I know it has been awhile since my last blog post; almost a year, but I have been working on revamping the blog. I have some big plans this year which will include my first full Ironman. Since my last Half Marathon race at the beginning of February, I have been training hard to get back into cycling shape. I have a couple of big races this spring that I would like to compete in.
This weekend I headed down to Delray to compete in the Delray Beach Twilight Festival. Last year I competed in the inaugural Delray Beach Twilight and had a blast. I was only a Cat 5 racer last year and was not eligible to compete in the amateur finals. This year my goal was to qualify for the amateur finals like at Tampa, but they changed the format of the races and the amateur finals are invite only. I had to submit my cycling resume and was super excited to get the email stating I was invited to race in the amateur finals this year.
Delray Beach holds a special place in my heart. My wife grew up one town north in Boynton Beach and last fall we got married at Veterans Park in Delray Beach and had our reception aboard the Lady Atlantic which docks in the park. We always enjoy spending time shopping and eating along the Ave in Downtown Delray Beach.
Before Christmas, I bought a set of used rollers to replace my old bike trainer. The best way to describe the way it feels to ride on rollers, it is like riding my bike on a sheet of ice. It forces you to keep the pedal strokes smooth and not move the upper body. I used the set of rollers to warm up for the amateur race.
My goal for this race was to not start at the back of the race. Riding at the back of the pack is the worst. You have to slow down the most going into the corners and you have to sprint to catch back up to everyone on the straightaways. Looking at the GPS data from my Garmin after the race, I was averaging about 30 mph on the long straightaways.
After the race, I met up with Rachel and her family/friends at a restaurant along the Ave. We were able to sit at a table out front and watch the races go bye. The best part was the drinks were 3 for 1. We ended up eating dinner and watched the rest of the races from the restaurant.
A three person breakaway won the amateur race and an amazing sole breakaway won the women's pro race. Up next was the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar men’s Pro race.
Some of the best USA cycling professional teams showed up including the United Healthcare team with last weekend’s winner, Hilton Clarke. Watching the men’s pro race was amazing. The crowd was packed along the railing of the course to just feel the wind generated by the riders flying by at 30+ mph.
We ended up talking with the Sram folks for awhile and they were kind enough to give us some free Sram gear including their Sram trucker hat. I ended up having a blast during the whole Delray Beach Twilight Festival. It was great having top USA cyclists race in Florida and I look forward to this race next year. Maybe next year I will be in the amateur finals for more then 5 laps.