May 11, 2009

Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain is my first real, hard race of the year. I've done three Prospect races and a TT, but Bear is the first show all your cards, leave it all on the road type of race. I think its good training for the Giro di Jersey. The 4 race is four loops in Harriman Park with quite a bit of climbing; mostly short stair steps, but it adds up quick.

I drove up with Craig, who was also doing the cat 4 race (but a different cat 4 race only for people older than 37, wtf?). We got ready and did a little recon of the course. The initial descent was fast and the following climb was tough. The finish looked good, though, and if I could last that long it fit me well.

Well, the race was... hard. I played by strategy well. I was near the front for the first two laps, avoiding getting gapped on the climbs and any of the cat 4 carnage in the turns. The climb was hard for me, but the flats and downhill went well and I could recover again. The third time up the climb, I looked back and saw the field that was previously 100 strong was reduced to 30 riders. Just after that, my legs cramped pretty bad as we crested the hill and the lake came into view. Not get off the bike in agony bad, but every muscle in my legs staged a tiny rebellion. From there I just rolled along and caught a draft from whoever I could stay with. We almost caught back on the cat 4 group at the end of lap 3, but my legs didn't have it on the last little rise to the finish line. I was pretty wrecked by the end of four laps. No matter how much I ate or drank I just couldn't recover. I guess I need a race like that to start out each year.

Props to Craig and Robin. Craig got third place in the older cat 4s and Robin got a top ten in the 3/4 women. I definitely felt the extra weight I carry in that race. I'm not sure if someone who weighs 180 pounds will ever be competitive with that much climbing.

Maybe I need some lighter wheels....

Here I am trying to hide behind the next biggest guy in the race. Amazingly the yellow and black guy from BVF finished at the front.

I think I'm getting dropped here.

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