Sunday, February 19, 2012

Yesterday IUCC (Indiana University Cycling Club) hosted a women's training race. There were about thirty girls in attendance from various Little 500 teams. We left from the Sample Gates and headed out through Cascades to Old 37. The Forest Loop is about 30 miles; however, we only raced about 13 of those miles. We had a neutral/rolling start on an up hill and then raced through Hoosier Forest and down Bean Blossom to Andersen Rd.

The lead pack quickly pulled away from the main pack of girls at the start. There was a loose pack of about 5-6 riders (sometimes fewer) that I stayed with for the majority of the race. We took turns pulling up front and drafting off of each other to conserve energy. This was my first road race experience where I could utilize drafting. My prior experiences include triathlons where drafting is not allowed- there must be 15 seconds between riders. Regardless, it was definitely nice to take turns pulling and then being able to "recover" in the back. From my rudimentary calculations, I believe I averaged about 17.6 mph during the race. For some reason my Garmin was on auto-lap so it lapped every mile; however, I was able to download the data and glean some rough statistics. Needless to say, the first thing when I got home was to turn the dumb auto-lap off- it also beeped every mile and that was super annoying.

Even though, I wish I could have finished better, it was a great learning experience and made me realize that I have a lot of work ahead of me- which is kind of exciting. There was a wide range of rider ability in our group- ranging from riders that have rode competitively for a few years to rookies who are just trying to learn the ropes. It is cool to know that after I graduate and my time with Little 500 is over, there are still opportunities to be competitive and test one's strength and endurance. Peace out!

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