Sunday, August 19, 2007

millersburg stage race

Bicycle racing is all mundane disappointments and grand triumphs. When taken together, the disappointments outweigh the triumphs about 100 to one. One triumph, however, is worth more than a 100 disappointments.

[Fifteen minute edit: I can't believe how cheesy-lame that sounds. It stays, I suppose, because I wrote it, but my oh my, what drivel.]

Stage 1: 12 mile ITT

Friday there was nothing wrong with my PowerTap. Saturday morning, when I began my warm-up, I was getting nothing. Well, something a little more than nothing. It turned on. It registered my heart rate. That's it. I think the batteries in the hub may be dead. That is to say, I hope that there are batteries in the hub, and I hope that when I get them replaced that it all starts to work again. Regardless, I had no computer for the time trial, nor for any of the other weekend's events. Disappointment. (Non-power-types may think this silly, but not only do you get used to thinking of efforts in terms of power--which is especially useful in a time trial--but also some of the most useful data comes from time trials, so this was no minor disappointment.)

Anyway, the TT went ok. Not great. Ok. Considering.

I did a 10.75 mile time trial on Wednesday and was only able to average 299 watts. That's about ten percent off where I was in June. And that's about what I feel, about 90 percent.

Anyway, my fairly weak time was good enough for 18th in a 3/4 field of I think 41.

The warm-up rigmarole (notice the ghost of the photographer):

Ryan's "Mean Green Puke Machine." The thing weighs a ton. I love it.

Stage 2: 13 laps on a 1.56 mile circuit

This was a fun race on a fun course. A longish, not-too-steep climb just past the start/finish and a long descent with a fast, safe corner.

The race started off quick enough with a lot of guys trying to get away for a bit. I snapped off a couple of attacks, but they were half-hearted efforts and didn't lead to anything. But with a few laps left Carney got us organized--he, me, Matt and Scott. We held it together in a nice line near the back of the pack, and with one lap left Carney slowly moved us up. Along the way we tacked onto Ryan's wheel and with about 1/2 lap left he raced off the front with all four of us in tow. One by one we pealed off, then Matt took off about 200 meters from the line. No one got around him. Not even Scott, who finished second.

It sort of makes your chest swell a bit, that sort of team victory. Triumph.

Stage 2: 70 mile road race

My race ended early, about 20 miles in, with a broken spoke and a wildly out-of-true rear wheel. Disappointment.

All the more disappointing because it was such a fine course and such a fine day to run it on. On half the course the state police were running a rolling closure so we had the full road. The promoter combined the 1/2 and 3/4 fields for the road race and I think that helped keep the pace high. The temperature was hovering in the high sixties. Everyone was attacking. I spent some time in a short-lived five-man break. All in all, it was just a really great way to spend a summer morning. Until I started feeling the rear end of my bike going all over the road. Until I stopped, pulled off my wheel, and had to wait five minutes for the wheel truck. Disappointment.

I was home long before the race ended.

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