CTS Night at the Races

Carmichael Training Systems hosted the third set of "Friday Night at the Races" over the last month and it's been a blast. Like the November-December, the Computrainer races brought athletes of all abilities together to ride hard and have fun. The races also provided some motivation to ride hard and keep training in the sub-zero weather that had been hanging around. To make things even more fun, Jayson had figured out how to start all Computrainer pods at the same time. So unlike the first races, we weren't just racing the seven people on the same computer. We were racing the entire room and with nearly every computrainer taken, there was some stiff competition.

January 21 - Time Trial Day. There was both a TTT and ITT this day, with the team event coming first. We were set up into teams according to rows in the pods, with the front row in each pod racing the back row. The race was on one of the flat courses, so strategy and drafting played a huge role in the times. Finish time of the third rider on each row counted. My team worked together well, but did end up dropping one rider, finishing with just three. After the team event, it was on to the ITT. This was on a more rolling course and the drafting was disabled to make it a fair race against the clock.

January 28 - Crit Day. We raced two different crits, then a one mile sprint to the finish. I have a love-hate relationship with the crits on the Computrainers. It's alway hard, fast paced racing with lots of steep climbs and quick descents. And there in lies the issue. The bar end shifting on the Tri bike is not really suitable for that kind of riding, especially indoors. So I'm a little slow on the uptake and eventually just end up sticking it in one gear and killing myself. This time especially, as I kept making up ground on the climbs, then falling off the pace on the descents. I could never escape enough to stay away!

February 4 - Mountain Stages. We did two races with mountaintop finishes, one with gently rolling climbs and one with much harder and steeper sections. I couldn't quite get away on the first climb, not enough to get the other riders out of my draft. Then one of the younger riders pulled a flyer and broke away. I couldn't catch back on. At that point, with the end of the race just around the corner, I sat up. There was another race coming up! And that other race was brutal, with a few 16% grades as we climbed from Lake Mead to North Shore drive on the Callville Bay TT course. Ouch! I've ridden past that road a few times, but never turned off. And now I know why. I was able to use the steeper climbs to escape from the group and this time managed to hold them off until the line.

February 11 - Stage Race, with a TTT, a crit and a road race. The TTT was on a rolling course this time, making the strategy and working together that much more important. There was a minor miscommunication among my teammates, but we soon settled in and just got nipped on the line. The crit was another hilly affair and after a few loops, I was popped. I couldn't stay in the draft and I wasn't able to make up the ground on the climbs anymore. That didn't leave much for the flat road race! Again, I tried to stay in the draft, but failed. And that was it, I was done. No more power in the engine room.

Jayson handed out prizes to the class winners at the end of every day. The goodie bags were pretty cool - with some Gu, Gu brew and Gu chomps as well as a waterbottle. He was also figuring out an overall champion using a points classification. Given that there were a few other riders who had shown up every day, I was surprised when he announced me as the series champion! I now have a cool CTS windvest in the new black and white colors! It will get well worn in the next season, I am sure.


  1. Wow, races on the Computrainer - that sounds like a hoot!


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