Even after all this time, I am still amazed at how seemingly similar situations on a bicycle can stimulate so many unique feelings. Racing road bikes. A whole other world. Out of my comfort zone. I am 114 miles in for the day and have been up since 5am, so here’s the quick summary:
Riding out and time trial
The randonuer crew, Dan and Michael, were at our place at 515am ready to escort us (how lucky are we?) the 40 miles to Leo Carillo Park on PCH at Mulholland. If riding cross town could always be like it is at 530am…Anyway, after meeting up with Brian and Alec at the world famous Ocean/San Vicente cycling meet-up point we rolled up six deep. First oddity: In between every other parked vehicle was a cyclist on rollers warming up. What a strange sight. The first stage was a four-mile uphill time trial. Individual starts 30 seconds apart, no drafting. I was out of breath 100 yards up. The climb wasn’t all up, so there was time to recover. Fucking hell this was hard! Passed two people, finished tied for 17th out of 50. Jack got 6th and Brian had some confusion regarding his time, so we don’t know.
Riding out to and riding stage two
Due to some confusion with our shit (was cold to start so we had tights, gloves, etc), we rode back down to the start, got our stuff, then road back up and over the Santa Monica mountains on Mulholland the 20 miles to the Circuit race. This is a closed, two mile loop with tight turns. The time, not the distance is set. When time is almost up they tell you, ‘two laps left’. Anything can happen. Category-V, known as public or newbie, is what we are racing in. This particular race had multiple Cat-V groups (over 40, first-timer, etc), we raced in the ‘experienced’ one, though it was still filled with some sketchy riders. It would speed up, slow down, get wide, completely switch up, all at 20-30 MPH. We were trying to work as a team, but would get blocked out. Jack went for the lap-2 time bonus (10 seconds off), but went out solo super early and was caught at the line. It was a dope attempt. The whole last lap we tried to get lined up, but it wasn’t happening. Brian kept pulling the entire group. I tried anyway to get him and Jack set up for the final sprint. From about 8 or 9 deep I popped out to the left and hammered, just before a slight incline. They couldn’t get on my wheel and I ended up pulling out some other people. I held on best I could, but by the time it all unfolded, about 100 yards from the finish, I was spent. Finished 9th or something, but in the pack. Everyone in the pack, except 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, gets the same time.
Jack is sitting about 40 seconds off the leader, myself about 1:22. Tomorrow is the 22-mile road race, which includes a big climb. We are stoked.
Rode home 35 miles, real slow like. Stopped and ate burritos. Talked tactics the whole way. Dope.