Another season in the books. I didn't have near the season ending race that I wanted to have, but as they say, it is what it is.
After nearly wishing for more work emails to arrive just so I could have something to do, race day finally came. The course had thawed nicely, so it was a sloppy, muddy mess, not the frozen mess of the past few days. The soil around Bend is all volcanic ash, so everything was gritty. Traction wasn't really an issue, but there were still plenty of ruts to avoid, and there were also a few sections of loose mud that were somewhat treacherous.
Because of the atrocious sign-up protocol from USA Cycling, I drew a 7th row starting position. As per my typical shitty starting position protocol, I had to aggressively force my position without taking people out. After 3/4 of a lap I was in about 25th, so that worked out. Over the next few laps I picked a few more people off, and was just about ready to make contact with a group for 18th when my front wheel washed out in one of the aforementioned ruts. It wasn't really a bad crash, but I lost a bit of mojo and it took a bit to get it back. In the mean time we were still picking off some guys that had gone out too hard. I think the highest I got was up to 14th but then with 1/4 of a lap to go I had a blow out and had to run/creep to the finish without letting too many people pass me. All told, I ended up 20th. Not nearly where I wanted to be but unless I would have made it up to 8th or better (callups for next year) it didn't really matter.
So now I'm getting all my stuff packed for the trip back to Portland tomorrow after Ryan's race, then jump on a plane Monday morning and back to the real world. Ugh.
A few parting thoughts on my week here:
-Oregonians, or at least those from Portland and Bend pretty much all stop for bikes and pedestrians. All the time. Crazy.
-Once you get past the tragically hip-ness, everybody is pretty cool. Alas, an occasional shower wouldn't hurt though.
-As I pretty much already knew, Jeremy Powers is quite possibly the nicest guy out there. At the number party for the USGP, I flagged him down just to say hey, and he ended up talking with us for about 10 minutes and was engaged in the conversation the entire time. Class... Pure class.
So anyway, yeah. I'm out.