Sunday, August 10, 2008

Patterson Pass RR M35+ 4/5

Having secured my upgrade at Fort Ord last week and wanting to give back to my fellow M35+ 4/5 teammates I lined up for this race and had one thing in mind. I wanted to push myself hard on the front and make sure Allen and Joseph stayed protected in the wind behind me.

I led our group up the first two-thirds of the climb and put in a very, very hard pace. Finally when I pulled off the guy behind me said, "Is somebody paying you to do this?!?". All I could do was smile and let him know there was more of where that came from. I stayed in the top 10 going over the top of the hill. The power data shows I was going about 7-8% above my threshold max for the 23 minutes of the climb. The wind was howling and it seemed that we didn't drop many folks on this first climb of Patterson.

On the descent I got back to the front and picked some fast lines. 38+mph for a few miles was fun, but then we turned right and headed up Flynn. I stayed at the front and pushed the pace again. At this point I was hoping that my teammates were finding good wheels to hide behind because this was starting to hurt. Near the top a group of climbers attacked and as we crested we were down to about 30 riders. I think this climb caught a lot of folks off guard and they were dropped.

The 90* left hand turn just past the top of Flynn caught quite a few guys off guard. Our lead group was ok, but from the stories and photos I've seen online it looks like it was tricky. On across and over Hwy 580 and down Carroll to Altamont.

I decided to get back to the front going down Carroll and when I hit Altamont the tailwind was a nice change. Good thing I thought about gearing as I dropped my chain into my 11t in the back and started to motor up the slight grade at 30+mph. With the wind on your back it's amazing how fast you can climb up the slight rise on Altamont before the long gradual descent.

I traded a few pulls with others at the front and as we came up to the right turn onto Midway, the pace slowed. Not wanting to take my finger off the "pain" button, I decided to get back to the front. As I moved forward I said to myself, "Here comes the pain!". Not sure if anybody else heard me say that, but if they did I'm sure they would have like to have slapped me silly.

The rollers on Midway hurt and I was not really looking forward to the second lap. As we came through the start/finish, I looked back and Allen was still with our group of about 15 guys. I rolled back to Allen and let him know that I was pretty spent and that I would just be following wheels on the second ascent of Patterson. The pace this time was a bit more realistic (only a 322 watt average, lap #1 was a 381 watt average).

Our group crested and we had only lost one guy on the climb. By this point my work on lap #1 had caught up to me and I was feeling pretty spent. On the last ascent of Flynn there was a slight acceleration near the bottom of the climb and I wasn't able to respond. Nothing left in the legs as they were about to cramp, the HR didn't want to respond either. My body had shut down. In looking over the data it's not too surprising. I had been on the front for almost an hour and a half going at 95% of my threshold with a ton of climbing.

I was hoping Allen was hanging on with the rest of the lead pack as they went out of sight. I held my place and rolled across the line looking dead (felt dead too). Given the effort and the course, this was the toughest race I've had this season. It was good to put in an effort like this as I think it will be the kind of work I'll need to do for my M35+ 1/2/3 teammates when I upgrade.


meggett said...

nice job beavis

Manley Man said...

Hey, who's this person from my past dropping the old nickname on my blog?