Monday, June 10, 2013

Race Report: Sunshine Hill Climb by Steve Fangman

Yesterday morning, the Sunshine Hill Climb was held under sunny skies and cool temperatures.  Perfect for a hill climb, or any other race.

Last year's Sunshine was not such a good race for me.  You may remember (and I am still trying to forget) leaving my helmet at home, meeting my wife at the Conoco station, then driving like a mad man back to the race start, and getting to the start line well after my group had already left.  I finished second to last...ugh.

This race went much smoother.  I rode my bike to the start from my home in Lafayette, and had plenty of time to get prepared.  The climb is only nine (9) miles, but it is punchy with some steep sections.  The first few miles are fairly steep, then a short downhill before the pavement goes away, then dirt with switchbacks, then some false flats, then the finish at the top.  The previous week's rain had smoothed the dirt, so it was relatively easy to push hard even though there was no pavement.  The only tricky sections were the dirt switchbacks, which had loose sand and gravel.  If you stood, you had to keep your weight over the saddle.  I stayed in the saddle and focused on my form.

P1-2's went off at 9AM.  The 45+ 1-2-3 group left at 9:22AM.  The groups were released only a few minutes in between, and there were dropped racers from previous groups to navigate around the entire race.  My group split within the first mile, with the lead dozen or so being WAY too fast for me.  If I tried to keep their pace, I would have exploded.  On HC's, I have learned to do my own race and stay within my boundaries.  I maintained a good position in the second group, but that group disintegrated by mile three.  A couple more passed me, while I passed a few others.  The last mile was strong for me, with challengers not able to keep pace.  I stayed out of trouble, the Blue Axiom was smooth as silk, and my fitness is about as good as it has ever been.  I finished 12th out of the 22 finishers, and I am happy with that.  Especially considering the competition.

I am planning on Mike Horgan next Sunday, and will pre ride the Magnolia section (till the dirt) tomorrow morning before heading to the office.

Sorry to not see another Foxtrot kit, and I hope someone else got to experience that fun race from our club besides me.

See you on the road.

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