Hanging out, ready to sing some Blues

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A restful "off" weekend from racing, so why not do back to back crits!?!?

Well fan, it was a lovely “off” sort of past weekend. All the mountain bike race plans, three off them, were cancelled because of logistic issues or because of mother nature reaping complete hell on the trail conditions. One more weekend for this racing gypsy to sleep in his own bed was just dandy though.

But don’t fret fan, I scoured endlessly over the regional road racing calendars to find something to entertain ya and me. I headed up to the Fort Ritchie Crit in Somewhere, Maryland. Now I was expecting some ugly-suburb-monolithic-gross-industrial park setting but I was rather pleasantly surprised. After exiting the interstate I followed a rather picturesque babbling "crick" up to the gates of Fort Ritchie. The base it self aint so piteruresques but the mountains in the foreground….sweet!

The course was surprisingly pretty cool too. It was not some super macho down crit with crazy fast turns and swarming groupies but thank Buddha it was not some boring rectangle industrial park. It came complete with sixish turns, some S action, a fast hard back straight and Joe J. talking all sorts of mad smack on the P.A. My favorite, “ they are strung out like Lindsay Lohan on a Saturday night.”

In the attempt to always make myself suffer more then I need to, I decided to sign up for the Elite Masters and Elite race. Knowing that there is little chance for me to place in a crit, except in the off-chance I get in a break or the whole field crashes, I felt 2+ hours of a crit effort would replicate any effort I was missing by not racing the mountain bike this weekend. In fact, it would probably give me a better high end and speed work out. The Masters race went well I suppose. Some older pro-ish dudes from Harley got up the road, team time trialed, and lapped us. There was some grumbling in the pack as to why “proish” guys race in the Masters but hey whatever. If they are old enough so be it. Me pappy always says “you are only as fast as the company you keep” so getting your ass kicked will make you work harder next time. The masters races are always a mix bag of characters anyhow. From your pro’s or ex-pro’s to fit newbie cat 4’s that lack the pack skillz. The racing is always hard but always a little sketchy do to the mix of experience with an always endless number of gaps to fill and bridge. I did some moving and shacking but mostly was in it for the training. I sat up with a half a lap to go as a “single-speed ultra-endurance specialist” I ain't got no sprint nor do I want to mix it up for the 8th place glory. I have no wife or kids to impress.

I had an hour break before the Pro1/2 so I grabbed some food and drink and spun around for a bit. This race was full tilt from the gun, but in a way it was easier. We were constantly going harder; however, we never slowed in the turns making the accelerations out of turns a little easier. In the prior race, with the disparity in experience we’d fly into the corner brake hard and accerate equally as hard out. In this race I barely touched the brakes and only stood up coming out of the finish line turn. ..which brings me to the conclusion… With about 20 laps to go I started feel a cramping twitch forming in my right leg when standing while exiting said turn. Now in a MTB race or even a road race you can ease up shake it out…etc. But in a crit not so much. With 12 to go that baby was in full cramp mode. Now remember by this point I had been racing close to 2 hours too. I also started to get that funky pre-bonk fuzzy grey vision thing going on. And again no time to eat. So with 10 to go I felt it most prudent for the safety of myself and my fellow homies to pull out. And by that point over half the field was gone so that aint so bad. By days end I raced 63 miles in 2 hours. Yup, it hurt!! Not bad for some silly mountain biker…what what!!

Alas we hit the dirt this coming weekend. I was supposed to do a double header but sadly the 100k on Saturday has been cancelled due to lack of participants..come on guys/gals buck up-- a 100k won’t kill ya!!! We Bi-atchs will be hitting WVMBA #3, the Tour Dah Lake. Last year we showed up 45 minutes after the start because we were saving wayward graffiti turtles. Hopefully this year we will make the start. Lastly I hope I am riding well because I am way behind in points now after skipping round 2 and we will be skipping round 4 for the Mohican 100. So I need a good finish. See ya out there!!!!

Sorry still no photos.

"May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face" and may your wheels always find it safely back to the ground.

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