Monday, May 16, 2011
Priorities: Winsted Woods 2011 & CT State Championships
Winsted Woods was the second in the 2 race Connecticut State Championship mini series. I was the highest placed Cat1 SS rider from Connecticut at Winding Trails (series race #1), so Winsted was high on my list of priorities.
We had beautiful weather all week long; on my pre-rides, I actually thought the course was a little too dry.
But this is racing in New England, so weather will always be a factor...and of course it was.
As I began to get ready, it began to pour, then my Mom called.
Mom: What time is your race, it's an important one isn't it? We were thinking of coming up to support you?
Me: 11:30 AM.
Mom: Oh, I don't know if we'll make it on time.
Me: Mom, I don't even want to go out in this. You don't want to stand in the pouring rain for 2 hours.
Mom: Hmm, you'd better get going or you'll be late.
Me: Yeah, I suppose...
A positive attitude hard at work
The drive out looked like this:
Before we get into it, here's another conversation I had over the weekend:
Me: State Championships are tomorrow.
My Daughter Lillian (LB): and?
Me: I have a good chance at it.
LB: Do you win anything?
Me: Probably a medal
LB: That's it?
Me: Yes, but if I do well I might win something in the regular race, maybe enough to buy burritos
LB: Oh! Good luck! I hope you do well!
Priorities became clear.
Fortunately it wasn't cold. I debated if I should wear a rain "cape" for the race or not, and at the last minute pulled the old "Hold my bike" on Kerry. The conditions were nothing like they had been during the week. Hard pack was now greasy, and the fresh cut loamy stuff was churned into a fine unrideable slurry.
The first climb I thought I had made a critical mistake in my rear tire choice; it felt like it took 1 1/2 pedal strokes to equal 1. But I made it, and it turns out the sections I had to run (some might call it running), everyone had to.
My front tire choice was spot on and I'm pleased to say I stayed upright throughout the race.
As I caught rider after rider, I began to think I must be having a good day. I kept wondering if the leader of the 40-49 age group would catch me but it never happened.
The first lap I rode both jumps, on the second and third I rode the ride-around on the first jump as it wasn't really much slower and I had a gap. After the James Harmon Flight School training I had on Saturday, I rode the 2nd jump all three times.
It wasn't pretty.
In the end I caught all but two of the riders who started before me (except for the Pros of course) and was third fastest Cat1overall winning the Singlespeed class on BlüSteel, my rigid Singular Swift; sometimes simple is the best solution (the preceding was brought to you from the shameless plug department).
The spoils of victory
On a side note, I watched "Inglorious Bastards" yesterday. There is a scene in it where Colonel Hans Landa orders strudel for himself and Shoshana. That strudel has stuck in my head. On the drive home from the race the idea of coffee and strudel seemed very appealing. I stopped at a Starbucks. I knew I wouldn't get strudel, but the coffee is good. I couldn't even get in the door because two bus loads of private school kids had just been dropped off there. Then I remembered The Coffee Trade, they might actually even have strudel, but no, they were closed (even though their website says they're open until 5:00PM, tsk, tsk). Tried one more bakery in the valley but alas, they too were closed.
Is strudel too much to ask for?