06 Feb OVCX Pre-Worlds Cincinnati Kings Cross
After pulling the plug on the boycott, the idea of riding master’s world championship with no race fitness sounded like an interesting experience. I am not accustom to sitting on a start line being unprepared, in other words, I am always trying to win or have a teammate win any race I line up for. This was going to be a whole new ball game, for sure a dose of humility, which is never a bad thing.
How about I start with the cliff note training system I used to become razor sharp, during the two week training window! My last race was the Friday night golf farm CX event and since then, have been riding twice a week with one or two 3 mile runs mixed in. That is correct, I started running, hoping to join my daughter on her rest days. This meant I would have to run at 7:45 pace, easy for runners, not for me. Then Sunday I would ride with Bob 3-4+ hours on our CX bikes, base mileage only for these long rides. Long is easy, fast not so much.
The first training ride it is 1 hour to reach my 4 minute interval section of the millennium trail. The wind is awesome, 15-20 mph, mid 30’s F. I am able to do 2 – 4 minute efforts using a huge amount of mind power, since my body is not happy with zone SICK’s! 2.5 hour ride with about 15 minutes of work, I totally suck.
Next day it is 30 F with similar wind as yesterday. I ask Heidi if she will spoon feed me, she agrees. She meets me at my secret motor pace loop and starts the speed torture. This was one of the craziest things I have done on my bike, but if I wanted any chance to be somewhat competitive, it will be the motor that might whip me into some level of sharp.
The following weekend I was going with my daughter and Heidi to visit University of Missouri, Aka Mizzou.
They have been watching Rachel and like what they see as a distance runner, so it is an official visit, which means the hotel and most of the food is on them, nice. I am sure that the cost of going will easily cove a few hundred bucks in hotel bills.
While I am in Columbia, I have the pleasure of doing a gravel road ride with a local club that is connected to a shop that sells Enzo’s. CycleXtreme is the name of the shop, and Mike Morgan was the man giving me all the details about the many rides they had to go on. Turns out we rode for 3.5 hours, 4000 ft of climbing. Speed work would have been better race training, but this was a ton of fun. I am happy I went on this group ride.
Bad weather forces me to train indoors during the week and i am less that excited about my progress, I feel like crap, which is not building confidence.
Thursday evening, time to rest but I have to pack the TDI to the gills with Enzo’s schwag for Louisville. I leave Friday AM for Cincinniti and racing Saturday 11:30. Friday 4:45 am I wake up to a snow storm so driving is slow until 65 south in Indiana. There are many sections where cars are flying off the road. I get a little adrenalin surge every time I see someone sliding in circles at 70 mph, laughter. This can not be good for recovery. I make it to the King’s Cross course and find my host, John Gatch, who is setting up the tent system for OVCX.
John Gatch runs the Gun Club Cross race for the Ohio CX Series, a classic event where they start every race with a shot gun Blast! There are other cool touches I could talk about but this is a race everyone should go to once to see for themselves, it is worth the trip. I pre-ride the course doing 5 laps with only 1/2 of a medium hot lap. The snow and frozen ground are putting my rusty CX skills to the test, if you do not use it, you loose it! I still have little confidence going into my first race of the season. John and I head back to the house hanging out with his wife Jeri, and meeting the kids. John has a great family, I had a fun time getting to know them better. Thanks for the awesome dinners John.
Saturday AM we head off to the race course early. John has to set up the PA system and take care of a few other responsibilities. The course is exactly the same as it was during the pre-ride so I know what tire pressure I will be going with, 21 front, 21.5 rear, Clement PDX’s. The Limus would be the best tire today but I want to save those for Louisville. The race is a 40+ 50+ combo and the call ups will be according to the current USAC rankings. Check this out, I raced the Sun Prairie USGP and won, and my USAC ranking was # 1 for the 55-59 age group, now I am ranked 106th, how does that happen? Nestor was way smarter than I ever new, he tried to clean up the USAC good old boys club years ago, but that is another story. The real fun is starting in the forth row. I will have to wait a while before hitting the gas, the last thing I want to do is crash since this speedwork/ training for Louisville.
I am curious to see what I have in the tank. I am sure it is not great and hope I am wrong. The whistle goes off and I see John Gatch, Mike McShane, John Card and a few others riding away in the front. I am sitting in a line of guys going crazy slow, well my HR is mid zone 3, so I hope this is not are not their race pace. I try to remember I am ranked 106th and this is where I belong, according to USAC.
The race opens a little and I am feeling great, which may have something to do with the grandma’s pace. I slowly increasing the speed and start passing people. Now I have bridged up to Bob Downs and decide to sit on his wheel. Bob is the newly crowned 55-50 National CX champion, so I am curious to see what he is going to do. We are entering the camels hump, a nice 30 second 6% up hill followed by two technical off camber sections, then a fast down hill. Guys are off their bikes sliding sideways, a hole opens up and I ride like I have been racing all season, grab two gears, increase the cadence and pass about 10 guys. I peek back to see I have gained about 5 second advantage. OK gas on full and lets see how this goes. I spend the next 5 laps picking off a guy hear and there, being caught by none. With two laps to go I see Bob and 3 others chasing hard. They are slowly closing the 30 second gap I established. Being solo in the wind while going race pace is wearing on me. With only one lap to go, I am slowing down, crap. They bridge with 1/2 a lap to race, I get on the back of the group gaining a draft, freakin feels good back here. They attack on the long climb and I am spit off at the top. They put 30 seconds on me in 1/4 lap.
All in all I am happy, I felt OK, going fairly fast for 30 minutes. The Kings CX course is awesome, similar to the New years resolution course, with more elevation change, which makes it a little better.
There will be more post soon, The Elite racing in Cincy, Georgia Gould making me laugh, Louisville qualifying heat races, Master’s world championship final, Red River Gorge hiking, and the Elite Worlds racing/party.
Thank you to John Gatch and family for allowing me to stay with them. To OVCX for the awesome treatment, race, parking and other considerations. Also a big thanks to the Schneider family for the support, Psimet Custom CX wheels, Trek Bikes, SRAM, and Barrington Village CycleSport.
Happy and safe training,