Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Guest Author: The Most Awesome Race Report Ever

Quick Cycle 1, Day 2 Chemo Update:  I was wonky in the stomach this morning, but pills and lots of naps had me feeling a lot better this afternoon.  I walked for an hour this evening, with a break at Zupan's for a Haagen Das bar.  

Now onto the main event.  Kings Valley, as written by my Aussie teammate, Jamie.  Read it and try not to laugh out loud.


WARNING, WARNING – unusually high number of scientific jokes contained in this report. Do not read if you have liver damage, are a serious cyclist, or may become a serious cyclist. Your doctor can conduct a simple test if you are at risk.

April 12th, 2010

Dear Editor of ‘Crap Cycling’,

Please accept our paper on the analysis of Sprint Wombat's King's Valley Road race. We feel that our findings will be of interest to the wider cycling community and our hope is that with publication in ‘Crap Cycling’ others will learn from his mistakes. In accordance with the international nature of the Journal we have used SI units throughout.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Dr. Cannon Dale, Dr. Van Iller and Sir Velo.
Lactic Threshold Laboratory
Institute of Advanced Cycology
Bonktown, OR

Title: The King's Valley disaster – how, why and what!

Study Aim: To dissect the 2010 Kings Valley (KV) road race of Sprint Wombat (‘the subject’). His self-proclaimed goal was to support more talented Hammer Velo team mates; Driveby, El Luchador, The Kid, Mr Smith, The Neighbor, The Quiet Achiever, and Ryan (no known alias), and finish as high as possible with a minimum of errors. This paper is based on observation, satellite imagery, mental telepathy and interviews with the subject and race officials. It analyzes the known knowns (but not the unknown unknowns - we know what they are) and attempts to understand what went wrong.

Method: The subject (aka ‘The Wombat’) rode his bike around rural Polk County (Oregon, USA) for 93 km (56 miles) under OBRA race conditions. The subject rode a 2010 Cannondale CAAD 9 (54 cm) modified with fancy titanium time trial seat-post and saddle. 50/34 x 11/23.

Results: 47th out of >60 (actually number of finishers will never be known because of mass quitting and at least one rider who took a wrong turn and nearly ended up on 99W).

Discussion: With input from a well meaning, non-cycling State Champion, a well-crafted team plan was formulated. The ‘body mass index (BMI)-challenged’ were to stay close to the front of the pack to control the pace. The plan was for these BMI-challenged individuals to work later on in the race protect the 4th percentile BMIers (light fourckers) for the final sprint. The subject totally ignored this plan for no good reason and settled mid pack for the first half lap. This turned out to be a grave error because of the narrow road, large pack and large quanta of inexperienced riders who braked at every opportunity. There was little room to pass. The wind on the back half of the course was formidable but not an issue for the ‘mid-pack’ plodders.

The 25 km (15 mile) point marked the hill that what would become the finish line. At a mean grade of 6.02 (+/- 0.56)% the hill was of modest steepness and about 1 km in length. The subject was in 41st position at this point. Due to his high BMI, the subject slowly drifted back through the pack at -2 m/sec. This backward motion is described in the ‘regression analysis’ plot shown in Figure 1. Within seconds, the subject was ‘off-the-back’ and losing ground at a rate of -5 m/sec. The subject was observed to repeatedly shout at his legs “shut the f*** up, legs”.

As the subject breached the hill he placed his arms in the ‘drops’ and proceeded to increase cadence to 95 rpm. With the tailwind and downward gradient, the subject increased velocity to 43.4 kph in an attempt to rejoin the pack. Within 3 km the subject caught a strong rider from Portobello. Together, they worked to bridge the gap with the pack, passing riders at regular intervals. They gained ground on the pack on the flats at a rate of 10 m/min but lost ground on the climbs and in the wind at a rate of 5 m/min. After working together for 16.84 km they ceased the chase and ‘sat up’. Mr Smith, who had been chasing the subject for a time then caught up and they rode together discussing their options still with 40.09 km to complete the race. The long-range microphone picked up the subject uttering the phrase “mate,……. I’m buggered if I’m going to get another DN-friggin-F”. Mr Smith then replied “although my ass really, really hurts I’m with you all the way, Jay-me”. At this point it turned into a training ride and the subject and Mr Smith rode the rest of the way, taking turns to ‘pull’ each other. Although the final kms (miles) were traversed with 20% lower intensity than something faster, they appeared to be pleased to finish in the top 50. At the end of the race the subject was overheard to remark that his mouth was “as dry as a dead dingos’ donger” and sought rehydration assistance.

In summary, the subject rode poorly and was positioned too far back in the pack to cope with the finish line hill on lap 1. Consequently, the subject was dropped and failed to influence the race in any way at all. We hypothesize that with a more advanced position at the start of the hill, the subject would have been safely cocooned in the pack-womb sucking his thumb. We predict that he would have survived to deeper into the race.

Conclusion: STAY AT THE FRONT 95 (+/- 7.0)% OF THE TIME

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