Sunday, June 24, 2012

Racing - Everything But The Race

I haven't verified stuff on the helmet cam footage and I never checked how I ended up placing (I'm guessing 20th) so the race report will have to wait for a bit. For now I wanted to show just what a racer may have at the race. For those of you on your umpteenth season of racing it's not a big deal but newer or non-racers may appreciate this info.

 The base camp.

The car always becomes the central camp for me. Note the important cooler. Today it held only three water bottles plus a 2 liter bottle for rinsing because I thought it wouldn't be hot. The cooler had three reusable freeze things in it - for a short drive that's enough, but on longer ones I'll have as many as six.

I miscalculated the sun's effect so I had basically no water left in my bottles after one race. On other days it may hold four to six bottles and the rinse bottle stays out in the car. Inevitably those are the cool days and I end up dumping the bottles onto plants in or around the house.

We had two green folding chairs, two race wheels (in the wheel bags), and the blue "secondary gear bag" mainly used for short trips. Usually I'm running much lighter than normal with this bag - no tights, no knickers, a lot of missing spares and such. The main gear bag weighs about 40 or 50 pounds; the blue one weighs about 10 if I put the shoes in there.

Luckily for a fellow competitor I did have, for some reason, the cleats I removed the other day. He needed a cleat and the one I had left was serviceable, at least for the day. Other things I normally have - a spare dropout (if I break the dropout and I don't have another one I'm basically screwed), a master link for the chain (ditto on being screwed if the chain breaks), and basic tools.

I also have all my gadgets, as someone called them a couple weeks ago. I have the Contour HD helmet cam (on the Bell Volt helmet), the Sportsiiiis LED heads up display, my DroidX for Strava, and my SRM computer and heartrate belt.

The bike, of course, with the missing front wheel under the race wheels. With Junior we end up with the bike on the roof so I remove the front wheel for the rack. In the past I'd take both wheels off and stick the bike in the trunk. I much prefer trunk/inside transportation - no weather worries, no theft worries, no "oops I dropped my SRM computer off the car on the way home" worries. That trunk will work for two bikes, four sets of wheels, and two gear bags.

With Junior here he gets a bunch of space. This means less space for bikes. Since putting Junior on the roof isn't an option, the bike goes there. Speaking of Junior, everything else you see is for Junior, including stuff in the back seat that's out of sight.

 The number as I was pinning it.

I have a lot of pins but in different spots so I went looking for more pins. It's weird, this year the numbers scratch off really easily. I've noticed this with all of the numbers from this company. With the Rainbow Racing numbers we use at Bethel they don't rub off at all. Mind you, I don't intentionally crumple my number - this was just from pinning it. You can see that the lower right corner of the numerals are still black - it's because I haven't gotten there yet.

Of course I had to put in some Expo stuff, like the cap.

 The bike, ready to race.

I actually took the picture after the race, but it's in the same shape. You can't tell from the picture but the tires flex 0.000023 inches less due to the empty bottle, otherwise it looks the same as when it started.

Spare wheels (the training set) stayed with the car because CVC has neutral support here. Very classy.

 The number after the race.

I added more pins and did the lower right corner. I put the jersey on, took it off, and I did drape it over the back of my neck. The number looks like it's twenty years old. Well, belay that thought. I have numbers that are 20 years old and they look better than that, and a lot of them were printed by the same company. I think this year they must have changed something this year because these things are terrible. I wonder if they're even legal.

Junior at the end of a long morning.

We headed out shortly after the Masters race ended, which was the race after mine. With Junior it's a bit tough to hang out all day, and with a chance to get together with some friends we had to take it. Two of them hadn't seen Junior since Bethel so he's added about 100% weight since they last saw him. Maybe closer to 180%.

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