Well I did this race looking to finish Mid-Pack and I did! Also got a medal since it was only a 10 person field. The race was going to be the longest expert race I had done this year, but 1/3 the way through the first Lap the heavens opened up. It was interesting racing in these rainy conditions. I think they favored me more cause I usually loose time on the turns and with the rain people had to check their speed more. I was riding my new Maxxis CrossMarks and these tires worked out pretty well considering they are not mud tires. I was happy when the race ended when it did cause I had some serious chain-suck going on. The funnest part of the race was riding with the DCMTBers out on the trail. I felt pretty good and would have been interested to see what I could have pulled out of this race in the full length. (photos by pushstart MORE?)
Well I actually felt good for the part of the race I did! I only did ¾ of a lap cause my masterlink in my chain bent. So my new thing is to not have a masterlink in my chain but carry one to fix a chain.
I started next to Matt, and things were scrambly going up the gravel climb, but once in the single-track I was feeling pretty good. The creek trail I was loosing little seconds here and there, and actually got passed by two guys, I then passed them and caught up to Matt in the open Power line section. I thought OK Matt is strong I will ride here and this should be a good race. Then back in the woods the bike started shifting weird and Matt was like, “come on”, and I was trying but had lots of ghost shifting. I ended up stopping and Joe was like, “Oh man”. So I road a little more then got off the course and walked my bike back to the start finish area. . Since I DNFed on the first lap I was able to go and cheer people on as they raced. Which was a different experience then I usually have at the W@W races.
I had a good time hanging out with Joe from Bike Lane and some of the Pedal Shop people at Kilroys , and got to talk to Mike, Joel, Joe, Matt from the DCMTB team as well. Well this weekend is the Wakefield cranky race, big difference to W@W is that the expert race is 24miles. So I have some goals I want to achieve and I will have my chain fixed by then.
My third road race of the season, the Giro de Coppi, I felt this was a race that was a good fit for me. The DCMTB team was trying to set up a plan to do something in this race. I felt great, and was riding in the front a lot with Wolfgang from NCVC who I know through PPTC. On the second lap I did a dig up the climb and really put a lot of distance between me and the peleton, I thought some others would bridge, but they didn’t so I didn’t go full bore and re-integrated to the group. The third lap I didn’t attack but brought the tempo up on the climb and still no one came with me. So I was like ok I will set something up for Matty on the final rise to the finish. Well it comes towards the end and I am itching to go, and I see an opening and I go, I thought it was the 500m sign but it was the 1500m sign(Doh!) So I get a good gap, I’m going 36 mph and Matt has gotten my wheel and shooting Go Go! Well I think I did about 1000m but then I was spent. So the group flew by me and I soft peddled coming in last of the first group which gave me 15th. I am going to do this race again someday, and I am either going to be part of a breakaway that works or just save myself and gun it at the line.
Yes that is the title of the ride you can figure it out.
Right off the bat, this was the hardest muscle ride I have ever done. I have been fatigued before in biking, but never so much muscle ache. This ride I felt like I worked out in the gym doing squats! The ride is 7 climbs with 5 being 1000ft in 1 mile. When doing this it is imperative to have a compact crank or triple. With my 36-26 I was still dieing. The crew we had was Bruce,Ryan and Mark. I was riding with my rival team the Bike Lane boys, but like the saying goes keep your friends close and your enemies closer!:-) Bruce is doing a topic about toughest workouts for MetroSports. He got this ride as a brutal hill climb ride. Well it delivered in spades. A couple things I noticed on the ride:
Bruce has no fear in desending! While I seem to have some fear issues still after I crashed 6 years ago going 47 mph down Harp Hill.
Ryan is coming into some good form, and he was hurting me on the medium grades.
Mark who is 51 or 52 is pretty phenomenal I mean he is 20 years my senior and rides the same speed as I do!
My form seemed pretty good, most climbs myself and Ryan would lead and Mark would gain ground going up the climb. Bruce was hampered with riding a 39-25 which I would have pulled a muscle if I used that. The hardest climbs I felt were Hamburg which is 6 miles into the ride, and it is longer then the others. ZittlesTown was the hardest, with these crazy steep pitches thrown in there. Coxy Brown was a destroyer, in that it was at the end of the ride, if it wasn’t stepped, and didn’t have this 500M of flat in the middle I would have had to walk. We weren’t racing, just going our own pace. I was feeling it a couple of times when we were doing rollers in the valley, where Ryan was tapping out a strong rhythm. I think riding the steep hills of Liberty furnace last weekend paid off; because these climbs were very similar in severity. I seemed to do my best when the climbs were at their worst. I think my strong suit is my breathing, in that I seem to do better when the climb is about just getting up the mountain, not about the speed you do the climb.
I think I am going to reroute this ride a little and do it again, it should be better, with us not going on the same roads as much. I was able to beat Ryan back to the car, but he got held up by some pickups on the downhill so I didn’t really beat him but DCMTB was first to the parking lot.
This was to be the big epic biking weekend! Well it kinda happened. Sid and I went down to Catherine Furnace, and started this ride I had planned only by using Topo and PATC maps. Well lets just say there were a lot of re-routes. Well luckily I brought the PATC map with me, cause this ride was not what it seemed. We ended up hiking up the purple trail which was 3 miles with a good portion of that being hike-a-bike. We then went to the top of Catherine Furnace on the dirt road, and then instead of doing the bombing downhill that the MORE folks did in the fall we went down the orange trail, that I didn't mind but Sid Hated. We needed water and instead of doing the stream water with Iodine Pills we were able to get drinks at the gas station in New Market. We ended up doing a 10-15 mile gravel/road ride back to the car. I felt good on the day. The biking legs were in great shape. The hiking muscles not so much. The ride was a total of 42 miles and like 7 hours in 90 degree heat. The bike time was only like 4.5 hours though.
We then went to Harrisonburg and got some grub at some great burger/greek place. Finding a Hotel was the worst because of some stuff going on in Harrisonburg that night, and then in New Market stuff was booked there too. Finally got a place at Days Inn.
The next day we met Jay at Liberty Furnace, and we all were tired(Jay had done a wedding the night before). I did good on the first climb, but had to really push it since I didn't have 34T in the back but a 32T so I couldn't go slower than 4mph. The Hike a Bike section killed me! my hiking muscles were sore from the day before, and so I just took my time. On the way down Big Schloss I ran into Mark and I rode with him and we regrouped at Wolf Gap. After Wolf Gap we went up the climb with Mark in the lead, me in second, and Jay and Sid behind. Sid's Chain broke and luckily I had some extra links, and was able to wait for them at the top of the mountain. Well Mark and I went to the lookout, and then Jay and Sid never showed up. I checked my phone (had to go up to the lookout to get reception) and they had to bail, and I had Sid's stuff in my car. Well they were waiting in the Wolf Gap parking lot, and Sid's bike blew up! This ride is not meant to be done I tell you! Twice this ride has not happened. Well I rode to the car on my bike, while the others drove there in Mark's Car. I was tired, I could have rode more, but I would have only done so if I was on the trail on the way back to the car. So the weekend wasn't a total bust, but I expected more. I think my Cross bike adventure in the fall will pan out better.