Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bikeman and the Wall at Sterling - Sterling Road Race - Sterling, MA

This past weekend I unexpectedly entered the 17th Annual Sterling Road Race in Sterling, MA.  The race was 7 laps on an 8 mile loop going through rolling hills and finishing on what might as well have been a wall.
Having just finished racing the 8 week collegiate season, I was planning to take time off until the Lake Sunapee RR at the end of May.  However, having a race less than 4 hours away is rare, so I took the opportunity and traveled down interstates to Sterling, MA with Andrew who was entering the Pro/1/2 field.  After counting more vanity plates along the way, we arrived at the staging area and were greeted warmly by fellow Onions who had either just finished racing in the 4s field, or were planning to put the rubber to the road in the coming afternoon races.  I was lucky enough to be racing alongside my teammate Damian, who entered the blistering pace of the 3 field.

We began the race with a 1 mile neutral start from staging to the course, upon the arrival of the course, the pace increased to the speed of a hammer hitting a nail.  Under normal circumstances, the pace would let up slightly once the competition settled it.  In this case, the pace did not settle until there were two laps to go.  At this time, my back had already seized up and thus preventing me from putting any hard efforts in to keep with the pace of the race.  I was dropped like a rock, but rode out an additional lap before calling it a day.

After chatting with teammates and other riders, we came to the conclusion that my saddle was jammed too far forward and needed to be moved back a few centimeters.  I have since done so and my back feels considerably better.  To help fix the problem I will be doing a variety of core exercises which target the back region.  Additionally, my saddle has been moved back to easy pressure on the vertebre.

After the race, we enjoyed a scenic ride back along route 12 through MA and up into NH before hopping onto I91 and eventually I89.  From now until Sunapee I am planning to put in many more miles.  With school coming to a close, I will have more time for 5+ hour rides.

My next planned event is a practice crit which is run by the GMBC.  I entered these practice crits last year and they greatly improved my handling skills and abilities as a racer.  There will be four practice crits this summer, one per month.  I encourage racers of all levels to enter either the A, B or C race at least once time this summer.  They cost 5$ and there are 10$ temp licenses available.

Arc hard, ride fast, go plaid!

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