Six Sigma

Arlo Hadley - Six Sigma

We drove up to Six Sigma around 1 on Saturday. I could definitely tell how hot and dry the race would be just from pulling up to the preride.  I got dressed and went for a pretty relaxed preride with Matthew, where I tried to drink a little bit too much so I could get a good sense of where I could drink during the race.  Because previously at Granite Bay I did not drink enough.  I had some troubles going around a few corners at first, but got the feeling for the course.  I could  definitely tell how bumpy it would be on race day.  My left hand was hurting because of the bumps and gripping too hard (this recurred in the race).  Just from the preride I knew I didn't like the course because you could not keep or gain any speed due to all the corners.

After the preride we set up camp and headed to The Spot for dinner.  I ordered spaghetti and meatballs, but only got one meatball.  It was pretty good.  I also had a few pieces of garlic bread with barely any garlic or butter. So it was pretty much plain toast.

We decided to go walk down the street to Fosters Freeze but about a half mile away from the restaurant, we realized it was an hour and ten minute walk, so we all got picked up and went back to the camp site to fall asleep.

I slept pretty well and woke up a little bit late, but that extra 45 minutes made me feel really rested.  I ate a bowl of oatmeal with a half a banana and brown sugar and some nuts.  We watched the girls' starts, but didn't really notice much about the course affecting the starts. Then we all hooked our bikes up to start warming up. We did a pretty easy warm up with 20 minutes of spin and three ramp-ups to 130 rpms, and then we spun out for another 5 minutes. I drank a little more than a bottle of water.  We got ready for staging and the heat was really picking up. Lucas and I had a little chat with Garrett, the Freshman Leader about where he trains and how he does school. Then the call ups - I had a 7th place call up just behind Lucas. I was not feeling too great just because of nerves and my stomach, but once the race started it all settled and I wasn't focusing on that anymore.

From the start I lost a few positions because both people on either side were very close and we were touching bars.  Off the bat I wasn't feeling too good in my momentum and carrying my speed, but I held this position for a while before a few more people passed me. Then I was pretty much alone with Riley from Hayward Composite and didn't really lose or gain any positions until the final sprint.. My hand was hurting especially bad because I was going race pace and I was also nervous, so I had to shake it out a few times.  I was having fun with the little bits of downhill that there was, and trying to flow the course as much as possible, but the bumpiness of the trail on my hardtail was definitely not helping. I hit two right-handed corners harder than I should have and slid out and barely got my foot out on the ground and managed to not crash.

After the road crossing in the first lap, Andrew was cheering me on through all of the tight swtichbacks and up the hill, which made me feel good and push harder. After that hill I knew that most of the hard parts of that first lap were over, so I pushed pretty hard.  I ate one shotblock right before the feed zone because i knew there would be water to wash it down.  At this point I was feeling pretty hot and when Coach Scott asked if I wanted a bottle poured over my head I said YES hoarsely with my dry voice.  I messed up the feed zone a little bit because I didn't drop my empty water bottle before hand, so I ended up with a bottle in my cage and a bottle in my hand, so I couldn't keep the full bottle.  I ended up drinking about a quarter of it and then dropped it at the end of the feed zone.

Going into the 2nd lap I was feeling pretty strong and pushing it up all the hills possible.  I caught up with a big group of riders that was stuck behind some D1 kids in the technical steep hills, so that slowed me down a bit.  But that caught me up with the SF Composite kid that I stayed with until the end.  After what seemed to be 20 switchbacks in a row, I pushed really hard up that hill because I knew it was one of the last ones and I was almost done with the race.  From then on out I was right behind that SF Comp kid, but I never had an opportunity to pass.  So I waited until the first straight at the end to get close to him, and then right after the last corner I sprinted extremely hard and passed him at the last second.

Once I caught my breath and some water, Andrew and I cheered on the rest of the Freshman Oakland boys through the finish. I went and ate some cold rice and some chicken and some chips and some chocolate milk.

What went well:  I had enough energy at the finish to win the sprint.  I didn't fall, and I stayed positive.

What I could work on:  I need to start training with electrolytes so I can race with them.  I also need to improve my speed on short steep climbs starting with no speed.

Arlo Hadley, freshman boys, Oakland Tech, 13 / 29

Desmond Griffith, Six Sigma

Desmond Griffith - Oakland Tech, Junior Varsity

Desmond Griffith - Oakland Tech, Junior Varsity

Desmond's Scoop:
I.  Day Before: We set of on the very scenic drive up to Lake County, and set up our tent upon arriving at the course. I got in a lap for preride, but would have preferred to do another, to get more familiar with course conditions this year. I had dinner at the spot, with OC Fed, and tossed the disc with the boys. On the way back to the course, we got pulled over, and the Highway Patrol said it was because the car swerved across the median line 3 times. Luckily we got out of that one without a ticket or anything of that sort. I hung around the campfire and listened to Morgan's lovely singing, whilst downing some water. Then, lights out!

II.  Leading up to Race: I got a decent amount of sleep and waited a bit to have breakfast. I had peanut butter oatmeal, eggs, and 2 bananas, and 1 or 2 light snacks closer to the start. I lubricated my chain and got my bottle and food situation dialed. I hopped on the trainer and warmed up in the dry heat. I had a 13th place call-up at the line, and I was nervous but ready to go.

III.  The Race: GO!! Finn and I stuck close through the culvert section. I passed coming through the finish area, and got behind Conor. Branden from Clayton Valley got past here. I remained behind Conor for the 1st lap, where he encouraged me to stick with him. Going into lap 2, I was already very tired, and I sort of bailed on a feedzone bottle offer from Devin. I let Conor hammer through the course. My new shoes (at least the right one) came a little loose, so my annoyed and fatigued self had to stop for a hot (literally) second to tighten it back up. At this point, Finn caught back up, and we stuck together for the rest of the lap. I was struggling and didn't have the strongest morale; I sorta feel bullied by the course when I race on it, as all the bumps and crazy turns seem to taunt riders. Finn lead at the beginning of the 3rd lap, and I took the lead after. I was very ready to be done. Finn passed on one of the last climbs, and told me to finish strong. I fought my way through the finishing bumps and complained about the course a bit more. The thing is, I like riding the course MUCH more than I do racing on it, cause there's practically no recovery when racing a course like this.

IV.  Recap: I was glad when I finished, and satisfied that I still got a top 15 finish on a course that destroyed my morale! What went well: No falls, unlike last year, and still got top 15. What I need to work on: Technical and cornering skills, as well as strengthening my mind, so that the course doesn't get in my head. Send it!

Desmond Griffith, junior varsity boys, Oakland Tech, 13 / 35