Monday, June 29, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
But first we had a couple of days to play around in Boise. One day I rode up to the Bogus Basin ski area outside of town. How cool is it that there is a nice ski area 20 miles from down town?! It is a great climb from Boise (2500') to the ski area at 6100' in 16 miles. We found a road that went up to some condo's at 6600' and while we were up there I got off to take a few pictures. While I was taking pictures a bird approached me and I snapped a few photos of it. But then it snapped at my hand and I decided that was enough. As I walked away it chased after me and started nipping at my heels! I had to move quickly and put my bike between myself and this bird that was second in viciousness only to the Rabbit of Caerbannog!
Turns out it was a Blue Grouse and they are known for this type of behavior.
Here is a picture of the foul creature.
Harlan risking his life to get a better look.
Finally, the brazen bird inspecting my power numbers for the climb. Not very approvingly, I might add...
The triathlon was fun. Harlan and I had a good time watching the various methods of exiting T1. Kitty had a good race even though it rained for most of the bike and all of the run. Local triathlete and some time bike racer Chris Lieto had a 5+ minute lead off the bike but got run down and caught by Ironman world champion Craig Alexander in the last TWENTY METERS! Here's a good photo sequence of the finish.
Finally on Sunday was the road race. It rained all night, but with a 10:50am start (yeah!) it was mostly clear and dry for my race. I raced in the Pro/1/2 race. I was the last pre-reg rider (literally 30 minutes before the deadline) and I was number 11... I hoped that like Nor-Cal we'd get a bunch of guys registering the day of, but no cigar. And one guy didn't show up so 10 of us started our 80 mile race. Half of the field was made up of riders from the Bob's Bicycles team. That and the fact that a couple of them did well in the pro race at Mount Hood made them the team to watch.
Sure enough after about two miles the Bob's guys started attacking. I didn't want any part of that and tried to just follow wheels until a small group got away and it looked like the Bob's guys would be happy to let it go, then I would try to bridge across. I made one bridge but they sat up. About 6 miles in I made a second bridge to a group of four (two Bob's) and that was the break of the day. One more Bob's guy bridged up and we were off to the races.
At first, the last Bob's guy to bridge didn't pull. He did this long enough that one of the other "non Bob's" stopped pulling. That was good enough for me so I stopped. Finally one of them asked us to work and I gave the "we'd love to work, but with half of the break all of your guys need to pull through" speech. It worked and we spent the next 1.5 hours rotating through at about 25mph average.
We lost one guy (non Bob) on the feed hill and with THIRTY MILES TO GO the Bob's riders started attacking! After a few attacks I asked them "do you really want to start the fun and games with 30 miles to go?" It turns out that the other non Bob's rider is the defending champion and any time he got with one of the Bob's riders they would shut it down. In retrospect it looked like the only combination that they would let go was a Bob's only break or me and one or more Bob's. Since I was out of state I couldn't be the state champion so win or lose Bob's would get the jersey. I countered one of the attacks and got a Bob's rider as escort. I pulled for a long time and then up the feed hill to establish the gap and then got him to start working with me.
So, 25 miles to go and it's safe to say we were not going to get caught. Which in a sense is kind of what happened... But first a quick bit of info. The course was a really nice course on good country roads, but it was a confusing one! See this map. Maybe 5 miles into our break away we came to an intersection. A group of 3's was up ahead and their lead moto had them turn left. It was confusing whether the moto was our or theirs. When we got to the intersection, the moto was pointing left, but the painted markings had the p/1/2's going straight. I asked my companion (remember, he's a local guy!) and he said straight. The wheel car followed us so I figured we were okay. After what was at least a half mile the motorcycle came up and told us that all of the groups needed to turn left back there! I guess the markings were for one of our previous loops and I made a big mistake in accepting the "local knowledge". We turned around and ran into another Bob's rider who was also off course. I kept riding urgently and those two sat up or something because I never saw them again.
After a a few miles I caught sight of a couple of guys up ahead and was able to clock them at a bit over 1 minute. I was slowly gaining on them, but didn't have much hope of catching them before the end and in fact was at least as concerned about getting caught from behind.
Into the last 10 miles or so I almost got hit head on by one of the riders I was chasing as he made a right turn in my direction and used the whole road. He actually passed on my right! I saw a rider behind him and thought "holy crap! They're going the wrong way too! I'm back in the lead!" About .5 miles later though I realized that they had just been finishing a lower case 'q' shaped loop as I made the same turn.
Coming up the last hill I saw a couple of riders who told me that there were two pro/1/2 guys ahead and one of them was only about 10 seconds ahead. Just a bit later I caught this rider who it turns out was the defending champion, Brandon Akers (non-Bob). Bob's rider, Chris Stuart was about 30 seconds ahead with about 4 miles to go. We did not catch Chris and Brandon and I came to the sprint together.
I had scouted the sprint out before hand and knew the finish. I ended up on the front with 500m to go and tried to use the "razor". I noticed that the wind was from the right so I stayed close to the center line. After slowly building I jumped with 200m to go, just as Brandon was jumping. He was trying to come up on my left and could have easily (and legally) shut the door on him, but I just couldn't make myself do it and he was able to come around just at the end for 2nd. You know what they say about nice guys... :-)
All in all, it was a great trip. Boise was fun and the race, even with our mis-adventure was a fun and well run race.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
The name tells it all, this race usually has some of the best prizes and some races you can win some nice cold hard CASH! However, the junior race was not one of these races with a “dash for cash” prime.
Since the race was a 10/12, 13/14, and 15/16 it was only Marcus, James, Chris, and myself (Joel was coming later in the day to do the p/1/2/3 race.) Our race was 35 minutes long, and although the field was not as big as other races this year, there was still some fast riders like Joseph Christiansen (Rocket Sports) Gento Kusano (San Jose Bicycle Club) and Ryan Gadow (Teni Duro.) In the beginning of the race all of us focused on attacking and counter attacking. Marcus was able to roll of the front and got a gap of about a 1/4 of a lap. This left James, Chris and myself to control the pack and to make sure that no one could bridge with out us. When we knew that Marcus had a good gap, I went to the very back of the group and on the back side I went to the other side of the road and attacked hard. I was able to get away and bridge up to Marcus, who lapped the leading 13/14, Dylan Durmmand. After a couple of laps we heard that James was on his way up to us by him self. He was able to get up to us
with one lap to go. All of us did a pull and I was first through the last turn and as we came out of the last turn, Marcus pulled through, but I thought he was starting to sprint so I then started to sprint. Marcus had a very small lead on me and I knew I had to have a good bike throw, but as we crossed the line, Marcus threw his bike too! Below is a photo of the finish, which wheel is the winner?
I ended up nipping Marcus at the line. James came in 3rd, he wanted to do well in the 3's, and Chris was second in the pack sprint.
In the 3's James placed 2nd, Marcus was in the middle of the pack and myself in the back. We all stayed safe and James got some upgrade points. Then Marcus and Joel did the p/1/2/3 race along with Larry, Steve, and Dean at the end of the day.