Waterford Race 7.18.12 “Mind over Mechanical”

Both the A race and the B race last night at Waterford Hills were very strange.  Maybe it was just me and a couple other guys that I ride with there, but we all agreed that the races were very schizophrenic. The stats on my bike computer showed that we averaged about 24 miles an hour for 1:10 minutes or so, but the feeling I had in my legs was that we were going 30 mph for 10 hours!  The group was very nervous and there were a lot of quick line changes that kept everyone on edge.  We would power up to 30 MPH and then sit up a mile later at 18 MPH.  Based on what Devin and Danny have been reporting, this seems quite typical of a CAT 4 race, but it was more pronounced last night than I remember it at Waterford.

While I was awaiting the race to start, I heard a strange vibration in my bike, but looked at my hub (new power tap hub) and figured it was just the sound from the hub.  I should have looked at my brakes…more on that later. The first 30 minutes were the usual settling into a pace and getting to know each other, some new faces were there from Bay City TCC Racing and a guy from North Carolina (who thought the course was comically flat!) but these fresh faces seemed unusually uncomfortable in a pack, creating over-braking in the turns and wacky line changes over the splits in the cement.

I am loving my new GARMIN and Cycle Ops Power Tap, I get more data than a Formula One Pit crew chief (too bad I cannot fine tune the engine to put out more horse power.)  Power, Cadence, Heart Rate, Distance, Average Speed were all very similar to the last race, which surprised me—as I stated, I thought last night was a huge effort compared to 3 weeks ago.  Or, maybe it is the fact that I continued to hear a hum from my bike and with 10 minutes to go, I loosed my rear brake and realized that it had been rubbing the whole time.  The brake was a little off-center and there was just enough of a wobble in the rear wheel to cause it to rub, even with the brake released.  Unfortunately, I debugged that too late, if I had realized I was having an issue, I could have taken a mechanical lap, but not in the last 10 minutes of the race.  The hum from my bike and fear that my bike was having a mechanical wore on me the whole race and I think made it seem like a larger effort than it obviously was.

It was a pack finish for me and the IPA tasted extra good at the finish.  GO Team WSI-Team Active.  On my way to Bloomer Park to pre-ride the course for Sunday’s race.

Jack Miner