Sunday, May 30, 2010

I uh wuh

I bring you this update from a doubley male occupied queen size bed in the Muskie Motel in the booming metropolis of Muscatine, Iowa. And yes, The Muskie is a nice as it sounds.

We're out here for the memorial day weekend races that include a Friday RR, followed by 3 crits, one of which being Snake Alley. So far we've completed half of the weekend so I figured I get you up to speed.

Well we nearly missed the start to the road race because we rode our bikes to the wrong side of tracks, literally. We went to get a bite to eat (a six inch sub and three cookies), and the worlds longest train blocked us from getting back to the start. The train was about 7 minutes long but we arrived with a whopping 3 minutes to spare. So I just finished my cookies on the neutral roll out.

In an unusual development, a break stuck and we weren't represented, so we fought for scraps in the field sprint. Chris 7th, Paul 10, yours truly 12th. Nothing to write home about but we all kept our skin on the sketchy run into town.

Saturday was the main event of the weekend, the Snake Alley Criterium. We did 20 laps, whick meant 20 trips up the short but steep Snake. Its a rough brick climb with 5 switchbacks and is only 30 seconds long or so.  The race normally blows up completely except for the group of leaders.

This year I found myself in the lead group of 15 or so with Paul off the front with some crazy Ukrainian dude. Well Paul dropped his chain and was coming back to the field so I tried to get on the front and set a little slower pace, but all that my efforts on the front accomplished was putting me into the red, and with 90 degree temps, there was no recovering.

The leaders dropped me with 1.5 laps to go, just going over the top of the snake. So I rolled in alone to finish 18th. That doesn't sound like much, but it really isn't terrible considering the parcours.  I am kind of disappointed because if I had been a little mire conservative and stayed out of the wind a but more, I'm sure I could have stayed with the leaders for the remaining 3 min of racing and factored into the sprint for 5th.  I guess you learn from your mistakes, but an extra 500 bucks sure would be welcome in my pockets.

We still have two crittier crits left this weekend and those are just what I like, so hopefully we can pop off a win and get errbody's pockets phat.

Here's a link to the race coverage Geraint, the man behind Bloomington Velo-News, wrote for Podium Insight.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Winona Lake

I keep thinking about writing a blog entry, because I've been doing some racing and some other blogworthy (in my opinion) stuff, but it just keeps getting put on the back burner. I finally got the motivation to put some of it into writing, but I'm going to do it in a few separate installments, to avoid one mega-post.

At the start of May I headed up to Warsaw, Indiana for the Fat and Skinny Tire fest. For us skinny tire types, it was a weekend with a 60-some mile road race and an hour long crit the next day. The turnout for the road race was great, better than almost everyone expected. We had 3 guys there, Roadhouse had a handful, Nuvo had a small gaggle, Verizon had a few, RGF had Rolf & Co., Kenda sent Kamikaze Chad B. up to do their dirty work, and there were a few other strong men from assorted teams.

The course was a windy flat square and the racing was hot from the gun. It took almost an hour to get any type of separation, but when it did we had Greg in it. He was only one of 7 or so, so I tried to get across to it... for like 15 miles. As we were about to get to the break, Chris Uberti and David Williams came blazing past us and finished it off for us. This was nice because it ended my suffering and also gave us 3 Panther riders in the break. Eventually the break split again with Chris, Erik Hamilton and Will Nowak getting away together. We were fine with that because Chris has an almost .500 win percentage on the season. As usual, he didn't disappoint. With Chris winning the 3 up sprint, Greg and I threw down mediocre sprints from the remainder of the break and were able to bring home a small amount of additional bacon for the squad.

Sunday Greg and Chris went home, leaving me to do work alone. It was a pretty nasty day with thunderstorms rolling through periodically. A similar, yet slightly smaller field was assembled for the crit. I knew a break would go, so I was prepared to be on my toes. I started in the front row and nailed my pedal right away. I was in a bit too large of a gear and kinda sprinted to get on top of it by the first turn. I ended up taking the "hole-shot" and diving into the first corner. I rolled it steady through turn 2 and check behind to see what was crackin'. Nothin. John Puffer and I had a nice little gap, considering we had been racing for 15 seconds. We both took a couple hard pulls and stretched out the gap. Some of the other well represented teams sent guys across and we all rolled it nicely. A few of the initial members of the move got dropped, so we settled in with 5 of us and lapped the field real quick like. We spent the remainder of the hour trying to separate ourselves from each other, but the guys with teammates weren't letting that happen.

Once it became evident that we would be sprinting with the remainder of the field, Ben Renkema offered to lead me out since I was solo, he was solo, and hadn't lapped. Sounded good to me. Ben can sprint very rapidly. I found him on the last few laps and went into the last corner on his wheel, and came out of it sliding on top of his bike...

I got up and wobbled my bike across the line for 5th place, suffeciently bummed that I couldn't get a little more out of that situation. So it goes. Joe Martin on tap