Tuesday, March 31, 2009

peice of cake...indeed

flat and windy. as advertised.
the cat 3 field stayed together for the entire race and came down to a field sprint. the 17mi course isnt exactly scenic and doubles back over it self in a spot or two, so its kinda hard to really tell where you are in the lap especially since i was just out in the pack til we neared the end. the nice race organizers must have realized how boring the race is too and were nice enough to put out a 3k sign in addition to the 1k and 200m signs. so at 3k i moved toward the front. there were a few teams doing the same, ironclad, team o, getting there lead out trains all lined up. so i just slotted myself behind which ever looked most promising, which changed a times in the final 2k. there was a left hand turn 700m out. after that the ironclad train decided to go pretty early. after taking is pull, one of the iron clad riders put the read end of his bike firmly into my front wheel. i got pretty side ways, but stayed up right (thanks brian) and my wheel hadnt started failing yet, so i continued givin her hell. team o went at 300 or so and i just drag raced em to the line, mostly seated so my front wheel didnt decide to collapse in on it self, and finally pulled out my first road W of the year. and possibly the last 'road race' ill do this year. 28pts. cat 2 upgrade. bring on the track.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

banana belt is over

well for this year at least. i didnt complete my goal of upgrading before the 2 week series, but i learned a good bit about road racing. mostly that, as i thought, its just not as fun as track racing.

the third and final race of the series had good weather, although rain threatened all day. but a small field of only. 30ish 2 riders went off early, and there teammates did their jobs really well, since the cat 3 field could not grasp how to work around 1-3 riders trying to disrupt chase efforts. frustrated and worried that this would end up like the first banana belt where i ended up not even getting a decent work out of the day, i decided to do way too much work and chasing, trying to organize and essentially teach the field how to not suck. i really didnt want to get neutralized for getting passed by the cat 4 field, since that would only give the break more distance and we would just end up passing them back eventually anyhow.

so a small field, good team presence and a field that could figure out what to do ended me up with an 8th place finish, no upgrade points, but i got a good workout. i ended up 4th place in the overall placing for the series. tied with sam for 3rd but some mitchem math puts m in 4th. i await my money eagerly. ha!

i leave you with me, at the front, towing the field around, since im smart.

Monday, March 16, 2009

banana belt #3

cold, windy as hell and pissing rain. i woke up feeling a little under the weather after not being able to sleep very well and i stayed that way for the majority of the day. i hitched a ride in a giant land rover with an even bigger trailer full of bikes from david godfrey and the landrover/orbea cycling team. when we got there, i contemplated not racing for a good 20 minutes, then started to get ready. i almost left my phone in my jersey pocket, but knowing it wouldnt survive the downpour for the next 55miles, i ran back and threw it in my bag. as i turned around, i saw my field rolling out in the distance. i chased on and began the suck fest.

a break went off early in the first lap and got a good minute on the field pretty quick. the next lap people were eying each other to see who was gonna do what and making half assed attempts at getting away. i saw what looked like a pretty strong group forming mid way thru the 3rd lap and i bridged across. there were about 8 of us to start, but quickly whittled down to 5 and we were taking fast short pulls running away from the field in a hurry. we kept on the gas for a good 25 miles or so. my lack of sleep and health started to kick in and i battled it gel and water and just tried to imagine this all being over soon.

we caught the 3 rider break with a lap (11 miles) to go. nearing the end 2 riders lit it just as i was put in a little box. i got out and thought about chasing, but they were pretty well gone, so i bided my time for a few more seconds and the at about 500 to go i charged hard and finished in third with a clean set of wheels. dont let that picture fool you. it was absolutely pouring rain the entire race and know i feel even more sick than i did before the race.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

banana belt #2

i should be rolling out for the start of a road race right now, but instead im sitting home, liquored up, on the internet. its pretty nice in portland right now, but hagg lake must be quite a bit worse. the race for today was cancelled. it probably snowed or something, hopefully, because i went threw alot of trouble getting ready for today.

i had my bag all packed with multiple options of clothing depending on the conditions, goo packets, hydration tablets, a few premade pb&j sandwiches. i got the riv-nut for my water bottle cage that has been audibly plaguing the cat 3 field for the past month tightened down. i cant tell you how many random people kept asking me if i got it fixed as of late. basically just short of being called out on the obra email list. and there was a party at my house last night, so i drug all of my race gear and rollers over to elena's house for a bike racer slumber party.

she made oatmeal for breakfast. we were dragging ourselves around the house like zombies because of the spring forward time change and just as were getting ready to leave, i figure i had better check my email. and sure enough, the race had been canceled. so now what to do???

go to mfp's (my fathers place-dive bar/diner) for "breakfast." kelly benjamin and her husband bill joined elena, darrell, brent and i. there we lots of eggs, pancakes, hashbrowns, coffee and what not. i got a coffee, oj, pint of beer, whiskey on the rocks and a basket of tater tots. oh and water. yeah. elena had trouble getting her bloody mary down, but. it was 8 in the morning, so i guess its excusable. im sure we could have just done a ride instead, but i think im going to pass out for a bit and ride in the afternoon. for now im going to consider my self the banana belt #2 beverage drinking champion of the week.

update: this just in. the roads at hagg lake WERE a little white this morning.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

banana belt #1

it was a little wet when i arrived at hagg lake but it didnt really rain steady on us for too long and the rain waited til the last lap of my race. the race itself was pretty boring over all. the most exciting thing to happen was about a lap into the race, someone dropped their water bottle. i thought i was going to miss it, but someone nicked it sideways and directly under my front wheel. i shifted my weight back for impact and "whoosh!" i got a nice refreshing blast of orange drink to the crotch. oh and i stayed totally upright. after that there wasnt too much that went on. some sketchy early season riders that like to yell at other people while being skecthy and be general roadie jerks that make me wish it was track season some more.

i waited too long and got caught in a ball of sketch at the sprint so i decided to just stay up right and finish 7th, not very tired and just out of the upgrade points, since our 44 mile race didnt make the road race mileage requirements so it was scored as a crit. 6 places deep. boo. but sam nicoletti won the 2nd lap prime (that i kinda forgot about till 200m) and jon kim won the race. both totally rad people in my field who i often make small talk and talk shit with while racing to curb my boredom. continuing to not take road too serious...