Nearly 2 for 2

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Yesterday I jumped into the Insight, with Trudi and Bromont, and headed the 200+ miles over to Columbia Missouri to race a road race, Froze Toes. And it lived up to its name. It wasn’t raining or anything, but when I was driving over there, it was sort of snowing. And it was pretty cold, not freezing, but pretty, 30’s.

I woke up a little tweaked from the day before. I’m not sure why, but after riding in the rain Wednesday for an hour and a half, my hands have been freezing. Riding back from the criterium on Saturday, I got pretty cold. I’m not sure why I’ve been missing the right clothing selection, but it does drain you a lot more than you’d think.

Anyway, I don’t really mind racing when it is cold. I just don’t like getting ready for races when it is cold out. Especially when I don’t have my van, or a car to stay warm in before the race.

I wasn’t too bad at the start, even though I didn’t ride a pedal stroke for warm-up before the start. There were somewhere around 40 riders there. The course is a 30 mile loop, mainly heading North and South. The wind was pretty strong from the North, so it was going to mainly be a headwind, tailwind deal. There was just enough sidewind, in retrospect.

I won’t go over all the minute details of the race, but here is pretty much how it went from my perspective. It turned into a stupid attack/coast thing right from the gun. I kept trying to roll through and get the group moving along at a good pace, but they weren’t having any of that. A couple groups of two rode away and the remainder of the field was just doing all these silly jumps, when wasn’t all that comfortable.

This is the 2nd day in a row where the race started out chaotic. I don’t understand why a bunch of Cat 1/2 riders would attack like crazy at the start of a race, when, obviously by the results, they didn’t have the fitness yet to do it. When my form is questionable, I always try to error on the side of caution, draft as much as possible, do small system checks to see where I’m at.

On the first sidewind section, somehow I got to the front and ended up riding off the front with a kid from Mesa Cycles, Grant Erhard. Grant took a huge pull in the first sidewind section, I came through pretty good and we were gone. We caught up with the 4 guys that were up the road and pretty soon there were 5 of us rotating pretty well.

By now we were riding with a strong tailwind, so we were hauling ass. One of our group, I think Robert Smallman, flatted on the potholed laced road. So then, there were 4 of us. Along with Grant and I, it was Isaiah Newkirk and Dustin Morici. Isaiah, Grant and I were all pulling pretty good. Dustin was hurting, but kept trying to do his share. That is how it went for the next 40ish miles. Just a few miles from the finish, Dustin finally came off on the final tailwind stretch. I told him after that he should have just told us he was going to sit on. We would have slowed a little to let him get closer to the finish.

So there were 3. Seemed like both Grant and Isaiah were getting a little tired. I was trying to put in a hard effort, but didn’t want to kill myself to the extend I wasn’t going to be able to contest the race. A couple miles out from the finish, there is really the only hill on the course. I figured I’d see how wasted my guys were and put in a jab over the top of the hill I got maybe a hundred meters ahead, but sort of stalled there. I really wasn’t putting a 100% effort in, but was hoping that it was going to work. It didn’t. I could see the finish, I was maybe a mile out. There was a descent and then 1K uphill to the finish. I coasted the descent, worried that only Grant was chasing me and then Isaiah was going to jump. I try to make it a point at all times during a bike race that I have at least one good jump in me, at all times. I wouldn’t have if I kept going full throttle.

So, they roll up and we slow to nearly a track stand. We were all kind of hurt. We started sprinting maybe 300 meters out. Isaiah instantly got popped. I jumped Grant, hoping to get him to sprint early. He did, but it wasn’t too early for him. I didn’t have the timing down and when the road flattened out, he pulled a bike length out of me close to the line. I realized I was going to run out of real estate, I lost.

I wasn’t too depressed about finishing 2nd. Overall, the day was nearly perfect. I wanted to go and ride really hard, which at the start of the race, seemed like it was going to be frustrating impossible. It was great getting into a small group that wanted to work together. It was super fun riding with those guys. Plus, it was the first time I’ve ever won a frozen pizza in a race. I won a frozen turkey in Tijuana Mexico once, but never a pizza.

I ended the week with nearly 500 miles, which was a ton considering how windy it has been and how much of that I rode alone. Plus I got in two local races, which like I posted a couple days ago, can end up being much harder than bigger events. I “lucked” into breaks both days, so got exceptional training in both weekend days. I feel pretty good this morning, so I think I’m on the right track so far this season, but, you never know.

The "podium"-me, Grant and Isaish.  I think I'm older than if you add the ages of both of the other guys together.  Shit.

The “podium”-me, Grant and Isaish. I think I’m older than if you add the ages of both of the other guys together. Shit.

Grant was pretty stoked on the line.

Grant was pretty stoked on the line.

Four of the original 5, talking over the race after.  I love hearing the other guy's views of the race.

Four of the original 5, talking over the race after. I love hearing the other guy’s views of the race.

Results-Click to enlarge.

Results-Click to enlarge.

The is Ethan Froese.  I've know him and his brother, Aaro, promoter of Froze Toes, forever.  He gave me this print by his father before the race.  It was very thoughful.  After the race, I got a chance to catch up a little with Ethan, getting a bite to eat with him and his son Noland.

The is Ethan Froese. I’ve know him and his brother, Aaro, promoter of Froze Toes, forever. He gave me this print by his father before the race. It was very thoughful. After the race, I got a chance to catch up a little with Ethan, getting a bite to eat with him and his son Noland.

20 thoughts on “Nearly 2 for 2

  1. Randy

    Priceless comments from Isaiah’s FB page:
    Adam Rodkey Is that Tilford?
    Isaiah Newkirk O ya.
    Rob Smallman Yes. He carried me to Isaiah
    Adam Rodkey Can’t he pick on people his own age!!???!?!
    Rob Smallman Like…. The primes are social security checks and denture glue?
    Rob Smallman He’s too strong for that.

     
  2. Randy

    Priceless comments from Isaiah’s FB page:
    Adam Rodkey Is that Tilford?
    Isaiah Newkirk O ya.
    Rob Smallman Yes. He carried me to Isaiah
    Adam Rodkey Can’t he pick on people his own age!!???!?!
    Rob Smallman Like…. The primes are social security checks and denture glue?
    Rob Smallman He’s too strong for that.

     
  3. burnt

    Well, according to USA cycling your podium mates are each 24-years old and you are 54-years old. Hat’s off to you.

    There’s a picture at One on One’s FaceBook page of Geno doing a wall ride last weekend at the Cutters’ Ball. The old men are getting it done.

     
  4. mike crum

    steve
    are you marked pretty closely in local road races? seems like they all should have went when you went, unless they did and you rode them off your wheel. hell, as good as you are i’m suprized by your race report, they all didnt sit on you and mark every move you made….and reading your blog, you missed a ton of riding these last few months, doing sking an other stuff instead, while, like you said, most are on trainers with a puddle of sweat under them…… and you still killed them..how do you do it? missing bike riding, ski intead, never ride the trainer, while everyone else is,then kill them all in 2 seperate races?awsome!!!

     
  5. Steve Tilford Post author

    Mike-I didn’t kill them. Hell, I didn’t win the 2nd race. I really didn’t start training seriously until just about 3 weeks ago. But, my base was good enough. Skiing, diggin’ holes and hauling bags of cement for that matter, is okay training for January.

    I’ve been at this a long time. I don’t really get seriously unfit ever. My bad shape is never in the cellar. Sometimes I ride worse during the season than the off season. I blame allergies, whatever for that.

    I’ve ridden 1600 miles in 2014. Of that, 1300 has been the last 3 weeks. That is big mileage for me. Actually this month, February, I’ve ridden 73 hours. According to Strava, that is the most monthly miles I’ve ridden in 2 years. And I still have 4 days left to add to that.

    I have been trying to get more base miles in. And more mileage on the “easy” days. My short days are over 40 miles now, but pretty easy.

    All that being said, I’m historically best in the early season and late season. Usually when it is cooler. Maybe because there isn’t pollen around. I don’t know, but it has been the case over the years.

    Plus, beating the guys around here in February isn’t like beating them in July. It has been a harsh winter and since I tend to keep pretty okay form and the weather hasn’t been conducive for riding outside gives me a higher chance of having good results.

     
  6. JPrumm

    Steve, so glad you are putting your body and form back together. Last year was a tough one for you. I hope and pray the best for you.

     
  7. Steve Tilford Post author

    Dog-Never would I even consider the prospect. Not that I have anything against those guys, but I’m not willing to suffer lifelong disabilities from riding a bike across the United States. It’s just not in my genetics.

     
  8. Maximus

    Tilford,

    I have been around as long as you have.

    You could WIN RAAM dude. Go do it!

    Maximus- San Diego

     
  9. H Luce

    Actually, I doubt that Steve could win RAAM. It’s just not his style of race. This one guy I know from back in Cincinnati, John Stamstad, won it, two or three times, I think, and he rode 400 miles a day, more or less, maintaining an average pace of 20 miles per hour for about 20 hours each day. At the end of 8 days, he was seeing things that weren’t there – but he won. The first long distance race he did was a race across Missouri and back, 540 miles, which he did in 27 hours, again at a 20 mph average pace. John is a slow twitch rider, he really would lose sprints badly back when I knew him; Steve is a fast twitch rider, big on jumping, hell in the sprints, but long distance racing like what Stamstad does would drive Steve over the edge.

     
  10. Dog

    Another stud: The guy who beat Steve. Grant Erhard. I don’t know why I googled him, but I found this brief racing bio on the Quantum Mesa team website:

    “Realized I was getting soft and fat in 2003, bought a bike!!! While out riding one day I stumbled across the Maplewood bike race, watching that race planted the bug. So I started Racing in 2005. After much suffering I managed to progress to Cat 3 in 2007. In December of 2007 my Kidneys failed and I spent the next 3 years on Dialysis, received a transplant from a very good friend on January 18th 2011 and a year later I am ready to try racing again!”

    So three after a kidney transplant, this guy is winning Cat 1-2-Pro races. This is THE first time I have ever heard of an organ recipient even participating in bike racing, let alone winning them.

    Stud of the day, for sure.

    And Steve, I think you have inadvertently knocked Ned Overend off his perch. Maybe the two of you can share?

     
  11. Wildcat

    Steve, you are the only one who knows how to correctly hold your sponsorship pizza for the “podium” shot.

     

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