Monday, May 23, 2005

Does this seem strange to you?

Today I rode to work and left my laptop at home, but connected to work via VPN. So, I'm sitting here at my desk using a remote desktop client to use the laptop sitting in my office back home. Why am I here?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Wenatche State Omnium Championships

The Wenatche stage race is a bit different than most races. The key hint here is the word "Omnium" in the title. In most other stage races, your time for each stage is added together and the person with the lowest time wins (I'm oversimplifying since there are time bonuses and other stuff). An omnium, on the other hand, is points based. The top 10 or 15 finishing positions (it depends) are awarded points. The person with the most points wins.

The points system can change strategy quite a bit. In a timed event, if a group of racers crosses the finish line together they are all given the same finishing time, with the first few positions being given small time bonuses. This means you can finish a race in a large group and it won't really impact your overall ranking. In an omnnium, every position counts and if you don't have points you don't have a ranking.

Stage 1: 9 mile individual time trial

Nice course with rolling hills. About 23 minutes of suffering gave me a 16th result. 0 points.

Stage 2: 30 minute criterium

Was going well until the last half of the last lap when there was a crash in front of me and I barely missed going over the bars myself. 0 points.

Stage 3: Road race

I love the road race at Wenatche for its epic climb. I've been climbing well lately so I was hoping for a good result. The race started with a loop on the time trial course, giving us a nice warmup and then headed into the mountains for a 12 mile climb. The climb quickly shredded the field and by the midpoint I found myself among a select few at the front chasing down an early breakaway.

We caught the break at the summit and started the long descent. Of course, on queue it started to rain immediately as we started descending. Flying down twisty, wet mountain roads at 50mph was one of the scarier descent I have done, but we made it down in one piece for a flat run to the finish line. There were only a handful of us at the front for the run in to the finish and I ended up with an 8th place finish, giving me enough points for a 13th place overall result.

The crit and TT could have gone better, but I was really happy with my performance in the road race. If I had a better sprint I probably could have picked up a few more positions. Oh well.. pics can be found here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Lake Sammamish Trail

I was thrilled to open the local paper (err, local paper's website) this morning and see this article. Yep, it looks like the Lake Sammamish Trail is finally going to happen! I'm thrilled.

When this is completed I'll be able to ride from downtown Seattle to my house and only touch a few miles of road over a total of almost 40 miles. Unfortunately the first version of the trail will be gravel, meaning I'll still be riding on the road for some time to come.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Masters State Championships

On Sunday, my team co-hosted the Masters and Juniors state championship road race. My primary role was to offer any help I could in supporting to race, but I got the opportunity to compete as well.

My first activity of the day was to act as a corner marshall for the morning races. This basically involves standing around somewhere on the course and closing corners to traffic when the race comes through. Pretty uninteresting work, but it's amazing how irritated some people can get when you stop them for a minute to prevent them from running over some 15 year old kid on a bike. Don't get me started...

While I was manning my corner I got the word that I'd be able to race. I rushed back, changed and jumped into the back of the lineup with absolutely no warmup. Given how little prep time I had, I wasn't expecting much out of the race. I was hoping for a nice ride on Sunday afternoon. Yeah, right.

The course was a 10ish mile loop with 2 climbs. We did 4 laps for a total of 42 miles and, do the math with me, 8 climbs. When I saw the first climb approach it looked like a wall, but on the way up I found myself passing groups of people without too much effort. On the second climb, even more. By the time we completed the first lap, I was up front. I managed to stay up front for the remainder of the race.

About half way through the last lap, the pace picked up and everyone started jockeying for position. I held my place up front and ended up finished with the group in the final sprint. I think I let a few positions slide because I don't take as many risks as others in the closing miles. The lesson here is that I need to defend my position better until the very end unless I'm willing to take those risks.
Washington Masters State Championships