Sun Devil Criterium – February 5, 2017
I made the decision to race the Sun Devil Criterium, held on Arizona State University’s campus late in the week. That I am an alumnus of ASU’s arch rival, the University of Arizona, did not weigh in my decision – much. But I did think about racing incognito in case one of my Wildcat peers saw me.
I had trained hard Monday through Wednesday, in anticipation of a trip to Newport Beach to visit my dear mother. Flying with bikes is an expensive pain, so I thought two days off, if I could get in a recovery spin on a stationary bike at a gym, would not be too damaging to my training. My legs were toast after a day of climbing South Mountain twice and two more days of longish rides on my mountain bike due to the drivetrain problems on my road bike. And there was a race last Sunday that I would rather forget about, so I had four hard days in a row. I was waiting for a new chain to arrive and riding the mountain bike, though it is carbon and pretty light, was an eye opening and leg “sore-ing” experience.
A Quick Aside About the Road Bike And The Broken Chain Saga Of The Santa Catalina Omnium
The chain, a SRAM PC-991, broke at the PowerLink. And it was my fault. Part of the reason that I had been using the SRAM chain is that it can be easily removed for cleaning. I tend to keep my driveline very clean. What I did not know is that the PowerLink is not meant to be reused. I had removed that chain at least twice so that link was indeed the weak one. So all my rather vocal “never again” about SRAM chains made me feel a little sheepish.Read More
The Santa Catalina Road Race – January 29, 2017
My first honest to goodness road race. Not a time trial, not a criterium – a road race.
It was windy and 41 degrees in Oracle, AZ at the start line. Later, along the course I would see little patches of snow resting in the shadows of roadside cacti. Many riders wore jackets or vests obscuring their numbers and no one was without tights, full-finger gloves and other defenses against the cold. Unlike the young guns, we older gents don’t need to display our disdain for the cold by showing up at the starting line in short sleeves and blue skin. My new Garneau short sleeve base layer, Craft long sleeve base layer, tights and semi-thermal arm warmers kept me “warm” but, no matter, it was not long into this race before I wasn’t thinking about the temperature or my comfort. My mind and body were full of the feelings of being in a pack, in a road race – for the very first time.Read More