Hooked up with one of my new rivals in my expert cat last night Andy Gould. Met him up in Loudon NH at NHMS to run one of the practice races put on the NH cycling club. http://nhcyclingclub.com/content/view/108/61 $5 to get in, and $10to race. They have A, B, C races depending on your ability level. As you’re filling out the waiver form there is a selection for each of the above mentioned categories. Prior to heading 45 minutes north for the event, I had firmly made up my mind to run in the B’s and test out he water.
The web site states; Race Format:Points race with points/premes every 3rd lap. A, B, C and D races, men & women combined in all groups. C or D race recommended for entry-level or 1st-timers. First timer so that’s me, but wait, I’ve been riding a road bike since 1996 and recently been whipping up the pace and intensity. So there wasn’t even a thought about the C’s or D’s. B it was, or was it? Gould says “Just do the A’s” you’ll be fine! So of course just before handing my waiver to the woman collecting the money and giving out the numbers I said, “whatever A’s it is”
Looking around at the start I can tell you that everyone, yes everyone is skinny and fit, with big quads. Who were these guys? They don’t race mountain bikes? Look at all the team jerseys? Wait a minute, where’s my team? NEMBA? My green jersey stuck out like a sore thumb.
Race go’s off, or should I say, rolls off. Nice, no whole shot needed here, nice and easy. Pace after that whips up, things for the rest of the night would get blurry. There is extra concentration needed when sitting on and following wheels in a group of 30 or more. On the back side we had a nice tailwind which was like riding in a vacuum. All you could hear where gears turning and the sound of the tires on the asphalt. The corners took a bit of getting used to as well. You hammer through the corners while G-Force pushes you out and you have to make an effort to pull it in and keep it tight. First 5 or 6 laps I moved up the field, then found myself in the front pulling and whipping up the pace to 26-27 mph on the backside. This was just before one of the sprints, as I pull off the fast guys put it down even more. Bye Shawn! Nice thing about training races is there is no pressure. I sat up and watched them go around till I could get back on again. Live and learn… That Gould guy is pretty strong and was mixing it up at the front all night, I think he may have also took one of the sprints.
So what’s the deal with this road stuff anyway? Fitness, fitness, fitness. I can see a benefit of running these whenever possible on Thursday nights. My goal this year is a top 10 in EFTA Vet I. These should help. Other experts out on course Jessie Taylor, and Geoff MacIntosh.