Monday, May 17, 2010

Wenatchee Beer Garten and Facial Ripples

So, it's simple. Register for an out of town race, reserve and pre pay for a hotel room.
Now you HAVE to go. It doesn't matter if the whole team ends up going or just you. I always find it to be a silly excuse when someone says, "well, nobody else is going." Who the heck are all the other people there then?

The Wenatchee Omnium. A time trial, a criterium and a road race. I was going and I felt like I had a good chance to place pretty high in the Category 5 race.(lowest level)

Packing and getting on the road for an out of town weekend stage race is something I have missed. It's just a very exciting feeling. Highway 2 to Wenatchee has so many memories too. ...little tiny towns with brick building main streets and freshly mowed spring lawns. comes Summer!

When you arrive on a race town weekend you notice all the slick team vans and cars lined with bikes on roofs. You see all the stern, straight faced fronts. So many people are so serious or afraid to seem human. I remember being like that back in the day. Too cool to seem friendly. They're like perfectly still water. These days I like to throw pebbles and watch the ripples.

I new that I wouldn't be able to place in the 9 mile time trial at 8am as time trial fitness will be the last thing I get back. I just went in with my regular drop bars and pounded out the course for 25 minutes and change. (which was actually good enough for 13th place!) It also didn't matter that I uncharacteristically spaced my start time by a minute or so. whoops.

It was the other two races that I believed I could not only place but win. My racing experience coupled with my rapidly rising fitness could spell victory in the lowly Cat 5's.

The Criterium was at 3:10 Saturday afternoon so I ate like crazy and tried to rest. Couldn't sleep.

I pedaled downtown to the race course and immediately ran into Brian from Forza Veloce, a Liberty Lake team. He and I warmed up together and shot the sh$t....we did a few openers and it was time to race.

Thump thump....first Crit in many many years. The course was a rectangle. Two blocks by one block with flat start finish and backstretch and a downhill on the first turn and an uphill on the third. ..get it?

At the start I was chatting up the beer garten which was situated right on the start/finish line. I told them I was racing for them so they had to cheer me on.

Our pack was 22 racers. I looked over my right shoulder at the fellows I would be trying to beat, took in their stern still water faces and chucked my pebbles...I forget what I said but as everyone started to smile I think we all felt a little less serious about ourselves.....for a second...till the start whistle blew. I shot out like a bullet. ...a very slow bullet but still got the holeshot and kept it four about 4 laps realizing that these guys most likely didn't know how to take these corners. I was right. I was barely pushing it and still pulling away due to my lines around the course. ..and every time I went by the beer garten I pointed and yelled and they all screamed, LOUD! and the MC announcer was calling my name...FUN! ...I was pretty sure I'd have to ease off for a little bit as I don't have the fitness to go the whole race I sat back and was caught by the pack....which had dropped to about 15 racers. I stayed near the front the rest of the race. I gained position every corner without even pedaling.....I though about going for the prime(prize) lap in the middle of the race b ut decided to go for the win at the end. Criteriums are fast and require faster thinking that other types of races. I didn't think fast enough. Coming out of the last corner I should not have allowed anyone outside of me but there he was, less than a bike length ahead of me and to the left, slightly drifting right. To the right were three guys about a wheel length ahead....drifting out to the left. I was going faster than all of them but apparently not fast enough to shoot the closing gap. I blame myself for not going outside the outside guy....but that doesn't matter. I was on my right hip an a fraction of a second. dazed, I got up and finished the 200 yards that were left in the race. ..not sure what place I got. 13th again i think?

To make this long story shorter, I could not walk. Can't put weight on my right leg. I'm on crutches for a week and should get rapidly better after that. I've requested my cat 5 to cat 4 upgrade. If I sound kinda loopy?.....I am. Gotta love me some pain pills for a few days.

I love my bike. It's steel. It didn't even know what happened. Can't wait to race again.

Matt from Recycled Cycles out of Seattle snapped this picture.
click on it, it should take you to the big one....
in Black. On the front.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post and congrats on a great weekend. Crashes happen, and as we get older, they tend to require more meds. Or maybe we just did not know about the little pills back then? I hope you have a speedy recovery. I am in the process of recovering as well from the car accident. But all in all, good shape. Looking forward to some other races.