Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Now if you read my posts below about Belterra Circut Race...you will remember that I had one glorious lap worth anything and just a tough day overall. Ahh...the Driveway....24hours later and a new day on a course I love and have raced many times before. First race was the Master's 35+ 4/5 race with my team mates and other friends. The race starts and I look for who's up front...from the back of course. I settle in with a friend, Marcus, from another team and we chat as the guys on the front kill each other with attack after attack. Marcus is not a crit lover as he had a bad wreck at Memorial Park like myself but a couple years ago..plus he won one of the races the day before so his weekend is good already. We are both opportunists I would say...comfortably riding the back staying out of trouble and minding front to see who's doing what and what looks real or not. First lap...we hit the power climb and there is a wreck mid pack and of course I look around for my guys and as I come up to go around it I see my team mate Clark stopping dead into it but not going down. I pause coming around the turn and think if I should stop to help pace him back up as he is much fitter than I and a better chance at a good finish, but then I question can I even pace him up...am I even strong enough to do that. Not sure and fully thinking he will take a Free Lap I keep going...and about 1/8 of a mile after the wreck...I see Clark coming up on me. HOLY FREAKING CRAP! Then he keeps going and gets right back up where he was within the same lap! (yeah I fit him, haha) So the race moves on and I am feeling good and I hear the Prime Bell and start to really look alert. We hit about 1K out from the finish line for the Prime Lap and I see a slowing in the front and stand up off the outside and go! I get towards the top 10 and begin to sit down to keep my move past the pack going and my white bib shorts get hung up on my saddle tip. FML I have to pause and lose my momentum while I "re sit" back down on my saddle and just try to keep it going. I hit the climb and hit around the corner and have one turn before the line....I look down under my right arm to see who's wheel is on mine....its my friend Dave McLaughlin of Jack&Adam's Velossimo team and this dude is riding VERY well and I know he must have grabbed my wheel as soon as I went by him in the top 5 knowing each other from racing here over the summer. So I come around the turn super tired and sit up as I see Dave just launch for the line with a couple guys trying to go after him. Yes Dave....you are welcome for the perfect lead out and I hope you tell me how great that coffee is that you won. But don't worry....I am not bitter. ;-) Heck, after the day before and just coming back into racing I was happy to show my face on the front and still get back in with ease. Not to mention...Joy (my fiance') was there watching so I had to "look cool" to her. The race moves one and towards the end I see Clark off the front with a couple other guys that get caught with in the last lap...which sets up an attack from Dave McLaughlin and this time its Shamanite Jason C on his wheel and they roll into the finish 1 and 2. That was awesome!
An hour later is the Cat 4 race. I am kinda worried about this one and I spend about 30 minutes in the van trying to stay warm and re-applying a second layer of Sports Balm Medium warming rub. Can I mention how bad this extra cold winter down here in Texas SUCKS?!?! We start off and once again I am on the back with Marcus just chillin. We flow through the turns lap after lap and with 5 to go there is a break that goes off the front with a couple of strong guys part of strong teams. Its on a long section with a slight decline and I decide to go chase it down to either make the break or help shut it down. I get down to the u-turn and I am all out and only half way to them in no mans land and I begin to think to myself "What was I thinkinig? Second race with no real race fitness??? STUPID STUPID STUPID!" So after that motivational pep talk with myself I find myself slowly gaining and right before the power climb I catch on. Now it should be a sigh of relief and feel easy in a draft...but I am so blown I am worried about staying on and the only thing that made me even kill myself that bad to get there was trying to avoid the shame of going back to the pack with my team mates who have been doing all the work for Shama Cycles thus far. We hit the top section and I think...I am in a break with 4 to go and Joy is watching. OH YEAH! So now I am a new man and two guys drop back and one guy stays committed and we come through the spectator area motoring on our own with the pack in chase. I am feeling GREAT! We hit the descent and I am killing it...we hit the turn around again and I hear the wheels and heavy breathing. I look to my right and left and I see the pack has caught us and they are gap mouthed. On a super high (or moment of poor judgment) I stand up and sprint off with all I have. I settle down with my head down and just drill as hard as I can. Fully committed I hit that power climb and shift down and it happens....I hit the wall! HARD! I am done and blown and I hear that sound again...wheels. Powerless and done I pull off to the side and let everyone pass...and I can barely think let alone pedal. Hoping I did something I just pull out satisfied with my weekend and wanting to watch the finish. Sometimes we look for the finishes...and sometimes we just look to see what we can do and where our limits are at...yeah...I found my limits...and had a blast doing it with a great group of friends and team mates.
This is why I ride....