Friday, July 2, 2010

Will I _Never_ Learn? - part 1

Well, I did something really stupid, I decided to race the Longsjo Classic. I swore several years ago I would _never_ do this race again, but here I am.

We need to back up a bit here. I raced the Purgatory Road Race two weekends ago and felt great. I had a teammate that was literally jumping up the killer 500 meter long 100 meter high climb on each of the 5 laps. I was sure he could win, so I worked on the last lap to keep the race together, including driving the group single file up the one-mile-long 3% grade about two miles from the finish. There was one guy off the front by several minutes, but my teammate won the 'field' sprint for second overall. I rolled up the hill without urgency. The following tuesday I did the BOB tuesday night fights and was instrumental in keeping the pace the fastest it's been all year, then the next day I rode the local TT, and set a season PR. Feeling good about myself, I pulled (sorry eric, 'squeezed') the trigger on fitchburg.

Fast forward to the Exeter Criterium this past tuesday. I felt horrible. I went off the front with a couple guys at one point about 1/2 way through and promptly went into oxygen debt. I finished in the pack. This was particularly disheartening because I felt really good at purgatory. Granted, according to bike reg we averaged 29.7 mph, but I still felt like shit. Really stinky runny green and brown breast-fed baby shit.

So I wasn't sure about myself today. The plan was to just go with the flow. This stage is a 3.1 mile circuit with one stair step climb (about 200 yards long and 100 feet tall) and a long downhill leading into it. I felt good, good enough to race the way I like to race: at the front and trying to get into a break. The steep hill was cooperating and I was at the front on every lap. With two to go, my teammate rolled off the front (I have no idea how he did it, I just remember seeing him with a 100 meter gap all of a sudden). He was caught at the line with one to go, and jonny bold attacked with another dude named Max. About 5 guys tried to go with it, including me. We actually had a good gap, but couldn't close on the JonnyMax duo, and the chase pretty much burned anything I had for the finish. The field swarmed around us well before the hairpin turn. Since the speed usually ramps up to 35 mph on that downhill, I hoped some of the bigger dudes would chase them down. Even though we hit our top speed for the entire day on the downhill on the last lap (38 mph), they stayed away, but were just caught at the finish line so 2nd through about 6th got officially same time. Max actually put 5 seconds on Bold on the finish climb. I hadn't recovered from the effort less than a lap earlier, and even though I entered the finish hill about 5th in line, I was resoundingly passed by over 20 people, and unfortunately was the second rider after a small gap, getting assessed 19 seconds down from the winner. Toss in the 10 second time bonus for the winner and I'm 29 seconds down. Tomorrow is more my element, the mount watchusett road race with big hills.

In other news, last saturday I finally got my t-shirt from The Grille Next Door for successfully having a beer from every one of their 36 taps. That might have had something to do with my performance at exeter.



Amanda said...

men never learn. you're all pigs.


Anonymous said...

36 beer taps..... sweet fecking mary!
And ALL you got was that T-shirt...ah ha ha!

zencycle said...

@ miff ...."someone drank 36 beers and all I got was this lousy T-shirt"...

@ amanda....ouch!