My 4th edition of Ninigret in 2010 was a good day for me I think. I rode down there, I raced my ass off and I rode home for a total of over 100 miles in 4:57. Granted I raced for 58 minutes at an average of 26 mph, the ride down and the ride home both averaged about 19 mph. I held back both ways because I'm traveling to Pittsfield to get my legs ripped off in the Greylock Federal Criterium. Well it seemed like a good idea when I registered anyway. What I failed to think about is that today's/tonight's workout was a key one for me- more important than the race. Maybe I would have thought twice about it. No worries, my reasons for racing tomorrow night are not about winning. I want to just get some H.I.T. and be ranked as a finisher. That's it. Problem is, tonight's ride is about 350+ TSS, which technically requires 2-3 days to recover from. Oh well!!! Another reason I want to go to Pittsfield is to show off our new LikeTObike 16 model, just in from Germany. I plan to strap my demo model to the top of the car and try to promote it. It's a high end 16" aluminum kid's bike, and it's not cheap. The build quality is the same as the legendary JUMPER and it weighs only 16 pounds. Compare that to the cheap throw-aways you cheap bastards are buying for your kids at Wal-Mart that probably cost less than the saddle on your road bike. Anyway, that's enough of a shameless plug for now, but let's not forget I'm between jobs at the moment and any wool apparel or kid's bikes I can sell right now puts food on the table for my family. How's that for a guilt trip? After tonight's crit I was getting my backpack and was kind of jaded to discover that they only pay 5 deep at Ninigret (how should I know?) I could use the do-re-mi.. Alas, your hero finished 6th in a very exciting field sprint. As many of my FB friends already know the top 6, I'll repeat it here primarily for the benefit of a curmudgeony old coach in our area who, for reasons he himself can't explain very well, refrains from joining us lemmings on the social networking highway.
1. Gary (CLR dude who won Fitchburg cat 3)
2. Shawn M (who just won the 24 Hours of GG with his team)
3. Ernest Tautkus (who took a friendly earful from me after the race)
4. Tobi S. (who just won Fall River Crit 35+)
5. Paul C. (what hasn't he won?)
I was sucking wind at the very back with 2 laps to go but I really felt ON tonight and a tired field is easy to navigate through at a venue which you're very familiar with. Also, there was hardly any wind tonight. I can happily say that I spent more time at the front of this race than I remember doing for a long time. Not less than 6 or 7 times I dragged the field through the start/finish while shutting down the breaks which looked dangerous. I got myself into a couple of difficult situations but had an easy time falling back for a lap to recover. The increased volume of these past few weeks is bearing fruit I think. The recovery which needs to happen quickly in a crit- it's definitely there and it helps immensely. As I was saying with 2 to go I started moving up in leaps and bounds. The sprint was winding up nicely and I took an outside line in the final corner, passed a few people, kept my head down all the way, stayed out of the saddle all the way, and never let up until I crossed the line. I was thinking to myself during yesterday's 3 hour ride.. that sprinting is as much about discouraging people from passing you as it is about passing others on the way to the line. By this I do not mean changing your line and endangering others, no. I'm talking about staying out of the saddle and rocking the bike vigorously no matter what (especially in a crowded sprint) and not showing any weakness/not slowing down in the last 20 meters. A strong rider in your wake who is looking for a way to pass you will be encouraged to do so if you:
-sit and sprint in the saddle, reducing your footprint on the course and opening lanes on either side of you
-slow down, sit up, or stop pedaling (duh)
Tonight's race was a relative success, compared to the last two times when i rode down and back. Those attempts were not successful. I was too fatigued to race when i got there, and I cramped at the end of the crit, making my legs useless. Now typically, on a night when I ride down there and back, and especially the day before a big race, I tend to hold back and try not to use much of my ammo. Tonight for whatever reason I said the hell with it, enjoy your good legs.
And with that I give you some data which hopefully impresses you and underscores why your puny training volume is such an embarrassment. Totally just kidding. In reality it's I who is embarrassed because I should be winning races with this much training! Thanks for reading. Wish me luck tomorrow night.