Monday, March 24, 2014

The Barry Report

You know, there comes a time when everything you plan blows up! Well, that is exactly what happened at Barry-Roubaix this past weekend. I have no one to blame but me, myself and I. Those three guys always seem to get in the way.

Before I drown on, the race was awesome! It was cold; it was wet, fast and sometimes mud slogging slow. The organization was awesome, the beer tent full of beer and results were fast. The only thing that was lacking was me.

So, what went wrong? I can start with my training. I really don’t have a training plan. I am self coached which really means self-explosion. I either train to hard or not enough. That‘s the problem of not having a training plan. I guess the old saying is true, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.” I also didn’t ride outside at all this winter, something that I have really come to enjoy. Long cold rides. It really teaches you to suffer when your muscles ache from the cold.

Another place I really failed was worrying about my bike way too much that I didn’t get it ordered far enough in advance and/or built 2 days before the main event.  The bike was awesome. The carbon fiber frame, the great components and the wheels all complimented each other. However, I really didn’t get a chance to get the bike fit to me. The handle bars were just slightly off, saddle to high and pretty major shifting problem came out during the race.

Like I said, there comes a time when everything just blows up. During the race, I felt great. I was on pace in the first 16 miles to finish in 2 hours to 2 hours 10 minutes. Obviously, that was my prediction based on my pace, level of fatigue and over all bike health. I was having a blast.

On a fast paced climb in a pace group things went ka-bam. As the pace line began to split I was rear ended by a fellow racer. The result was my rear wheel became dislodged. After several attempts the wheel made it’s way back in and all was well. At least I thought it was. Struggling up the climb from a mid hill start the shifting problems I fixed earlier in the race popped back up. I pulled aside and began to sort things out. Reinstalled the wheel and made some quick cable adjustments and started back up the hill.  I made it over the hill and continued on the ride. Yes ride. I was out of the race by then and it became a ride. 

After a few more short climbs the shifting was getting worse. The shifter itself wasn’t shifting and hope not only faded of completing the race faster than I did last year, but it was totally gone. In a matter of 3 miles my race was over and it had become a recreational ride. The rear derailleur hanger bent and front shifter miss shifting all over the place. Bent the hanger back as best as possible thanks to the aid of a couple of fellow racers and rode through the shifter miss shifting.

The Big Finish!

So now what? Reevaluation! I am disappointed in my results and bike failures. However that won’t keep me off my bike! The best part of the race is the realization that I have to reevaluate my plans or lack of plans. My races will stay as scheduled but I need to reevaluate my goals for this season and compare them to my training. Do they match up? The hard work is never done and the hard work will continue.

I am 44, I ride bikes as fast as I can and I will keep riding bikes faster each day.