Sunday, April 29, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I spent the day yesterday with Mike at Boston Outpatient Surgical Suites - a very nice facility with an awesome and friendly staff. Mike tore his meniscus in the right knee, so he went in for arthroscopic surgery not to fix the tear, but to cut out the damaged pieces. So far, he is being a good patient, and is recovering relatively pain free. We'll see how he's doing after a week of recuperating ;-).
The weather is more spring-like this week - cooler temps and a little bit of rain. I have to say I don't mind, because the result is the awesome display of color in my just coming alive spring garden.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Turtle Pond, Loudon, NH
Saturday, June 21
3 laps, 35 miles
This was a HARD race. From the start, we immediately had to climb a nasty grade to where the finish line would be. In typical Cathy fashion, I went off the front of the group, and crested the hill first thinking that I would be able to recover once we started back down. Of course, this backfired (it always does), and once I was on the front, I had a hard time getting back into the group, and out of the wind. Myself and a couple of International Bicycle Center riders did most of the pulling on the first lap, where the entire back half was into a headwind.
I did attempt an attack from the group on this lap as well. Brooke (the NEBC Elite Women's team director) had spent a good deal of time explaining to me the mechanics of attacking. I did exactly as she said - went out from the middle of the pack on a slight hill to see if I could get a gap. I did for a couple of minutes, but the field quickly brought me back. It was a good tactic for me to practice, though.
On the second climb up the hill, I was tired and couldn't keep the pace with the climbers. I have said before, and will say again that I am not a climber, nor have I ever played one on TV. I did manage to connect with two other riders (and soon a fourth), and we all worked together for the second lap (one of them did CALL me a climber, but I told her she was mistaken ;-)).
I managed to climb the hill the third time ok, and Mike yelled that I was in 8th place. I felt that was pretty good, but also knew that we wouldn't catch the leaders of the race. We did catch another woman who ended up working with us for the final lap of the race. She definitely had something left on the final climb though - as I tried to match her, I was unable to, and finished behind her, but ahead of my other two compatriots for a 9th place finish.
This was my best RR placing to date, so I was really excited! Especially since the other two women in my group were about 1/2 my age - both collegiate racers. It definitely helped to have Mike and others cheering as I climbed that blasted hill, too - thanks! The rest of the team was also successful, and met their stated goals. Congrats to Libby, Teri, Loraine and Zoe for a great showing in what was the first race of the season for most of us.
A hearty congratulations also to the NEBC Elite teams in this race - they took 1st and 8th in the Men's Cat 3 race, and 1st and 7th in the Women's 1/2/3 race. A strong showing by the club.
Myles Standish State Park Race, Plymouth, MA
Sunday, June 22
3 laps, 15 miles
This was a FAST course, although bumpy. The pavement in Myles Standish is nasty - lots of potholes and heaves throughout, so you have to be careful. We bike through here on the Great Mass Getaway (click here to sponsor me for this year's event), so I know what to watch out for.
NEBC turned out to be the dominant team in the Women's Cat 4 race, with myself, Loraine, Julie, Jean and Libby on the start line. Today, everyone had different goals from yesterday's race, and mine was not to pull - oh well ;-).
Now, I DID start out ok in the race, hopping onto Jean's wheel off the start and around the first couple of corners. There were a couple of other women in the race who were strong, and were testing their legs to see what they could do. Of course, I couldn't just let them go... A couple of us tried attack after attack on the group, but it never really amounted to anything.
As we came into the finish hill after the first lap, I decided to try another attack and see what happened. Much to my surprise, it STUCK! I looked back and had a clear gap on the group, so put my head down and went as hard as I could. I knew I wouldn't be able to stay away for almost two full laps, but as luck would have it, two racers were able to bridge up to me, and we worked together to sustain and build our advantage over the rest of the field.
One of the women in my group had been in my group racing at Turtle Pond - a Harvard cyclist. She will have a great racing career ahead of her from what I have seen.
As we came up one stretch of the course, the Elite Women's team were pulled to the side of the road to let us pass. It was very heartening to hear them cheer as I went by! Shortly thereafter, however, we were neutralized as the Cat 3 men's field meandered past - at least it felt to us like they were meandering! Thankfully, our breakaway didn't lose any time, and the pace car indicated to us that we had a minute gap on the rest of our field.
Knowing this, we kept smart and worked together through the final lap of the race. Coming into the sprint finish, the other women were both stronger and faster than I, and took the sprint. I was happy with a third place finish in the race, and the fact that we finished almost a minute and a half ahead of the rest of the field! Thanks to Loraine for working to block (and congrats on 5th place!), and thanks, too, to the rest of the team for their hard work and support.
I guess I have learned now how to attack - thanks, Brooke, for the patience and advice (and the cheering and kudos as well).
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Thankfully, the forecast is looking up for the weekend, and they're CLAIMING that the sun will appear today. At this point, I've forgotten what it looks like.
Sorry - had to vent.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Given that we had to head to Maine later in the day, and that I really wanted to put in some good miles, I decided to go with Mike on the NEBC ride leaving out of Bedford. I should have known when I showed up in the parking lot and was the ONLY woman on the ride that I would have trouble, but I went along anyway. I figured that I could ride with the group as long as possible, and then do my own thing.
We headed out of Bedford on Rte 225 - all the way into Groton. I managed to stick with the guys on the flats and rollers, but coming out of Carlisle center, I had a HR of 184 climbing the hill. I managed to get back onto the tail of the group, but given the effort I had just put out, I had nothing when the road went up again, and the boys were off. I also got stopped at the light on Rte 27, making it that much harder for me to even THINK about catching back up.
I decided I would follow the same route, but was content to ride on my own (although without the help of a draft, I was pushing into a headwind the whole way). When I reached Westford, the guys had all stopped to regroup. I told them not to wait for me, and that I would just go on and do my own ride. They convinced me, however, to stick it out a little longer - the roads were flatter now going into Harvard.
Amazingly, I felt pretty good, and was able to hang with the pace all the way to Littleton. I was having some trouble with the sudden surges and slowing of the paceline, but figured that was good training for the upcoming races. Once we hit the bottom of Oak Hill, I knew that I would be on my own for quite awhile, so we agreed to regroup in Harvard Center.
After a quick break, we were off again, heading back towards Bedford. I managed again to hang onto the group until we started into the hills coming out of Bolton, and then rode most of the remainder of the ride solo. All the way along Stow Rd, I could see the pack, but since I was zipping along at 21 mph, I knew they were moving much faster, and I didn't have any chance of catching them. I was VERY thankful to have a tailwind on this section of the ride!
In Concord center, Mike doubled back to finish the ride home with me, which gave me a much needed break for awhile. I was elated to get home and see that I finished a 48 mile ride with an average speed of 18.2 mph - especially since I rode about half of the mileage on my own! I think the guys ended up with just about 49 miles for their ride, and an average speed of closer to 20 mph.
After some lunch, Mike and I headed up to Maine, where they received 15" of snow on Thursday. We had to shovel the driveway just to get the car in! I couldn't believe the snowbanks at the house - looked more like the middle of winter than the middle of April. Crummy weather most of the week as well, so looks like any riding will be in the basement.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Depending on the forecast, we are supposed to receive anywhere from 1 - 6 inches of snow tomorrow in MA, with northern VT, NH and ME getting the brunt of this late storm. As much as I love the winter, ENOUGH ALREADY!
One of the rides Mike and I did this past weekend was a fairly mellow mountain bike spin on some local trails. We didn't catch a glimpse of the Easter bunny (or any Easter chicks), but we did see some ducks that weren't happy to see us.
Monday, April 2, 2007
As we were coming home through Acton, we cut through the Colonial Spirits parking lot to head up Pope Road. Suddenly, I knew that we had a flat. Here is the sequence of events from here:
- Run over small piece of glass.
- Glass embeds in rear tire, cutting the tube and causing a flat.
- Remove rear wheel, find glass, remove tube.
- Take spare out of seat back, and put on wheel.
- Spare is a 26" x 1.25 - we have 700 cc wheels...
- Look for patch kit.
- No patch kit in seat bag.
- Make spare tube fit (difficult, but workable).
- Pump up tire - doesn't hold air.
- Pump breaks.
- No cell phone either, and we are about 10 miles from home.
- Ride tandem remaining 10 miles on cracked rim, including along dirt bike path ('cause it's shorter).
The lesson here (are you all listening?) is to CHECK your supplies and make sure that you have everything you need BEFORE you head out on a 50 mile ride. Also, I will ALWAYS ride with a cell phone from here on out.
Foolish on April Fool's Day....