Sunday, 23 December 2012

A Year in Review

I've been quiet as of late - not that I haven't been riding, been doing plenty of that, but there is only so many ways I can document sitting on a trainer in front of a laptop.

So the 2012 season is essentially done - its been busy with work, family, and riding.  I've learned a lot, gained tons of valuable experience which will hopefully carry me into 2013.

Gear wise, I tried out a few new things:

-  Clement PDX tires.  Fantastic clinchers with really solid grip.  They are wide with a pretty chunky tread, so you can really feel the rolling resistance at lower pressures.  Too bad I forgot them when I really needed them in Miramichi.

-  Boyd 38mm carbon tubulars.  The cat's a$$.  Super light, stiff.  I was very impressed with their quality and performance during the racing season.  I never had any braking issues, even in the gunk, using Swiss Stop yellow pads.

-  Vittoria XG Pro tubular tires.  I had mixed feelings about these tires.  On the dry, fast courses, they were awesome.  They rolled very fast and glided over bumps.  When conditions got slick, they struggled with grip.  Now, maybe it was my technique and skill - not sure.  They have tons of tread left, so I will run them next year again, but I'm going to supplement them with my PDX's more in the muck.  I'm totally sold on tubulars though....

Of note, my Belgian gluing method held up great, with no signs of failing.  Definitely worth the extra hassle and time.  

So the year started off in February with the Velo NB WinterCross.  Its a "for fun" race with no categories, prizes, or points.  For me, it was chaos.  95% of my energy was spent just trying to stay upright on my bike.  The course was bumpy, icy, and slippery.  At least it wasn't overly cold!

The road season kicked off with the Tour De Dog in Fredericton.  This was my first road race, 80kms - registered in Category B.  I got it allllll wrong.  For some reason, I felt compelled to lead the pack up the first climb and totally gassed myself at the top.  I was left behind on the 1st lap!!  I spent the next 25kms by myself, time trialling to try to catch up with the pack.  I finally latched on to a trailing rider and we clawed our way back to the peleton.

Once back with the group, riders started falling off the back as we neared the 65km mark.  I eventually found myself paired with the lead rider of the group and we broke off the front.  Our goal was to catch the leader, who had broke off the front early in the race and latched onto the A Cat riders.  We eventually caught him, and I ended up 2nd in the race.

Next up was Miramichi.  A smaller race with a less riders.  It was a 2 stage race with a 5km uphill TT in the morning, then a road race in the afternoon.  I won the TT in B Cat, then yself and 2 others ran away in the road race.  I came 1st B Cat.  

Along came my 1st Crit in St John.  This was so much fun.  A short, 700m square course in the middle of downtown.  50 mins plus a lap.  I had no idea how to tackle this one as far as tactics went.  So I just went all out :)
Ended up 3rd overall.

The final road race of 2012 was the Salisbury Silver Fox Classic.  80kms, flat and fast.  This was my first foray into the A Category.  My goal for this one was to just stay with the pack.  I managed to do this for the entire race and finished in the peleton. It was fast!!  Avg speed for the race was 40km/h!!

Along came cyclocross season for the fall.  I've already covered the races in previous posts, so its only really worth noting that I ended up 4th in the points for the A Category.  I was very happy with that!  It was a very fun season riding with the guys from Radical Edge.

So next year - it'll be interesting.  My goals:

-  reach an FTP of 300w by spring.
-  Strong effort at the Tour de Dog in A Cat.
-  9000kms of riding (I'm at 7200km for 2012, including indoor sessions)
-  Get a feel for the cross scene in Ottawa - hope for a podium or two.  The categories there are based on age, not ability.

Overall it was a great year.  Lots of new friends with some fun travels around New Brunswick.

Stay tuned for the race report from WinterCross 2013!!

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