Monday, November 05, 2007
Sunday was a trip to the quarry in Barton for a bike race. I know, a quarry doesn’t sound like much of a place for a bike race, and to be honest I am not sure if it is, but I’m just a passenger on this Crusade; it’s not my place to make these decisions.
Leading up to the race, I had planned on just simply going balls out and try to kill it, inflict some self suffering, and if I was lucky, cause some pain and suffering on anyone who wanted to play along. Sitting at my desk today, I can say I certainly caused my self to suffer, hopefully some others are feeling as miserable as a result.
Barton was a totally different race this year, Being in a gravel pit it featured a lot of …..gravel. Shocking I know. It also had some pavement, some dirt, some gravel covered pavement and some gravel covered dirt. Even with all the dry weather, they managed to find a couple spots of mud for us, nice guys. Threw in two lung searing run-ups and some gravelly corners sprinkled on top. Overall it was a flat course. And it was a fast course. I had a call-up to the second row, as I had dropped to 11th overall after missing last week’s race. I still got a good start and was up near the front going into the first corner. By the time we came around at the end of the first lap I had moved to the front with a mind on driving the pace. We had a group of about 11 off the front, and I was anxious to whittle this down. I knew that being in front for so long was not a smart race tactic, I even remember thinking to myself that I was just being a chump for the strong guys behind me. But I don't think that sitting in a paceline and letting others do the work is going to make you a stronger racer, so I kept trying to go to the front, at least for the first three laps. I eventually had to drop back in the line for a bit to recover. At the start of the fifth lap or so I started moving back up until I dropped my chain on the run-up. Not only did I drop my chain, but I got it wrapped around my crank arm and jammed in between the chain rings. I can’t figure out how that happened. I think it may have been sabotage while running up the hill….ok maybe not. No matter, I was forced to stop, get on the ground, and wrestle with my chain for what felt like an eternity, but in reality was probably 20-30 seconds, if that. We must have had a significant gap on the rest of the field as no one really got past me, just a few stragglers. I got going again and passed those guys up. I was obsessed and gave all I had to try to catch back up, but working alone was just too much and after a couple laps I could tell I wasn’t gaining on the front. I was able to grab on to some of the A men riders as they came by, and that helped me some, I even got within sight of a couple guys who eventually fell off the front pack, but that was in the last lap, too late to catch them. In the end I was lucky to finish 9th. Partly due to a couple guys in the front DNFing (Did Not Finsish).
I like I was so close to a good finish, but crappy luck, or poor skill, took it away again. I was hoping for a better finish from the day. The 9th place was enough to move me back into the top ten overall, but since I will miss the double points race, I will need a strong finish next week to secure my goal of a top 10 overall. I know I can do better. I just need to prove it.
On the bright side, or should I say, dark side, it looks like there is some rain in the forecast later in the week. Could be a muddy Estacada race.
Edited to change my finish from 8th to 9th, John McCaffrey finished 5th he did not DNF as first reported, nice race John.
Posted by CrossCurmudgeon at 10:14 AM