I raced Bike Monkey’s Tuesday Night Twilight series for the second time. I missed a few races while recovering from pneumonia, which I had during my first race but didn’t know about. I had a fun time, was smarter with my exertions, and finished a very close second place at 31.5mph and 766W!
- Duration: 30 mins
- Speed: 22.9mph avg, 31.5mph max
- Heartrate: 174bpm avg, 196bpm max
- Est Avg Power: 255W
The weather was nice, about 70F, with some gusty wind blowing right into our faces down the start/finish straightaway. It definitely helped to be tucked in behind someone and I spent a good portion of the race hiding behind another large rider. It’s no fun to be 6’1″ hiding from the wind behind 5’8″ tiny riders!
We didn’t have many folks in our heat, maybe 10-12 riders, but on the second or third lap another huge group joined us. I think they let the juniors and women jump into our group to get more experience. Didn’t bother me, but I had a bit of a scare when a 12-yr old bumped up against my bars trying to get onto the wheel in front of me. Dude, this isn’t your race and we still have 27 minutes of riding left!
The first four laps were mellow, 22-23mph averages, and after the bar bumping I was a lot more careful about others around me. There were lots of glances around from the contenders, but sometimes I wasn’t sure if someone surging forward was even in our race.
Lap 5 was fast at 25.5mph avg and was the first preme. Eric Blackburn, the cat4 points leader, got a small gap before the last corner and I pushed enough to keep him honest without burning myself out. Eric picked up the preme and rejoined immediately.
The next few laps were cat and mouse. Small surges, little effort to bring back escapes, but little commitment from the breakaways to actually get away. I rode in and around 3rd to 5th place to keep my eye on folks going off the front. There were some team tactics evident from Eric’s teammate, who would sit on the front of the pack and gradually slow as Eric would see if anyone was going to chase.
The 9th lap was the second preme and I didn’t put in any effort. I’m not sure who picked it up, but Eric attacked right afterwards on the 4th lap to go – which I think is a great move – and pulled a small gap. A Red Peloton rider and myself pulled him back over the next two laps (11th lap was fast again at 26.1mph avg).
Once we caught Eric he sat up and we meandered along looking at each other. Some of the pack rejoined and two groups, one led by Eric, launched off again. This being my second rodeo, I latched onto Eric’s wheel and we finished a relatively slow second-last lap.
The attacks started hard on the last lap and I pushed. I found myself in the lead once or twice but was quickly passed by folks burning matches too early. Around the last corner I was third, jumped into second quickly, and Eric and I sprinted almost the entire start/finish straight.
It was tough, I’m not sure how much faster I could have gone, but we topped out at 31.5mph on a long quarter-mile sprint. I came around beside Eric but didn’t have enough leg speed to pass him. We were less than a wheel width apart at the finish line. I think third place was fairly far back.
I won a loaf of bread and a set of full-fingered leather ElevenGear gloves. Next time I’m looking for the win.
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