Wednesday, October 15, 2008

the 'nati

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Friday started off pretty well. The course was super bumpy and I actively chose NOT to run my 32 spoke box section Reflex hoops laced to Record hubs. Why? I'm lazy. I simply did not want to swap brake pads. Plus deep section hoops look sweet.

Problem is they are crazy stiff. Alas, I'm lazy and therefore took a pounding.
The race itself was pretty cool, I yet again managed to avoid about 3 crashes, one of which was when Rad Skills Ryan took a digger in a corner. I dropped a few dudes towards the end mainly from me unexpectedly riding away from them. Once I had a gap I was just trying to hold it. With about 3 turns to go, a guy bridged to me then passed me going into the final corner. A little odd since he effectively put himself in position to give me a leadout. Regardless, my misinterpretation of the start line as the finish line (super PRO, BTW) and resulting bike throw had him shut down in time for me to realize the real line was about 30 meters later. I won that bike throw, good for 21st in a C2 UCI race. Not awesome, but not DFL either.
Friday night was not so good for recovery... delays and a fancy restaurant that took 45 minutes to serve a plate of freaking bread (honestly?) had me eating at 9p, well beyond the replenish window.
I started Saturday's race a little behind on food but my position in the OVCX series netted me a 3rd row start, behind Troy Wells and Marko Lalonde. Troy missed his pedal at the start and steered into the starting bunch, and I yet again missed the 30-man pile up. I hope my crash avoidance luck never ends.
Anyway, the two way sand pit was interesting... A nice downhill led to one side of the pit with a 180 turn back into it. I typically ride on the flats for sandpits so I don't drive the bike too much, but the immediate 180 required brakes, and didn't give much time to shift down for the return.

I rode it both directions all but once and no matter how hard it felt to ride, running was worse. I finished in 26th, probably from poor recovery on Friday night. Otherwise, top 15 totally.

Sunday's C1 race at Harbin Park had a killer course with a little of everything. And by everything, I mean a rising sand pit, hairpin corner on a descent, a crash, a rolled tubular, and my fast-becoming favorite - course tape in cassette.
To hit the highlights - my front wheel washed out when I thought I was anchored --> dropped chain and scraped right knee. Broke too late into said hairpin --> rolled tire, nice gouge on inside of left knee from canti brake, time lost remounting tire on wheel plus swapping front wheel in pit. All of the above led to me set to be lapped by the big boys, which leads me to my favorite - course tape in cassette.
I wanted to not be a dick so as the leaders were passing me, I pulled over to the right (wind coming from right and blowing the tape into the course) so the PROs could have the clean, un-taped line. Nice... after stopping to remove the tape, I rolled back to the finish line to get pulled and take my sweet 39th place.
So that race sucked, which sucks because I at least felt like I was able to hold a good pace when a lot of guys were cracking and hemorrhaging time. Eh well, there's always next time.


-the ATM


Davey B said...

Yo Andy, sounds like you are getting off to a way better start then I am... I relaxed a little too much in Sept and it's going to take me a couple weeks now... I should be good once I get a little intensity in though.

I need more power, or more single track on the courses. Looks like I'm screwed.


Mutha Ucka said...

Question for a cross expert,is it considered sandbagging if the leader of a major series in the elite Category after 5 races drops down to race the B race?

the ATM said...

Ah yes, the age old question when one is pretty fast and starts to get some results.
Given the next jump would be to Elite where the top 20 generally are expected to get results and thus receive some form of salary, be it bikes or actual paychecks, it's a tough call.
It's well known that most cyclists have fragile egos so if there's a decision-maker such as "have ego crushed with a top 40" or "contest for win" I suggest going for the ego boost, especially this late in the season. Getting drilled into the ground with about a month left in the season could pretty much destroy any motivation to train in 40 degree rain, thus crumbling late season results into dust.
As a counterpoint if one approaches the race as merely a 'fun' event, the aforementioned fragile ego may be preserved.

Ultimately, though, I think getting a W trumps mediocrity.