The ticket collector

West Coast Masters
C Grade Road Race
Herne Hill
18 May 2014

The race on Strava

Another week, another issue with the power meter, looks like I put an almost flat battery in last week. It lasted Sunday’s warmup and 20km TT. But today it was dead, still it did not matter I can race by HR seeing I am off beta blockers and I had last week’s data to go on. I can ride at HR of 175 for over 15 minutes.

42 riders, was the biggest field I had ridden, since the same race last year. I was nervous, I had not raced with most of the riders before, so today was going to be a cautious race.

The pace was on from the start, down Lefroy Ave with a tailwind and I was wondering why my rear derailleur would not shift down. Then I realised I was already in the 53×11 and we are doing over 50kph. The speed slowed as we swung onto the crosswind on Oakover Road and even more into the headwind up Campersic Road. Though the effort required was the same, I was working hard though my HR did not reflect it averaging 155 for the first lap..

I was ticket collector as usual, though I did share the duties with another rider, who rode there, because he had limited peripheral vision in his right eye. I still dropped back and was last through the corners, picking my own line. I was cornering faster than the riders in front. I would drop 3 or 4 bike lengths from my fellow ticket collector before a corner, pedal through the corner and be back on the wheel of the bike in front as they started sprinting for the wheel in front.

My only problem was I was usually on the wheel of my fellow ticket collector, and as the race went on, he was having major issues shifting and was struggling out of corners. After a couple of times having to sprint past him to drag him to the wheel in front. I starting taking a shallower line and chasing another wheel.

While it was a fast paced race, it was not putting me into difficulties, my heart rate sat on 150 for most of the race. So I decided to got to the front on the 2nd last lap before we entered the crosswinds and ride a hard VO2 max interval the 2km down William Street, trying to split the bunch and if I had any reserves left push hard down Lefroy Ave with a tailwind. I would much rather finish 20th out of a group of 20 than 35th out of a group of 40.

I did exactly that, got a little break on the last section of Campersic Road, hit it hard out of the corner onto William, but by the time I got 1km down the road, my legs were screaming, I just could not get any work out of them and my HR hit all of 165. I was quickly swallowed up by the pack. I hung on to the back of the pack for the last lap, happy to finish with the pack, 37th out of 40 finishers.

I was disappointed with my racing. I was lazy and sat at the back for most of the race, I did not push myself and did not learn anything. So next WCMCC race, I am going to ride close to the front of the bunch and increase my confidence riding in big bunches.

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