Hey I'm back!
The last couple weeks have been pretty crazy at work. My team has been working on deploying a project that allows contract manufacturers to program units that we'd normally build here on-site. Getting all the network and remote logistics worked out has been pretty time consuming.
As for racing, I wanted to get out to Ontario last Sunday (5/20), but that never happened due to me needing to be at work to migrate some code to production.
This weekend (Memorial Day long weekend here in the States), there are actually races going Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so there's going to be no shortage of action.
On Saturday I headed up to Dana Point (about 50 miles north of San Diego) for the inaugural Dana Point Crit. Wow, this was a very challenging race! The biggest challenges being the course (check it out here) and the field. The course was a figure eight, just like Bario Logan; however, it was a lot tougher for a number of reasons:
1. One of the streets used was actually an alley, so it was pretty narrow (
2. At the end of the alley you had to make a 90 degree right. No big deal there; however, when there's a storm curb at the entrance back onto the roadway, it makes things pretty tough. Basically as you shot out of the alley, you needed to immediately turn right while going through the dip of the curb.
3. The start/finish was basically immediately after turn 8. You came blasting down Santa Clara street, made an incredibly fast right turn onto Old Golden Lantern (yes there is a Green Lantern street in Dana Point) and the finish was right there.
It's been a few weeks since I've raced so I was a little uncertain as to how things were going to go. The field was pretty large, about 75 guys and there were some pretty strong riders in the field. In general I felt pretty good for most of the race. Having not raced for a little while, my pack riding skills weren't the best. I often found myself with large spaces in front of me, which was due to not being able to keep up with the surges and stay on people's wheels.
Because I was having a hard time staying with all the surges going on near the front/middle of the pack, I settled in near the rear where things were a lot smoother. In allowing this to happen I made a deal with myself that come the end of the race I was going to be willing to fight my way back to the front.
The race was 45 minutes in duration, so I tried to settle in, take things smooth and not burn too much energy. When the 5 laps to go card came out I was still near the back. With 3 laps to go I really started to crank things up and was able to push my way all the way to the front. With 1.5 laps to go I was in second, feeling pretty reasonable for having just done a couple minutes of hard work to get to the front. My legs were a little tired, but nothing too bad. Going into the last lap the guy I was behind started to tire. Unfortunately I did a poor job of being alert to this and getting around him. Before I could react, a few guys had shot up the inside of the course and jumped away from me. I fought hard to catch up, but from there it was simply a matter of trying to hold on as best I could. In the end I finished 8th.
I was pretty happy with the result on the day. I managed to ride a race based upon what I was capable of doing on the day. In the end I'd like to have finished top 5, but I'll take 8th.
On Monday I'll be headed up to Long Beach for a crit. Hopefully the hard work from Saturday will pay off with some better pack riding and a top 5.