Monday, April 4, 2011
First the good news; I beat my time from last year by 1:43!
Bad news; So did everyone else.
Dan Barry, was crowned King, setting a new course record at a hair over 28 minutes. Our Queen was Ellen Noble at only 16 years old! Congratulations on fantastic performances!
Shake down ride the on Saturday, bad karma begets me as I flat my racer boy Kenda Karma. Guess I'll have to live with the un-godly 1/4 lb extra a reliable tire is going to weigh. Also the day before I try on my skinsuit to make sure I don't look like the Michelin Man; fortunately no muffin top.
Kerry and I had decided to do the sensible thing and drive down together. Not knowing who would actually be driving I set about packing for the race. Extra shoes, gloves, socks, hats, tools, tubes, shorts, jersey, arm warmers, knee warmers, coat, undershirt,water, food; I had all the bases covered. It was a good thing because although it was quite mild in West Hartford when we left, the wind had picked up and it was pretty chilly in Charlestown.
Guess I won't be wearing the skinsuit I thought.
I bundled up and went for a pre-ride. In the trees it wasn't too bad. I needed to add air to my tires, so maybe while I'm back at the truck I should slip into my sexy-supersuit after all?
Strip down naked (again) in a parking lot in RI, go to my bag, no skinsuit. I packed everything except the one thing that I planned on bringing!
On to the race.
This year, unlike last, I decided to actually show up on time for my start, and everything goes off smoothly.
Then I get to the first rock garden (Welcome to Rock Island!).
I pretty much just stop. As if I'm on a trail ride I carefully pick my way through. I'm carrying no momentum whatsoever. Not really how you want to approach things IN A RACE.
On the smoother sections I'm keeping a good cadence going and feeling pretty strong, but every rocky section it's like the first time I've every ridden a bike; I just don't know what to do.
I hear some one coming up behind me, but when ever I dare a peek I don't see anyone.
There are two road crossings that they make you dismount for. The first one I take like a pro; hop off, run to the re-mount cone and do my best cyclocross mount.
The next one as I'm approaching it, getting ready to dismount, I crash into the left side of the trail and go down. I'm tangled in my bike and see Al Raine, the mysterious rider behind me finally (insert bad pun of how Al "Raine'd" on my parade here). I get up and start running off to the right side, but Al is concerned (and rightfully so) I'm going to do something stupid like step out in front of him. He offers me his wheel as we head down the pavement back to the woods, but I just can't latch on. He dangles in front of me on the long grind to the finish.
22nd overall. I'm not sure where that puts me in my age group, but I'd bet about the same as last year, and I'm okay with that. KoB doesn't really suit my strengths (or lack there of) but it's a great way to kick off the season. In light of my self imposed racing radius I better find a way to make flatter races become my bag.
Kerry and I were going to check out Arcadia after the awards, but then we decided grinders and donuts would be a much better idea.
I went with a smaller gear than last year, and I'm not sure if it was good or bad. I went faster, but so did everyone else. Bo Fuller won our age group riding the same gear I rode last year. He beat me as well last year, but only by seconds. Last year I remember feeling my gear was a little big on the climbs. This year I didn't notice any climbs.
I was second guessing going rigid as well. I felt over my head technically. There were maybe only 4-6 really rocky spots, but I didn't handle them too well.
We'll see how things go at Winding Trails before I do any thing "rash".