Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gran Prix HPT CX

I've been looking forward to this race for a while. Last year I planned on doing it but for some reason I can't remember I didn't get to...not the case this year though!! So I head to the coffee nazi's house and we set sail to Topeka.

We Arrive at Heartland Park with plenty of time to sign up and do a proper recon of the course. During this recon we found a course that I thought was well balanced. A good dose of power sections and technical sections to keep the roadies honest!

On to the I sit at the start line Josh Taylor rolls up and asks me about the new start technique I've been using. I think about it for a second, whether I should share this secret and decide I'll throw him a bone. I tell him to start from the saddle. Like I used to and he still does, he starts standing...Starting from the saddle makes it easier to hit the pedal on the first try making hole shots that much easier.

Courtesy of Joe Houston

Moving the whistle I get another great start, refer to photo above, so much so that I was surprised when I looked around and I was alone heading down the start straight. Shortly after that the field catches up and it's on. I lean into the first turn in 3rd or we lean into the second turn Micheal Smith proceeds to bank shot off of me.

A little rant...I know that rubbin is racing and I don't have a problem with start banging bars a hundred meters into a local masters race is a bit much...if that would have been the last lap, so be it, we can bang bars all day long. I've been racing a long time and in my experience when riders have bumped me they, more often than not, bounce off and I maintain my line which as I recall is what happened to him...I gotta say, I lost a bit of respect for Mr. Smith for that one...

Anyway, we are racing along on the dirt track and the pace isn't very high at this point and then Tyler Henson comes charging by shortly before a downhill off camber left which was sketchy loose at best. He leans in and proceeds to lose the front but doesn't go down, he scrambles to save it and does but at this point I'm out of the saddle charging to close the gap and it becomes the OH SHIT moment of the race for me...I look up in time to barely skirt by him at speed...I'm talking inches here folks! The shot of adrenaline from scaring me had me laughing as I squeaked by!!

By the way, I decided to use some faster tires for this race...I was having issues with this until I settled down and realized I know how to ride all I have to do is do it!!! Sometimes easier said than done...

Pic By Roger Harrison

We roll through the infield and I'm in 4th and content with the we ride up the dirt embankment to the long straight I stand a bit early to put the power down and the front lets go causing me to dab at a really inopportune moment...I get squared away and have to sprint to get back to the train I was in...not too bad on the outside of the dirt track we are rolling along fairly well and I stat to cramp under my ribs....WTF!!! I had to ease a bit and slid backwards to 1st through 4th have set sail and Josh Taylor was 4 or 5 seconds ahead of me. I get rid of the cramps and reeled him in.

On lap 2 I decide to take over the pace making and drive for about a we get to a set of stairs I do the dismount run the steps and remount...this remount about killed me...I landed on one of my plums...I was like WTF!!! First cramps and now a flattened bean...I wanted to puke and cry at the same time...needless to say it took a little wind from my sail...and once back on the dirt track Josh came back around and took up the pace making.

Courtesy of Joe Houston

From then on the race was he and I for 5th and 6th...I gotta say he has a good poker face and was constantly putting digs in to try to dislodge me but after the initial skecthy riding and the ball breaking I was having a pretty good day on the bike so he wasn't going to get away.

Last I have to decide where to attack...each time I came up with a place Josh would put a dig in and squish that in the end I decided I was going to sprint him for 5th. As we approached the last hill I decided I would give it a go and at that time Josh's legs gave up on him and that was how it ended.

I had a good day but small mistakes and smashing manly parts do NOT help!!


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