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Dr. Sueus Canada Day Donut Ride

A group of 40 or so hardy soles showed up for the Canada Donut Ride even though it was threating thunderstorms. While it did rain part way into the ride, we missed it for the most part and only had wet roads for part of the ride. The smaller group today led to a faster pace ride - faster than normal. At one point Lori and Fudge Koffman got annoyed and attacked to get the pace up.

Here is a shot from my Fly6Cam showing the water on the roads at the Keele St. sprint:

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I got home to find this rhymne in my inbox which seemed appropriate. Thanks to Steve Svensson from the D'Ornellas Club for sending this off.

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The Little Engine That Could

It would seem lately, mostly over the last two weeks, the words "I think I can, I think I can" seem to be translating more into "Dammit, I can't". The letters DNF seems to be following me around as I blown up in a rash of races lately.

I have to keep reminding myself that the the point of racing up, doing racing harder than perhaps I should, was to work on putting myself in positions that would force to me to push myself beyond what I would have done in the past. It's be a hard go lately as the races get tougher because the guys have gotten fitter, and where I was holding it in the middle of the pack, I'm not struggling to hold onto the back of the pack. 

The Buffalo Crit was case in point. For the first time in the two years going there, I blew up. I struggle as to why. The best I can say, is a rest week is required. But, the same problem happened in Ottawa last weekend: I'm not used to racing where there is sprint after sprint after sprint - basically, the way a crit is supposed to be raced. The guys last night were on the attack more so that normal. Pace was either 30km/h or 50km/h. I lasted 30mins. Two weeks ago, I raced there and finished a 75min race midpack without much issue. The guys last time were really more animated than usual looking to chase down any break that got away. Normally, they sit up and ride around. I take some solice in the fact that Dan, the guy I went with from Midweek, was struggling to hang on, and two weeks ago he finished 11th with out much issue. So, the race was much harder, faster last night.

 

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The Art of Racing: Believing in oneself

Last season, for whatever reason, I decided not to race in Ottawa at the Dandelion Grand Prix. A open crit race around a fast 5 corner circuit. However, I put myself in the team car for the Real Deal Racing team with the thought of taking photos and video of the race for the team. For them, it was a 90 min crit which they had a plan to win.

After the race, I was invited to sit in on the team meeting. The race didn't go down as planned, and team lead, Ed Veal, was looking for reasons why things happened the way they did. Everyone wants to win and there are usually only three places on the podium. It didn't happen for them that day, and Ed and the team went through the post-mortum of the race.

For me, while they didn't get the result they wanted it, became a great learning opportunity. I followed the Real Deal guys around a fair amount last year learned alot from them. It seems some guys have the natural horse power to get on the podium, and others have to learn how to use what they have to get there. I'm the second category. 

What I learned from these guys on that day was the following:

 

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UCI (and OCA) Bike Check Rule Changes

I pass this information along as a licensed Provincial C commissaire. 

If you are doing a time trial with an OCUP, Provincial, or National status, there will be a commisaire assigned to the bike check. Your TT bike must meet the OCA guidelines (which are based on the UCI guidelines) for a bike. Commisaires will be enforcing these new rules this year including an update as of May 1, 2014.  If you are not in Ontario, the expect the same to happen in your area following the guidelines of your regional organization (USAC in the US).

In summary, in addition to the usual bike check rules, the Handlebar Extensions and Seat position for TT bikes must meet at least one of the following conditions:

  1. Handlebar Extensions <= 75cm ahead of Bottom Bracket Center (BBC) and Seat >= 0cm behind BBC
  2. Or, 75cm < Handlebar Extensions <= 80cm ahead of BBC, and Seat >= 5cm behind BBC.
  3. Or, Rider Height >= 190cm, 80cm < Handlebar Extensions <= 85cm ahead of BBC, and Seat >= 5cm behind BBC.

Case (3) is a new morphological exception based on rider's height and allows longer extensions for tall riders. 

 

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Not Winning to Win

I am always amazed that when I get feedback on a blog post. Not so much anymore that people actually read some of the stuff I write. I endevour to post things I learn along the way. There is some 4+ years of archives on this site, and I sometimes go back and read some the old stuff to see how far I have come, and to remind myself how far I have yet to go (and how much I can't seem to be able to proofread).

This week I got feedback on my last post. Scott, at the track, sent me an email with a Youtube video from a TEDx of Natalie Dell O'Brien, an Olympic rowing Bronze medal winner on losing and how it adds perspective to training. I know all about losing. I do it enough. When I watched the video two thinks came to mind: something Ed Veal repeated during indoor training this winter and what happened at the Good Friday Road Race.

Ed, a two time Provincial Road champion, told us over and over again about how many races he lost. Sometimes you don't have it on the day or you make some mistakes in the race that cost the win. Secondly, I made some critical mistakes and completely underestimated the race in Ancaster, ON. Those mistake got me angry at myself in a way that drove me to consider what I did and how it was never going to happen again. The point being, the bad result fuelled my desire to push on and to learn from the experience rather than be upset about it.

So on that note, I offer the video on Losing to add perspective to your training.

 

 

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