Monday, April 30, 2012

Singlespeed A Palooza 2012

I almost skipped SSAP this year.  I was registered and all but I did a cost analyst of buying gas to drive to NY, vs. registering for Massasoit, and begging Fearless Leader for a ride and splitting travel expenses with him.  Plus with most of the Northeast's singlespeed heavy hitters in NY...

Then I remembered Fabian races singlespeed.  I bet he's going to SSAP!  In fact he was and would be delighted to drive my cheap ass to the race.

After I randomly changed our meeting spot 3 times we were on our way.

We line up, Mike blows an air horn and we're off on a 4 mile gravel road prologue.

There's some jockeying for position, and the real contenders take to the front.

I am not one of them.  I'm sort of in the front of "the rest".
At one point on the first lap there was a guy on my tail in the singletrack asking to pass.  I'm not feeling super, so I get over to the right as far as I can trying to be a nice guy...and put myself into a bush.  My tailgater and another guy pass as I pull myself out of the rough.
Now I'm settling into a group of 4 with the two guys who passed, and a guy on a Green Custom rigid.
Lurking close by is Thierry Blanchet.

I'm not having fun.  I want to quit.
There are two sharp, brutes of climbs and I get rid of all but Green Custom (or so I thought).

Then we get to the fireroads.
Green Custom, Terry, and a guy from Bicycle Tech pass.
I want to quit.
I'm going to quit.

We go through the start finish and I forget to quit.

In the singletrack I get on Thierry's wheel, and I think I must be annoying him, because he gives me the line.

I get up to Green Custom's wheel.  I'm starting to have fun.

That's what this is all about, right?

I pass him, and as the trail points down he asks to go to the front.  After my foray into the foliage, I tell him I'll get over as far as I can, but you've got to make it happen.  Before he can do anything we are at brute #1.

I grind up it and get a little gap.
After brute #2 I'm alone.

Trying to stay on it, and enjoy the singletrack.
Then comes the fireroads...

I enter the fireroads alone.  There is a long, gradual climb.  Climb is good, right?

It's not steep enough for any power / weight advantage I have to be effective but I'm not strong enough to stay seated.

Thierry is.  He passes me, and with all the love in my heart, I tell him he sucks.
I throw everything I have at getting to his wheel and getting to the singletrack ahead of him.

Success!  I turn in before him.

I'm totally gassed and he passes me back; failure.
Then two guys I haven't seen all day catch and pass me (Chris Michaloski and Jeff O'Hara).  There are a couple of more climbs before the finish, but I got nothing left, and just hope no one else can get by.

No one does and I finish 19th.
My goal was to be in the top 20%.  This puts me at the top 27%.

Oh well.

I'm glad I didn't DNF, because the singletrack was really fun.
I just really suck at all the fireroad stuff.

Some one who doesn't suck at all is The Harmonizer who gets the big W.
must be due to his coach

Now go read about Doug's adventures.


Terry Blanchet said...

Thx for the mention, Charlie, and also the kindness of stopping by to introduce yourself prior to the race. It's nice for me to be able to place the faces with names I repeatedly see above mine when I venture into SS-land over at Root66.
By the way, no concerns about whether you were annoying me on my wheel, I pulled aside as I know you've certainly got it over me on the more technical and undulating singletrack. By the way, way to crush it up "The Brute" on Lap2, we had a tight group of four at that time and you blew it apart being the only one to pedal up it again a second time.
Cheers, hopefully cross paths again next time my XC race plans take me back over to New England...

James said...

Great job charlie! I'm glad you didn't quit. Thanks for being my coach! Your coaching absolutely helped me get the win! Everyone should have a coach and I can't think of a more positive, encouraging, and self sacrificing one like you. Thank you, James