Monday, May 25, 2009

Melon City Crit 5-24-09

Next race for the weekend was in Muscatine, it is a mile long course which includes a screaming downhill, a speed hump at the bottom, and a climb back up to the top of the park.  Me and Mac somehow got our registration in about the same time as he was #1 and I was #2, which was nice because that got us on the front line.  Picked a spot on the right side so I could be on the outside of the first turn, a 90 degree left hander which many of people either hit the curb, or drop a pedal on the ground.  

We start and me and the guy next to me take off, and are one two through the corner, safely, and it was all downhill from there.  I did loose a couple spots on the descent, but still up in the front of the pack going over the speed hump, safely again, and then start climbing.  The next couple laps were about the same, but I did find I was able to pick up as many as 5-10 spots going downhill as guys were grabbing for their brakes, and I would just fill the gaps they left.  I would turn around and lose those spots climbing though as my legs were really starting to feel Snake Alley from the day before.  By the 5th lap I was at the back of the pack, and an attack on the right side caused an acceleration that I just couldn't hold onto.  So off the back I went.  

Now I was stuck in no mans land all by myself, couldn't get back to the group, and the guys behind me weren't catching up. I only had about 10 seconds on them and one was a teammate, so I waited for them so we could work together and try and stay in the race.  We did well taking turns pulling, and a few laps later we did pick up a 4th guy.  One time up the hill one guy put in a harder effort which I was able to hang onto, but my teammate didn't get on so we had lost him at that point.  2 more laps and we could see there was only 4 to go and the USCF official pulled the 4 of us.  Kinda pissed us off because there were 2 guys we were catching up to about 15 seconds up the road that didn't get pulled, at least on that lap, and we were still a good minute before we got lapped, but I understand on a course like this you don't want people getting in the way.

So next weekend brings the return of mountain bike racing down in the Des Moines area, hopefully that goes better for me....

Melon City Crit

Snake Alley Crit 5-23-09

Memorial Day weekend, and the biggest weekend of racing in Iowa. Saturdays race is a killer, having to climb Snake Alley which consists of 7 switchbacks, and it is all brick, a must race for anyone in the midwest. Forecast was for a chance of showers in the afternoon, and with my race being at 1 I figure there should be no issues. It did sprinkle a little as I was warming up, but stopped before the race started, it did get really humid after that, but it was dry.

Staging I was able to get into the 3rd row and on the left side, which is pretty much where you want to be going into the first corner before starting the climb. First time up I was sitting pretty good in about top 10 or so, and descending you don't usually lose too many positions. Next time up I did get passed by quite a few guys, but still in the pack. As the laps went on I did slip farther back, but finally settled into a pace that I could hold for a while. After the fifth or so time up I was off the back, and fighting to keep from dropping back much farther. I was with a teammate and another guy for the next few laps, and about the 8th time around I did put in a big effort on the climb to try and lose them, and that did work out, except when I got to the top I felt everything I ate that morning coming back up so I had to let off, which hurt me quite a bit because the legs were feeling ok climbing.

I did get caught by the leaders with 3 laps to go, so I got out of their way on the climb, and was caught back up to by the other guy I had dropped earlier. So we basically rode together the last couple laps. He did get away a little on the last time up the hill, but I was able to push it on the downhills and get back onto his wheel going into the final straight, and was able to out sprint him to the line. Came across in 36th place out of 59 starters, and only 39 finishers.

Snake Alley HBA

Snake Alley (other racers)