Monday, August 4

Central New Hampshire Road Race

By the time you read this, the race will be over and te results will be in already. I'm taking a pass on this one though, because it conflicts with my work schedule. Also it involves waking up before noon and also has hills. Hills and waking up before noon are my two weakest areas.

However, I did check out the course in Bow last Friday with a couple of my teammates. 'The Central New Hampshire Road Race in Bow NH [...] features a challenging 11.05 mi circuit with one major climb,' reads the event flyer. Yea, well, my ass it does. The whole thing is uphill, somehow. That was the most horrendous 11 miles I've ever ridden.

I seriously, seriously, have no idea how to climb. There just aren't ANY hills within 20 miles of my house that I can't just big-ring and sprint up. When we came to the first climb on the course, which is, by my reckoning, really long, I just went Big Ring and dropped Tim and Keith, but popped about 2/3 of the way up, and limped the rest of the way, hyperventilating. I mean, it's not as bad as Mount Agamenticus or anything, but it wasn't pleasant at all.

And that wasn't even the "one major climb." I don't even remember what the big climb was like, my brain was no longer recording information after the first climb.

I know that the only way to get stronger at hills is to ride hills, however I do think that there is something essential to the technique that I don't understand. I just don't understand how the PROs do it. I can watch them but I don't see what they are doing. Also, I don't know how I compare to other guys in my category, since I haven't had much experience racing in the hills.

A Decent Descent
To be honest, the Central New Hampshire Road Race isn't entirely uphill--there are some fun, screamingly-fast downhills as well. There aren't any switchbacks or unexpected turns, either, so you can really open it up. I still haven't attached the little sensor thing for the computer on my new bike, so I don't have any speed records. I do feel like I've got a great aero position on descents, though (elbows tucked in to my hips and chin pretty much resting on the stem) so I'd guess over 45 mph. I'd just not super-excited about speedometers on the bike, because I feel like they are mostly for self-gratification.

The fun of descent is the reward for the pain of the climb, but in my expert opinion, the climbs outweighed the downhills. Pain is cool too though.

Any reactions from anyone that raced yesterday?

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