Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Day in Belgium

This week was kind of shitty, the weather I mean. It was either raining or very windy which was fine because I had a relatively busy week with work forcing most of my workouts inside on the rollers. Expecting to have a good week on the bike, it started out really bad. Now that racing has semi-officially started with Tradezone, I'm thinking it's time to step it up a bit. My Wednesday workout was horrible, I felt like crap and barely finished it. A day's rest gave me the energy and the motivation to hit the same workout again with much better results. Of course the weather clears for a beautiful sunny day yesterday but I was planning another hard interval workout on the rollers before finishing it off with Tradezone today, hopefully.

Last night Gina and I went out to dinner at the Rumor Mill in downtown E.C. This was the second time we've eaten there and it's pretty good food that's reasonably priced. It helps that Gina picked up these gift certificates that basically give you a half price meal, and they include alcohol in that, very rare for a restaurant. They have tapas style menu consisting of American-Asian fusion. We decided to start out with a bottle of wine to make sure we made the required $ amount. I honestly can't remember the last time we went to dinner and split a whole bottle between just the two of us. Let's just say I was planning on not racing Tradezone today.

I woke up this morning with my tongue glued to the roof of my mouth from dehydration and expecting the ground to be covered with thin layer of snow with freezing rain coming down, but to my surprise it was clear out. Guess I was racing today. By the time I left the house it was sunny and relatively warm, after checking the weather report it looked like we may have a shot at a clear race. 20min later I'm halfway there and it's raining, go figure. Race flyer says canceled if rain, snow or sleet. Call a teammate who should already be at the race, he tells me he's heading home not wanting to race in the rain with a cold. Call HEF who calls the race hotline, no luck. Get to the race and it's a good 15-20 degrees colder than when I left the house.

I went ahead and signed up for both the A and B races. My warm up basically consisted of sitting in either the car or the port-o-john and I wasn't feeling great after two hard training days and a half bottle of wine. Today we had some serious numbers and a strong squad. On the start line HEF says he wants to go from the start, I think ok, let's do it. Of course, for the second week in a row, Amy, Kyle's wife, manage to snap a shot of me on the start line yawning. It's my psych out technique, it's all I got.
As soon as the whistle blew, HEF was off. He got a quick gap on the field and I closed to his wheel hoping to help launch him on the backside after coming out of the wind. He pulled about halfway to the second turn before I came through and pulled the rest of the lap. We never really pulled away from the field bu we certainly split it up early. I can't remember if it was the second or third lap but we had just been caught but were still on the front when our new teammate Stephen launched a counter attack that opened up a huge gap. HEF had the legs to bridge up to him while I was content to stay in the pack and disrupt anything that tried to chase it down. This is where shit went wrong. The first couple of laps I had been leading through turn 2 where there was a poor attempt at cleaning up an oil spill. This is the trickier of the three turns on the course and the oil and rain made it worse. I made the mistake of coasting through the turn and not pedaling. Not pedaling causes you to not apply force to the rear wheel which in turn gives you no traction. In a split second my rear wheel washed out and I was on my ass sliding across the road. Fortunately I didn't take anyone out and was able to roll down to the start/finish and rejoined the race.

As I waited to rejoin, Stephen, HEF and an NCVC guy go by with a nice gap to a 2 man chase which had a gap on the field. After rejoining the race, we quickly grabbed up the two chasers who seemed to have cut bait on the windy backside. A lap or two later we picked up the NCVC guy who couldn't keep up with HEF and Stephen. For the rest of the race Kyle and I pretty much shut down any and every attempt to organize a chase. At some point it started raining, freezing rain. I was wearing wool gloves which just soaked up the cold water. At one point I couldn't tell if my shifter was broken or I just wasn't feeling it in the first place to shift, that was about the time my Harden the F*#& Up meter hit 11.

Me hitting the deck early probably helped HEF and Stephen because no one wanted to go through the turn at speed and they were gaining about 5sec a lap, if the race were a few laps more they would have lapped us. With 4 or 5 to go I tried to get a break going with two NCVC guys but they each took one pull and blew themselves up after a lap, should have known better. Maybe spend more time racing than posing for the camera.
Last lap I just kept the pace as hard as possible on the long stretch before the final turn trying to set up Kyle or HEF1 for the sprint. Unfortunately I blew up just before the turn but had the field strung out enough that the other Kyle (Pittman) was able take the sprint with Kyle (Jones) a spot or two behind him.
Stephen and HEF crossing the line, apparently no coordination resulted in an intra-squad sprint, HEF let him have it. 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th for day isn't bad. After the race I was so cold I was shaking uncontrollably. With no dry clothing or gloves to change in to, HEF and I bagged the A race while Stephen lasted two laps before pulling out for lack of feeling in his hands and arms. We opted for some coffee and grub at Atlanta Bread Company. As I'm sitting here my lower back is really sore, I guess that means a massage this week and maybe a trip to Life Fitness to see if Matt can hook me up with some heat and stym.

Thanks to Amy Jones for hanging out in the freezing rain to take photos!


There You Go said...

Holy cow get out your pooper scoopers cuz people be taking S**T!

The far from blown up NCVC guy who took one turn and "blew up" but really didn't want to kill himself dragging one of the 16 ABRT dudes who didn't take any pulls (not that he should have, but didn't anyway) up to the front.

Me Again said...

PS - I'm reading the lap card, but go on and think what you will.