Monday, November 10, 2008

Up or Down

I raced Ascutney on Saturday. I raced Putney on Sunday.

I killed it on Saturday. I got shelled on Sunday.

Ascutney was a tough little bugger. My gearing is not set up for going up hills so there was a plenty of grinding over crests at like 10 rpm. For so much up there didn't seem to be much down. But there was a pretty good amount of mud. And the muddy/grassy switch backs before the pit were a pretty fun challenge. The sandy parking lot was hard to negotiate with any speed.

The first few minutes were pretty fun. After the barriers there wasn't a lot of room to mount before you hit a swale and a rise. I was lucky to be ridding a practice lap with a nice guy who mentioned the possibility of waiting 'till after the rise to mount. At the time, my arrogant self thought he was a little loose and I was sure to crush him. But when we came into the barriers four strong with a pack there wasn't a lot of room for me to mount comfortably. So I ran to the top of the rise. Hopped on and never looked back.
Well, in actuality I looked back a lot. I led for the rest of race but kept making sure I wasn't letting the gap shorten up. Peter Vollers was kind enough to call me a sandbagger before I had even finished the first lap. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the race. I kept thinking,"Why am I even out here. This looks bad. I look like an ass. This is stupid." The last three laps felt like a slow tempo workout. Stupid.

I didn't stand much of a chance at any kind of decent finish on Sunday. The good news was that cash went ten deep. And guess how many of us there were on the start line? Yup. Ten.

I started my race off in winning fashion by taking a bonehead line into a tight hairpin and abruptly taking a spot at the back of the pack. Sweet.

Once I could see that there was a gap between the lead pack of six or so and the three of us making up the chase I made the bonehead decision of thinking that we could catch up to them with a little bit of sweat and hard work. Yeah we'll work as a team for a lap and make it back on right? What happens in that situation is that you pull harder than you should on the first last, letting two guys suck your wheel, only to let them blow by you after the run up. Sweet.

I did manage to not run over Colin when he decided to lay down in the mud behind the shop. Sweet.

I caught up to a nice guy named Matt (nice after the race) and was severely disappointed when I didn't ride away from him after passing him. So what did I do? I let him sit on my wheel for four laps before letting him take one. When it came to the last lap I got tired of playing games and hit in through the technical stuff up top. My accelerations matched my shoulder checks and I've never run up that hill so fast. 6th place hurt. Thanks Matt. After a lousy first couple of laps it was nice to have a race.

If you want to watch me take a stupid line and hit a wheel and fall click here.

And a big thanks to everyone that was cheering me on. Baker, Buzer, Pip, Rob, Daq, Kevin, Boog, Sarah, Kirstin, Linnea, Jim at the rest. Thank You.

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