Hanging out, ready to sing some Blues

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mt Snow, VT to Valley Falls, WV: The Chrissy report part I

Sorry fan, we have been on the road chasing the dream and Wifi signals so our race reports have been delayed. But here you go, Mt Snow and Valley Falls…


Team Bi-atch (with LB) left WV in the AM and arrived in VT in the late PM. The trip was pleasantly uneventful. We chatted, slept, and Gunnar and I bickered, as he was not being very cordial about letting some people stop for nature breaks.

Betsy almost left Gunnar for this fella!

The team and LB arrived at our sweet digs late Thursday night. It would be a full house of dirty racers, thanks to one of our amazing sponsor’s: Miller Dentistry. With the Miller’s, Morgan, Betsy, Gunnar, Matt M., LB, Nick W. and I all finding ourselves in this amazing condo just 200 yards from the feed zone and 2 minutes from the starting line our home for the next few days. Besides the air being broken, the place was pretty darn sweet and I got a bed.

We woke up early to cheer on and heckle our Cannondale teammate, Morgan M., and WVMBA homie, the young Henry Spreng, in the junior race. This also gave an opportunity to cheer on some friends in the semi-pro race. Good work, Wes!!

After the required heckling and such, we chamoised up to take a spin on the course to try to figure out which gear to run on the SS and to find all the sweet local lines. It was your typical NORBA National course. Climb, climb, climb until it hurts too much, then climb some more, followed by some wicked-fast-gnarly descending. The 21 was decided on, but I should have chosen the 22 (or a geared bike), and then back to the condo for some absolute lounging and Tour watching.

The dreaded 8am start time. 5,4,3,2,1…GO! I was 3rd going into the first climb and quickly found myself in 1st. Sweet, I led it for about 10 minutes until we got to the next significant climb. This climb is still haunting me 72 hours later. It is the place where I feel I lost the race and I feel running a SS in the geared race may have proven to be a mistake. I dismounted and began to
trot all the while the geared boys were shifting to a lighter gear and pedaling away. This baby was long so I felt it prudent to walk and trot rather then run, because I could have easily blown sky high running the thing. This too is still haunting me; I believe I was way too conservative on that first lap. I have been racing 2+ hour races all season and this race would be well under 2hrs so I have the fitness and strength, aahh!!! On lap 2-3 I ran the damn thing with unabashed rigger trying to undo my first lap mistake of conservatism. So why didn’t I let it all hang out on that first lap? Yes, I am pissed and bummed with myself. Would I have let it all hang out had I been in the SS race? Would having gears allowed me to climb the darn thing and stay in 1st? Was I geared or just out-ridden? AAAAHHHH, these are the questions I have been wrestling with for the last few days. Back to the race: I rallied and buried myself on laps 2 and 3. I left everything I had on the climb and took some silly risks on the descents all in the hopes to make the podium. It was hard to tell what place you were in as there was many different classes out on the course. I was guessing I was somewhere between 4th and 8th. I was passing many, always being polite and diligent to see what number they had on their leg to determine if they were in my class. Near the end of the last climb on the final lap I saw one last guy with the same number as me. He was looking tired and was square pedaling, so I got on his wheel found the line and turned the pain meter up to 11. I dropped him pretty soundly as we entered the woods for the final descent. Yikes, just before exiting the woods he passed me and launched a pretty hard attack as we hammered through the flat section past the feed zone. I could tell he felt he dropped me since I was spinning the SS at 200rpms and he was in his big ring hammering away. But I put in some macho SS moves and hopped on his wheel. He looked back and was startled as I smiled and waved…then click, click as he shifted down for a sprint. Oh boy, it was on….elbows out and I was up to 300RPMs sprinting through the finish line shoot. Sadly, I was beaten by a ½ a wheel length and we were sprinting for 6th so I got 7th. No podium for Chrissy.

We cleaned up, ate and off to watch Betsy race in the Pro race immediately following her single speed natz victory. Coming through on the first lap she was mighty tempted to quit but with some words of wisdom from the Director and some loving heckling from Gunnar, LB, Mike Y., and I she rode strong passing half the field for 23rd…also on a SS!! Way to go Bunny!!! My new hero.

Observations from the day…

1. Gears or no gears?

2. I know in order to race at an “elite” level you need to have a very competitive disposition. However, yelling at, swearing at or insulting those you lap or pass is completely uncalled for. It is just bike racing. Perhaps if some took that passionate anger and focused it into some altruistic endeavors the world would be better place. Telling a 45-year-old expert women to get the F out your way is not cool. “On your left” worked for me. Yes, I may have lost 30 to 45 seconds with lappers and yes, it was mildly frustrating but screaming offensive shit at them was not going to make them move any faster; in fact, they may have even slowed out of spite. I would have. So please keep this in mind fan as you get faster and become a super macho “elite” racer: there is no need to become a complete asshole simply because you are fast on your bike because in reality what does it really matter. Sorry, enough peace-nik soapboxing.

3. Powderpuff is way tougher then all of us others on Team Bi-atch.


Gunnar: 13th mad mechanicals

Betsy: 1st SS and 23rd Pro

Chrissy: 7th

Mike Y. : 4th

Shout out and stuff:

- The Miller's

- WVMBA Homies that went to VT and made the journey back to the WV race: Morgan, LB, Matt M, Nick W., JP, Roth, Ben O. and Team Bi-atch

- our friends at VisitPa.com: they swept the podium

- Uncle Rob and Cannondale

- We wish WVMBA homie and international cycling rock star Sue H. a speedy recovery!!!

-Gerry Pflug: nice work sir

Valley Falls report will follow soon, fan.

Finally, it was great to see original Bi-Atch member, Mike Y., and his lovely wife Erika incubating Little Baby Bi-Atch!!!!

1 comment:

Fat-Boy said...

I made the choice back in the late 90's when someone acted like that with me, I just dont get out of the way then. Maybe that makes me an ass also but if you tell me to get the fuck out of the way you have to pass me in the weeds.. But I kinda have wondered what I would do now a days that I have the POWER!!!