Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Manion's, redux

The above cam was worn by my team captain, Britton, in the fast guy class. Towards the end of the lap, you can #18, that's Steve Tilford. He's a multiple-time, multi-discipline national and world champion cyclist. Pretty cool he lives in Topeka and does a lot of the races here. Anyway, I digress.

So I've read a few race reports from last weekend, and thought my race report was lacking. I thought I'd take this chance to replay the race, a bit more throughly, so you can know, instead of wonder, what is going through my mind. 

 So here we go! The race started with us running out of a barn, which is called a Le Mans style start.  Not the barn, the running part.  So we ran a bit, jumped on the bikes, and pedaled furiously into a slight uphill with a nice 20-mph wind. That sucked. Fortunately I found a fat guy to ride/draft behind. I guess that is one benefit to racing 4's, is that there are plenty of meat shields. I'm sure I've played the part more than once myself.

Anyway, when you weren't going up, you were going down. And they weren't easy downhills, they require concentration and bike handling. Ask my friend Chuong, how that goes. The first descent was a swoopy, switchback style cruise, with often a little something on the straights to make sure you were paying attention. The first large crevice we had to hop, I got slowed down by people freaking out (one of the drawbacks of racing 4's) so I hit the crevice too slowly, slammed my rear wheel into the opposite lip, and dropped my chain. What seemed like 5 seconds putting my chain back on, must have been longer, because like 15 people went past me. That fueled my impotent rage.

We had a huge Colavita contingent on hand, so that was great.  I bet we had at least 15 guys out there, and we even got a few roadies out there to play in the dirt with us. I then started slowly reeling people back in, and passing them one by one. I passed a handful of teammates, which is good because I have a fair amount of respect for every one of them. Better than passing some faceless/teamless drone bee, and wondering if you just moved out of 36 of 37th place.

So then there were more uphills, which quickly demonstrated that I haven't been riding/training for crap. I got out of my groove since I've been sick, and didn't pick it up as much as I should have. Now I'm paying for that apathy, right in the heart of race season. That's pretty weak sauce, and I hope to redeem myself on the 4th and 5th (state Championships).

Anyway, my legs are blown about 2 and half laps in (we did 4 laps I think). I have nothing left. I dropped my chain yet another time for what looked like no reason at all. Again, more impotent rage. I was pedaling squares, as they say. Actually they were more like triangles. Pretty sloppy. I didn't crash, but then I wasn't going fast enough to crash.

The hills were painful, and I had nothing in the tank. Even my arms were getting tired from pumping the handlebars, and I don't think that's ever happened to me in a cross race. Pretty pathetic. Hopefully I can take something away from this. 

Halfway through the last lap I saw a guy about 200 yards behind me. I thought, cool, I can hold that gap and be done with this madness. But he found his inner whoop-ass and passed me like I was going backwards. That made me more mad. So I crossed the finish line and tried not to act like a complete ass to my wonderful wife and children who came out and screamed and shook the cowbells and were terrific. They were the best part of the race by far. Even when I rode by that one time and they were all looking up at the sky at an airplane. Haha!

I guess this should just be more impetus for me to kick ass in training this last month and a half. Then it's time to hit the gym/weights/running again to try and shed these last 10-15 pounds of fat. Hopefully I can put on a few pounds of muscle too while I'm at it.

Anyway, thanks for reading the long winded post/recap. I feel a little better now. A little.


  1. 'Meat Shield'... Ahahaha!!!

    I love it.

  2. That vid was awesome! Looks like Britton was flying!