First off I have to give props to J-Dub – the man behind the lens. All of the pictures you see in this section have been taken by him. You can find his shots a Peloton-pix.com
. I have his site listed in my links on the right as well.
The man with the best seat in the house
So…Whitewater…As I said before it was a mtb race dressed as a cross race. If you weren’t climbing you were descending.
I got a kind of crappy start and just went backwards the whole race.
Right at the start. Flanman (listed as “Carlos Flanders” – the guy in registration were stoned – 4-sure) is on the far right of this shot.
The long beach section was soft and deep enough that you pretty much had to ride in the water or run it. Many rode it, but a ton ended up losing it at some point. I cut my loses and ran it except for one lap…..this one
For those keeping score that’s me coming across the line at the end…ready to die….and before you ask – yes that’s a girl who finished in front of me. I am sure someone will chime in about her palmares, etc. but …it’s a girl….and she beat me.
Now…I on sunday I was starting to not look forward to racing anymore. I was beat up so badly in Wisconsin that it broke my soul. That performance after Northbrook – which was a loser of a day as well – had me feeling like my season was truly over. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to toe the line.
We stopped and ate at a McDonalds – yes…haven’t eaten there in forever and it rocked – and I almost couldn’t manage to get together enough will to get up from the stool to head out to the race.
Getting crushed at races is an expected thing when you start. It’s also an expected thing when your form wanes. That doesn’t change the fact that you still feel like a piece of poo when it happens. It just kills a tiny piece of your soul. Hurts. I was not looking forward to the pain
…then we turned the corner and I could see the course. Holy crap my mood did a 180. It was as flat as my first girlfriend (4th grade) and the only things that broke it up were the sandpit and 3 barriers. That’s it. It was a grass crit. These things are made for people like me. If you’re keeping score that means that it was made for short fat guys who can duck out of the wind and lay down some serious power….Wisconsin guys say it was an FIB course.
I did a happy dance in my mind.
It was still painfully cold though.
This is MJH2 and myself talking about the race/course with Ara who had just gotten done. You can see his wheel on the left hand side. Can you tell we’re really f’n cold or that 2 days racing have started taking their toll already?
Here’s Ara rockin the pit in the 1/2/3 race. Photo from link off Pegasus blog (Luke). Check out his other photos here
The race was pretty much what I expected. It came down to the start. I got a crappy one. You can see it in the video. I was second row right behind Bob from Beverly. We were all lined up on the left and the right side was the one that made it into the turn first. By the first turn I was right behind MJH2 and we were an easy 20 guys back. It sucked.
I couldn’t find a groove early on. The 2 day’s of racing had taken their toll. I just didn’t have anything deep. It was the kind of course where you could put it in the big ring and ride 99.9% of it there. I was running the sand for sure. I tried to ride it early on in practice and just couldn’t hit it at all. There was a barrier before the sand that was close enough to make it hard for me to get up enough speed to carry the sand.
I didn’t bend to the crowd pressure and stuck with running. After the first lap I was wanting to quit. I have been feeling that way lately. Sad. I know enough about myself now to know that’s just my body getting going. As long as I keep turning the pedals I will come out the other side of it. I gave up some spots. Flanman passed me at one point and I couldn’t hold his wheel long. I gave up a lot of ground to others for sure.
Then on the second to last lap I started to feel it. My groove was coming on. I passed 4 riders at once, followed up by some other quick passes. At this point lapped traffic started to filter down through us. Don’t know what it is about cross, but lapped traffic is a total PITA. In a crit it’s no biggie even if they take the line, but in cross they really slow you down and get in the way. You never have any breath left to yell either.
I got cut off and run into a few times by lapped traffic. Shiz happens I guess.
I really hit a groove on the last lap. I was feeling good, and was actually hoping for another lap or two. This was probably because when I hit the pavement section I looked to see where the next rider was and saw it was Bob from Beverly and he was in the pit. There was no way I was going to be able to catch him before the line.
The pit was crazy. Rabid cross fans feeding on beer, brats and the energy of each other. Check the videos to see what I mean. It’s weird because the rest of the course was dead silent with no spectators….then you entered the tunnel of sound. Yelling, bell ringing, people crowding the rout and in the way from time to time. It was crazy….crazy awesome.
I ended up finishing strong, but the damage had already been done. I ended up 20th. Poop.
Video from the Lansing race. You can see me and MJH2 lined up in the front row on the opposite side. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtQ42Lt6qDg
Next race is Woodstock. The gentlemen (Jeff?) who is putting it on is the guy that did the cross clinic I attended before I started all of this stuff. During the clinic he mentioned that the course would be very hilly and have lots of technical terrain changes. Others who know the park say it will be pretty hilly.
After Wisconsin I have no fear of hills. Should be interesting to see how I do. I am going against all my instincts and I am going to change the cassette and eliminate my 27 bailout. It might be what I want to spin, but it’s just too slow for racing.
Finally I’ll leave you with this shot of Recursive. It’s just a f’n awesome shot. The shirt is appropriate as well. “That’s how I roll.” – J-Dub is the man.