Sunday, July 22, 2012

Colavita XC

This past Saturday was round 7 of the UFD west series and my fitness seems to be going pretty good right now so I thought I would give it a go. A few pluses to this race...1. It started at 9:00am which is huge considering the weather we've been having lately. When the gun went off it was about 78 degrees, had it been a traditional start time, noon, it would've been about 90. 2. It was on a Saturday, which leaves Sunday to get recovered, which makes Monday that much easier!!

I'm a big believer in course inspection and this race was no different. I had the Friday off before the race so away I went. That was pretty uneventful until the last 100 yards of single track...I was riding fairly slow, my left pedal hit a rock which pushed me across the trail where my bar end hooked a tree and down I went...I got a little beat up, not bad though, the worst of it, and continues to get uglier, is where my bar hit my quad. I have a softball sized bruise and keeps gettin gnarlier by the day!! Here's a pic...

The good thing about this ugliness is it doesn't hurt to walk or ride so no worries!!

On to the race...I get to the venue with plenty of time to get squared away so no worries there. My warm up consisted of riding the first mile of single track and then to the start line. The promoter started all classes of experts together, of which there was much for knowing who to try and beat to the single track...The start was about 150 feet of gravel onto a grass hill which led to the single track.

GO!! As of late I've been pretty good at nailing the pedal on the first try...not this day! I think it took 4 tries on loose gravel to nail it much for a good position in the single track...BAH!! I hit the woods in about 15th...LAME!!

The first lap rolls by uneventful and the train is going fast enough that I'm sort of content. The course included about a half mile section of gravel road with 2 climbs on it this led to a fairly long single track descent, which was nice!! The rider I was following wasn't rolling quite as fast as I would've like so I say to him "c'mon man, this is the easy money part we gotta go"...he kindly obliged and picked up the pace.

Lap 2...I finally got passed the 2 riders in front of me and away I went. I was starting to suffer a bit and that had me all over the trail when it got technical...this lap was by far the toughest from a stay focused and keep moving through the technical standpoint. To say I was having issues is an understatement!!

Eventually I settle into a decent rhythm on laps 3-5. I consistently turned 24:00 minutes on each lap until the last one. It dropped to 25:00...I think that's because of lappers, my left quad trying to lock up on me, and my focus going away quickly!! I managed to pull my head out and get through the last lap unscathed and dab free in the technical which made me happy!!

I finished pretty strong. Again, I had no idea where I finished until Mr. Prosser, who finished 4th, comes up and says to me "did you get your money"? I said no, I hadn't looked at the result yet. To which he replied with a smile "you finished 3rd, you put 5 minutes on me you fucker"!! I was like SWEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!! I had no idea!!

There you go now you know...3rd in class and as far as I can tell 7th outta 23...not a bad day at all!!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tour of Lawrence

Photos courtesy of Roger Harrison

I decided to give the Tour of Lawrence another go this year, mostly because it's a pretty big race that's close to home and it has a good payout that goes pretty deep for each race. For the past 2 years I've wanted to line up in the masters race but Mother Nature put water on my aspirations...bitch!!!

So this year I made up my mind well in advance and was going regardless of the weather...which this year was dry and HELL HOT!! One of the best thing about racing masters races is it's usually the first race of the day and this one was no different. WOOOOOOHOOOOOooooo!!! Don't have to race in the hell hot heat!!!

My race started at 9:15am and it was about 83 degrees, life is good!! The high in Lawrence that day was at least 100 and the 3's race was at 2:30ish I believe...Gotta love being an old guy!!

On to the race. Just like like the Tour of KC, I was a bit nervous, mostly the usual race day nerves, and a little from lining up in a race that pays well...meaning the quality of racer would be higher and it could get brutally painful quickly...I think that had me a little spooked to ride at the front...

The race finally starts after about a 20 minute delay for cars being towed off the course. This made me laugh, it's a college town and I would be willing to bet the poor jackasses were still passed out and were going to wake up to more than a hangover!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Moving on. The race starts and it gets rolling pretty good right away. They offer a Challenge Tire prime on the first lap and Mr. Johnson, a former teammate of Steve Tilford, hired as a sprinter, proceeds to take this with relative ease.

For the most part this race rolled on pretty uneventful for me. I stuck my nose in the wind early in the race, after that it was try to stay close to the front. I don't recall ever suffering really bad...hmmm...should have launched an attack or two...hindsight....BAH!!!

Several attacks were launched but none were successful due to the strength of the field. There were 3 cash primes and each time they rang the bell, I was not in a good position to contest any of them...oh well...

The race rolls on and with 4 to go I was sitting about 20th. I decided it was time to move up and get ready for the last lap melee...with 2 to go I'm sitting about 10th as we cross the line to start the last lap. I think to myself it's time to get closer to the front, with that in mind I started picking my way through and made it to 6th with ease...That by itself surprised me because every time I wanted a gap to open it did, I have never moved to the front of a race that was great!!

Going into turn 2 I'm in 6th and the pace goes to the redline. More or less every lap before this one, the field would surge and come around any group that was driving it...not on the last lap, this made me happy!!

We get to the top of the track and I'm still in 6th, SWEEEEEEEEET!! We make a left and start the fastest section of the course. Somewhere in the last 1/4 mile 8 riders got by me...I don't really recall because we were flat out flying and I didn't think it would be a good idea to be rubber necking at that particular moment. We turn on to the start/finish straight and the sprint is on.

I managed to not get passed and not pass anybody...but I did finish 15th, right at the bottom of the payout and got my entry back, so it was a good day. Any race you finish upright and get a little mean green for you effort is a good race no matter how you look at it!!