Race Report: Surf City #1 Aptos HS

Event: Surf City #1
: Aptos High School
Date: 10.13.2013
Category: Masters 35A
Teammates: Bill Sans (45A), Frank (55A), Shawn, Chris and guest appearance by Justin E
Place: 4th
Weather: 65 degrees, sunny
Tires: Tufo Primus Flexus, 23 psi F/R
Data: 177/184 bpm (avg/max), 205 avg watts (

Once again, I HATE the hills.  Photo by Steve Anderson

Once again, I HATE the hills. Photo by Steve Anderson

The highlight of this race honestly was the transport to and from Santa Cruz, as I got to know Frank M. who was doing his first cyclocross race ever.  He graciously volunteered to haul me and all my gear and even brought the requisite post-race beverages.  I’d never done the Aptos HS event, so I was happy to have a little extra time to make some circuits of the course and figure out what lines work best for me through several of the course “elements.”

The course itself is an interesting combination of several types of terrain: sand, grass, gravel and pavement.  It includes some pavement based zigzags that lead you around a baseball field, then up a very steep set of 4 steps into a run up which pegs the heart rate and brings on the

puke.  Then you do a short climb, high speed road descent and drop into a sharp left hand curb/ramp throu

gh a loose sandy corner that escorts you into the woods.  A few single tracks later and you hit a downhill “Poop Chute” which is a 30” wide track with 1-2’ dirt walls and about 2” of wheel-grabbing sand that’s just itching to take your front wheel and bounce it into the sides and send you head over heels.  If you happen to survive that, then you do a few more twistys,

Just putting one foot in front of the other.  Photo by Cyclemasters of Turlock

Just putting one foot in front of the other. Photo by Cyclemasters of Turlock

head up a 30 second road climb, and make the final uphill run into the finish line.  Basically a course with a lot of on-and-off the gas, but a few strategic rest spots to help me make 50 long minutes.

I learned from my mistakes the previous day and lined up on the front row for the uphill start.  I was about 9th to the first corner, and quickly glued myself to the wheel in front of me and took every opportunity to pass.  Adrenaline pumping, we worked our way through

some off-camber gravel turns, through the grass and into the

the 4 step lunge/run up was not my favorite

the 4 step lunge/run up was not my favorite

first run up.  I found myself behind Don Myrah and used my B line to go around him moving up into 5th or 6th before the downhill.  My goal was to get in front of as many people as possible before the Poop Chute, to limit the odds of a pile up.

Unfortunately, Brock Dickie had something go south on the Poop Chute and as I came up on him he had both feet out and was valiantly trying to keep himself from going head over heels.  I squeezed by and motored on until the first climb.  Myrah came around me on the climb and I was content to sit on his wheel.  As we approached the start finish, the only rider in front of us was Justin Robinson.  I honestly have no clue how this happened, but that’s cyclocross for you.  I spent the next two laps trying my best to hang on Don’s wheel.  If the course was pointed down, I had no trouble.  Every time it went up, he would open a gap that I had to close.  This lasted for two laps as we slowly reeled Justin in and finally Don just ejected me on the climb and that was the last I saw of him.  I spent the next 30 minutes riding by myself until, yet again on that darn climb, I was passed by Brock Dickie.  Brock’s a good friend and I was glad to see him getting back up there after his mishap, but it also pissed me off to be getting worked over by everyone on this damn hill so I dug deep and reattached myself to him on the start finish line.  That last for the next lap until I had a little bobble in the sand and he opened a 3 second gap.  That was the last I saw of 3rd place.

With my hopes of taking home $20 in gas money, I desperately tried to hold onto 4th place and willed my very tired legs to go.  Alan Coats and Basil

Moutsopoulos were rapidly closing the gap and finished only about 15 seconds behind me.  Just like every other race this season—I start out strong, then fade my way to the finish.  I am literally finishing on will power alone, so hopefully the fitness will catch up sooner than later!  Still progress is being made, I’ve progressed from 20 minutes up to about 30 minutes, so hopefully in another month I’ll be able to give it gas and actually speed up the last lap instead of slowing down.  Still January is getting closer, but still a ways off, so I’m pleased with the progress thus far.  Up next is two weeks of non-cyclocross training to try and

recuperate the sore elbow tendons.

Held on for 4th

Held on for 4th

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