible on the horizon. We members of the triathlon club decided on the spot that this road needed to be the bike course for Ironman Central Oregon 2013.

Then it's back to the bike race and driving the final stage, all 67 miles worth. That's 6.5 hrs in the saddle or the car seat today. In competition for the IronButt award, I had no peer this day.

Julie rode tough, stayed solidly in the pack, and finished 28th on the day, a nice finish to a hard week. The next day, we took her to lunch and convinced the non-beer-drinker to try a sample of Black Butte Porter. Not sure we converted her, but at least she didn't go all anaphylactic on us.

Great week, and a busy one. With 21 days until my half ironman, it's time to cut back on all extra-curriculars and finish peaking. But I'm already thinking about trying out a real bike race someday.  

No comments:

Post a Comment