Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Shootout ....and other fun stuff on Saturday

Today was the shootout ride here in Tucson, which is a big group ride that starts downtown near the university. The group ranges in size depending on the time of the year, with numerous pro cyclists usually around for the ride. A write-up of today's ride can be found here.

Map of the Shootout ride, complete with a course profile.

The group ended up being over 125 riders I'd say. We rolled out of town around 7:35 am, with the mercury hovering right around the freezing mark. It was chilly for the first 30 mins, as the group slowly rolled through town, picking up riders as we went along. Once the sun came fully up, and the pace picked up, we all started to warm up.

The first 30 min or so is the warm-up, and then it is game on. Once the terrain starts to climb, the group starts to fracture. I was able to hang onto the tail end of the lead group until around 30km, at which I fell off the back as did others. Luckily for me, Joel was following behind, and pulled in front of me to give me a draft back up to the group. Thanks to his help, I was able to get back onto the small group of guys just off the back, but as my luck would have it, they had blown up as well...and we weren't able to get back on. Joel tried to give me another draft up to the group...but I was close to red-lining at this point, and ended up missing the pain train at the front. It turns out it was a good ride for our guys who were in the front group (Simon, Kyle, Colin, Paul, Sean, Jordan) with some contested hill sprints by Colin.

I settled into a group of 5 riders, and we started to work efficiently together, trying to limit our losses. We picked up a group of 6 or 7 riders up the road (all while still climbing a false flat) and had a nice group of 11 riders, who were all taking even pulls. We rode together from 30-50km or so, until we got down to Duval Mine Rd, where half our group took the route back into town (60 mile ride), while half went the longer way (100 mile ride) to tack on some more miles. I was on the back trying to eat a Clif Bar while we were flying down the road at 50km/hr. I had no idea which way to go, and made the wrong decision, and ended up on the long route. Another rider and I ended up turning around and getting back onto the course, but the group was gone. Once I got down to a set of lights, I stopped and saw a group coming up from behind. I joined in with them as they went by, and we had a nice group of 10 or so to work together coming back into town.

We ended up catching the front group just as we made it back into town, where I proceeded to blow my front tire about 2km from the end of the ride. Luckily Joel was behind us at this point (he had been following the lead group, and Kyle had just flatted and taken the spare wheel) so I called it a day and jumped into the van.

We covered 96km in 2hr 44 min. It turned out to be a really good ride, save for a few rough patches of road on the way out. Hopefully we'll ride again next weekend.

After a group breakfast/brunch downtown, we headed back to the condos. A quick shower, and Sean and I hit the road again to head back downtown to the University to catch the #4 ranked University of Arizona Women's Swim Team duel against #15 ranked Texas. Arizona really out swam Texas today, taking the top 2 or 3 spots in most events, but they swam a bunch of swimmers as exhibition, so the final score (134-120 Arizona) seemed a lot closer than the meet actually was. The Arizona Men's Team swam today as well, but just against each other. They swam some impressive times coming off Christmas training, and just swimming against each other.

After the meet, as Sean and I were heading back to the car, we wandered into the McKale Center, which is home to the Mens and Womens basketball teams. The women were playing against California, and it was cool to see the gym where so many NBA players played in college. The Men play against #5 Washington St on Thursday night, I'm hoping to get over and watch the game.

Simon, Jordan, Sean, and I ran for 40 min in Sabino Canyon later in the afternoon, the leg felt better today...a lil heat rub on it, then wrap in tensor bandage. Some stretching and ice on it afterwards, and we'll see how it is tomorrow.

Our house headed our for some pizza tonite, as Jasper Blake is in town. It was good to see Jazz again. Jazz got in late last night....but still headed out for a 6.5 hr ride today. He rode all the way to the top of Mt Lemmon today, and has another 5 hrs or so of riding scheduled for tomorrow.

Here's a couple photo's that Joel took from our group ride on Friday.

No comments: