Monday, April 16, 2007

I raced like butt this weekend. Not only did I race like butt, but I raced like dumb-ass, sub-normal donkey butt. Racing poorly is one thing but making stupid errors, that just aint right. Saturday was TST and I was the entire WOW contingent. I didn't make it with the lead group of 12 or so over the KOM hill, but they weren't too far ahead. Over the next hill and the rollers that followed I was chasing or attacking with some help chasing from Galen. Everyone else had a man up in the break so was sitting. Finally I managed to attack up the side and get off without towing the entire pack of ~25 riders behind me, and I bridged up to the lead group of 12. That was no easy task as two riders had attacked from that group so they were trying to get away and the remaining 10 were chasing. The fact that I managed to bridge up to the lead group is nice and all but here is where my sub-normal donkey IQ came into play. I thought that we were on the part of the race where it was mostly rollers and descent to the finish, but about 10 meters after I caught the lead pack we turned and headed up Dewatto (sp?), the final climb. I had completely biffed my location on the course and as soon as I saw that hill I knew my race was over. I had dug a pretty big hole for myself bridging up to the lead group and had nothing left to get up the hill. The lead group walked away, then the pack behind caught me and rolled right on through.


I'm done pulling, want a turn?

Sunday was the Seward Spring opener (crit). Early on my legs were a little heavy, but I made a couple moves, followed a few more, but nothing that developed. Halfway through the race I saw Chad Nichols getting ready to attack up the hill so I jumped on his wheel and we went flying up the hill. Coming around the hairpin at the top of the hill I started pedaling too soon and clipped a pedal. I'm not 100% certain what went down after that (other than me that is). I skitched and it felt like I was going to hold it up for a split second but then no way, I was down. Next thing I know, I'm on the ground and someone is rolling over the top of me (Joe Holmes I believe). I get up and my tire has rolled off of the rim, and though I didn't notice it until after the race, I had cracked the rim in two places as well. Completely my fault and completely avoidable. Many apologies to Joe for attempting to break his elbow for a third time. I heard someone say that he was well but I didn't hear it from his mouth. Hope that it's true.

Walla Walla will be better next weekend, but it will have to be better without a rear race wheel.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Tell me why...
I don't like Mondays. Actually on second thought, I'll tell you. I didn't get to race this weekend because I promised I wouldn't race Boat Street if it rained. Now I'm all pissed off that I made that promise because I HATE NOT RACING!!!

In addition to being mad at myself for not racing, I can't find my ipod so I have no music on my commute, the first two busses that went by this morning had full bike racks, so I had to wait, when I finally did get to work I realized I forgot to pack a shirt, it's going to be a bitch of a head wind on the way home, and the work is piling up about 10 times faster than it is getting done.

Fortunately I do keep a spare shirt in my locker just in case I forget to bring one in (like I did today), unfortunately it is the free 787 Hawaiian shirt that the company gave out to a bunch of people. It's somewhat hideous and absurdly huge. I know that I'm fat for a bike racer, but fat for a bike racer is emaciated for a desk-jockey engineer, and these shirts are sized for desk-jockeys. It's like a damn moo-moo.

I don't like moo-moos, and even if I did like wearing them, I would expect to have some kind of beverage that has lots of alcohol, big chunks of fruit and a little umbrella while I was wearing them.

Stay tuned for an announcement on my birthday party later this month. You're invited.

Monday, April 02, 2007

This weekend can be summed up by saying I had decent results in somewhat dull races.

Saturday was the North Shore Circuit race put on by Western. There weren't many people interested in getting up in time for an 8:00 AM start, so we were left with a field of 30-ish starters. The course was an 8 mile loop with a decent sized uphill on the front side, and one on the back. On the first lap we were neutral up the front side, but on the backside hill Tom Peterson, Nathan Smith and Lang Reynolds attacked. They built a gap that looked to be growing so when we came back to the hill on the front side I bridged up. Saying "I bridged up" is a lot easier than the actual bridging, then when I got up there I looked around and noticed that each of them was probably 50-55 pounds lighter than me. That was my first indication that it wasn't going to be a fun day for me. A couple of laps later Lang flatted. We started to wait for him because we had a follow car but the follow car quickly cam zooming up to us with no Lang in tow and informed us that they had no wheels with them. Ooops.

Apparently the pack never really mounted a chase effort because the three of us proceeded to put about a minute/lap into the field. At the base of the backside climb, halfway through lap six our follow car zoomed up to tell us that we had six to six and a half minutes on the pack when Peterson attacked. I had been on the front and just pulling off so it hurt a lot to accelerate up to him on the climb. I caught him and Nathan just over the crest and sat in for most of the descent. I knew that the skinny kids were going to keep picking on fatty and figured I may as well sit in and last as long as I could. Nathan attacked near the bottom of the front side hill and Tom let him go. I say "Tom let him go" because he had a choice in the matter, me...not-so-much. Besides Tom knew what I knew which was that he could wait for Nathan to build up a gap then drop me on the climb and bridge up to Nathan and that's exactly what happened. At this point I had 6 and a half minutes on the field a power meter and two laps to go. I figured stick it at threshold and I should be able to TT into the finish just fine. I did that for half a lap when the follow car dropped back to me at the base of the backside climb and told me that they had shortened the race by a lap so I had half a lap to go instead of a lap and a half. I was in no position to complain. I had seen that Tom dropped Nathan on the backside climb but was too far back to put up any kind of chase with half a lap and both climbs to go. I took the remainder pretty easy figuring I wasn't going to catch Nathan or Tom and the pack wasn't going to catch me. That's how it turned out, Peterson 1st, Nathan 2nd, and me 3rd. Lang obviously managed to get a wheel and chase back on because he finished fourth with Michael Murdin right on his heels for fifth. The two of them had a good gap on the field sprint which got bungled courtesy of the race promoter who pulled his car into the final 200 meters not 15 seconds before the field sprint. Glad to see that college education in action. Everyone managed to sprint around it no harm done, but still.

Second most entertaining moment of the day (the first being the above mentioned race promoter field sprint debacle) was when the 4/5's came around after the first lap and one of them repeatedly yells "I need a Heed Bottle, I NEED A HEED BOTTLE."

How exactly do you need a feed in a 40 mile race and expect to get it in the section where everyone is going 35 mph downhill?

No matter.

Sunday was the third and final in the Tour de Dung series. I went into it with the series lead and I wanted to leave with the series lead. Early on Peterson attacks and dangles for a bit waiting for someone to bridge up. Tubbs actually came up to me and said what do you say we just let him go? I said, "fine by me." So my guys didn't chase, his guys didn't chase, nobody chased. We went really slow. It was pretty boring. It would have been more interesting with more teams, but we had minimal numbers from Axley and First Rate, no one from Garage (they had to run the race and were short on volunteers), Zoka, or The Valley, and less Hagens Berman guys than I'm used to seeing. Of the ones that did show up, there were three guys that I wasn't going to let get up the road without me (Jake McArthur, Lang Reynolds, and Ian Tubbs), and they weren't going to let me get up the road without them. I tried several times, they tried several times, but for the most part we just plodded along. There were a fair number of attacks from individuals that weren't a threat to the overall, and Lang in particular did a lot of chasing in the last lap or so to bring them back (where's the Axley support for Mr. Boots?). In the end Peterson won by something absurd (15 minutes plus or minus) John O'donnell went off the front for second and Higgy off the front for third. I took the field sprint for fourth on the day and first place in the overall.

Earlier in the day our Morgan on or Cat 4 women's team took their race, my race bike from last year won the cat 4/5 race (I suppose that Geoff Casey did a pretty good job riding it...) and Suz Weldon won the women's 1/2/3 race.