Thursday, July 16, 2009

tour of mt. nebo

A photo from last Saturday's race...

...about the only good thing to come from my participation.

For reasons I don't understand (and not given), the promoter didn't offer a 3/4 field at the race, just a 1/2/3 field (thankfully no pros), a decision which I'm sure kept most of the cat 3s far, far away. For me, had the climbs been not quite so extreme (in pitch if not in length), I'm sure I would have been fine to hang on, but it's hard for this old sack of bones to compete with lithe 140 pounders 10 years my junior on 18 percent grades. Or at least that's my excuse.

No. Scratch that. I've no excuse. I just suck more than everyone else that finished in front of me. Also more than those that finished, because I bailed after four laps. (The course was held over an undulating nine miles of Lancaster County rollers for something like 1100 feet of climbing per lap. The 1/2/3s were to do six laps.)

My favorite moment of the day: After being dropped on the big climb midway through the first circuit I chased down the field on my own, with three or four riders in tow. When safe at the back of the field, one of the riders I towed along thanked me for my work, noting that he was too taxed to have been able to take a pull. "No need to thank me. We're all going to be gone on the next climb," I said. We were.


A (non) defense of dropping out after four...

I hate dropping out of races. I feel like such a smuck afterwards. For days. Weeks even. And there was no real reason to drop out anyway. There was no "field" to speak of, just groups of 1-4 riders scattered over the course. I was 18 miles and 2200 ft from finishing and riding nicely with a group of two others. But I hadn't come to Lancaster alone, and I knew Jon, Chop, and Mike had already (or were just about to) finish, and since I wasn't having any fun, I figured it'd be better to pack it in and get a jump on getting home.

But then we had to wait for the cat 4 results to be posted before we could leave (Jon took home $40), and that took way too long. I think we waited two hours. Absurd. And now, six days later, I'm still regretting the decision not to finish. Based on the finishing positions of other riders I was riding with at the time, I think I would have finished around 15th or 16th--that many riders were dropped and/or dropping out--and I believe I may have taken home a little cash. Oh well.

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