Well not new, just more frequently. revisited now that we’ve moved from Takoma Park to College Park
Charm City CX Day 2. I didn’t race Saturday because I was volunteering at the St. Michael’s Century.
Well, I sucked, but not as bad as last year. Last Year 57th place, This year 42nd. However, a closer look reveals that relatively they might be the same. Last year I was up against 94 others but this year only 67. Despite the numbers I think it was an improvement – and that is good. Given that last year I went into cardiac arrest with a dust induced asthma attack – lung choking – burning meltdown episode – and I had no such lung/breathing issues this year.
Although I am disappointed with the race overall (not the organization or support) – I am really only bummed about how the bike failed to complete its part of the bargain.
Lets start the balance sheet at zero (0):
I had a good start. Despite the onslaught of crazies passing me from my 7th or 8th row start at unconventional and impolite angles I quickly made places up in the first few turns.
BUT, things started to go wrong mechanically. Not all me fault, but mostly. I am “Mr. Mechanical” after all.
At the stairs run-up a rider was down and I tried to get around, as did about 3 others ahead me. Then Marc “Bull in a China Shop” Gwadz tried to use the Rugby scrum approach of barreling through. He bumped me and my chain came off. Places gained were all quickly lost – and then some.
Got back up to speed and started regaining spots.
A few laps later – rear tire starts going squishy on me. I hit the deck a few times.
Rear tire definitely not going to make it – must pit. Time lost in the pits. But big thanks to guys who helped with wheel change.
Rear cassette and chain disputing appropriate gear to be in.
They work it out.
New rear wheel is low on pressure. Never checked it before putting it in the pit. Rookie move.
-3 (an extra ding for being a ding-bat)
It becomes painfully clear to me that my handling skills are not good and apparently all of the improvements I’ve made with my MTB descending skills this summer don’t translate to riding squishy, skinny tires on grass at high speeds. Also, riding the bike at speed (and on new tires ) for the first time on race day is clearly NOT how the Euros do it, despite what I’ve read. Where did I read that?
So the tail of the tape shows room for improvement. When you suck – you can only get better. At least that’s what I’m banking on.
2002- 9:26, 24th place. Wet behind the ears, eyes wide open, and totally clueless what I was getting into. Rode my steel ht KHS. No disc brakes. V’s all the way.
2003- 9:45, 55th place. Drank too much the night before trying to make friends and hang with the “rock stars”. Went for repeat binge after finishing and ended up on my hands and knees puking at 3am. Lesson learned. Still on the KHS.
2004- no race. A little thing called my wedding got in the way.
2005- 9:10, 33rd place. Riding the Trek Fuel 80. Tore my rear tire sidewall coming down the Cookie trail and hit aid station #1 dead last. Took it easy from there and it paid off with my fastest time yet. Lesson learned.
2006- 9:35, 49th place. Rode strong from the start. In fact, outside my league. Suspected something was amiss when I was riding with and later dropped (temporarily) Matt Lee (multi-time Continental Divide winner). Cracked like a China doll on the hard right turn up to Aid #5 and crawled the rest of the way. Lesson learned. Still on the Fuel.
2007- no race. A minor injury (broken collarbone and scapula) got in the way.
2008- 9:27, 62nd place. Got stuck behind the now famous “great moto start debacle bottleneck”. Perhaps a good thing as I started slow and just rode to finish, posting a decent time. Riding Cannondale Scalpel.
2009- no race. Family visit of the child (mine) kind.
2010- 8:37, 48th place. Felt like poop much of the day, especially the first 40-50 miles but my legs came around a bit eventually. Rode the single speed which forced my hand: put up or shut up – I chose the former and posted my fastest time yet. SS all the way.
SM100 is in jeopardy. After getting my ass handed to me by a teenager at the last Cranky Monkey mountain bike race (at Fountainhead) I had some additional salt thrown into the wound. I realized my down tube had a huge crack it, nearly half way around the tube, while cleaning it off back home.
I hope I can get this “resolved” (i.e. warrantied) before September 5th.
Drew pointing out the obvious. If he could speak, he’d probably say: “Daddy, your bike is busted”, or maybe “Daddy, you’re F*CKED”.
Clearly, Drew is not happy with this development.
Close encounter with crackage