Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Banner weekend...for falling down...

Man, it was a bad weekend for my two wheeled brethren. I suppose that it all started mid-week with Rick getting an infected saddle sore excised. I guess that it was so bad that the doc ended up removing a 2"x2" piece of his ass. Rick is about six feet tall and weighs a buck-forty, so by my calculations they removed an entire cheek.

On Saturday, Ryan M, of Team That's What She Said fame, got in a car accident...sort of. He was out for a spin getting ready for a triathlon on Sunday when some dude pulled out in front of him. Ryan t-boned the dudes car, destroying his bike. Initial reports are that Ryan is mostly unscathed, which is good news. This incident is further proof that God hates triathletes. I've railed against the tri-peeps for years now, but I've given up on it. You see, tri-peeps treat their sport like a religion, and if I've learned anything during my stay on this earth is that you don't try to change peoples views on religion. I've also learned that worshiping false idols (or at least lesser deities)is a bad idea, and from time to time the guy in charge must smite a person that has strayed from the flock to remind people who is boss.

A little closer to home (Hagerstown, MD) was the location of another bike related injury. While racing in the MABRA championship crit, my teammate Blair got tangled up (rather ran over) another rider that wanted to test how hard the pavement was. Apparently Blair didn't believe the results of the first test, and decided to take a closer look by smashing his face into said pavement. The numbers have been crunched and with a small margin of error the pavement in turn three is "fucking hard". Now most of you are asking, "how hard is that?". Hard enough to leave a two inch gash over his eye, an nickel sized hole in is chin, and a jaw bone that is in two pieces. I'm super bummed as Blair has been riding well and we'll miss him in the field for the next few weeks while he is eating out of a blender (scroll to 3:58 and listen). I'm telling you man, pea soup is the bomb.

I've already poured libations (I was dying for a mint julep on Monday night) in the hopes that the gods will allow you all to heal quickly, and keep the rest of us out of harms way.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Sorry for the lack of updates at Fitchburg. Internet access was sparse, and I was pretty worn out from the race action.

I forgot to mention that le TSK graced us with his presence during the 40-44 RR on his way to visit his fams on Hilton Head. It has been a while since we'd seen each other and it was nice to catch up. I think we are both nearing a point in our lives when bike racing is going to take a back seat for a while. John starts medical school in the fall and he's thinking that he'll be transitioning from face smasher/axe murderer to med student that can still win bike races.

On Wed morning Todd Raced the Masters Nats Time Trial while I chilled in the parking lot in preparation for a marathon session of driving to Fitchburg, MA via my parents place near Bling-Blinghamton, NY. Oh yeah the TT starts were delayed by 2 hours because the course was not able to be secured. Obviously someone (promoter?) screwed up bigtime with the traffic control.

Todd in the start house.

We got to my 'rents by 11:00PM, grabbed some grub and hit the rack. We had to be on the road by 7:30 or so to make our TT start times. The drive went well despite some crazy rain. Along the way we saw this van.


Apparently the scooter store thought that having a picture of a WWII vet dressed in his bomber jacket, leather cap and goggles "tearing ass" at 5mph on a scooter through a forrest of cartoon cacti was a good marketing move. That or it is just a medicare racket and they painted the van this way to give the finger to the government. Neither option leaves me with a good feeling.

The TT at Fitch was interesting as the fog was pretty thick, reducing visibility to a few hundred meters at best. The road surface was good, and we al kept the rubber-side down.

Todd and I were pretty exhausted so I went into max recovery mode; I was in bed by 8:30 that night.

Friday was the fitchburg Circuit race. This race was insane in so many ways. 24 laps of a 3 mile loop with a super steep climb, and wicked fast downhill. 175 guys getting argy bargy trying to stay in good position. Oh yeah, about half way through the race the skies opened up. Lots of people fell down and I think I picked up 4 pounds of sand from the road spray. I felt like crap and ended up losing a lap to the field, fortunately we were allowed to reintegrate with the field so the time loss was minimal. Jake, and Jeff finished with the main bunch, while Todd and Blair had some mechanical issues and lost a little time.

Saturday was a 110 mile RR on an 11 mile loop with a pretty serious climb to and after the finish. There was also a stupid fast downhill. I set a new record for speed on two wheels, this was on the first lap while surrounded by 170 other racers.
58.7 MPH, silly fast.

I often comment on motorcycle riders that don't wear helmets and leathers, but I guess that I'm just as dumb. Spandex is not gonna help much if you come off at ~60MPH.

The pace was ballistic from the gun and I got spat out of the bunch the second time up the climb. Fortunately a good number of guys got shelled the first time up the climb so I was able to ride easy and ended up in the autobus for a 25 person group ride. Blair and Jake hung tough and finished with the main group.

Sunday was a 55 mile crit with a slight uphill drag to the finish. The pace was pretty chill for the first six laps. After that some attacks animated the race, and a small group got away. It was still pretty easy to sit and move in the bunch, but with 15 or so laps to go the the chase heated up with Bissell and Kelly vying for the overall. I was tail gunning and had to close some gaps, but I managed to finish in the bunch, as did the rest of our boys.

All in all it was a good week of racing. A bit too much time in the car and being ill before we left lead to some crap legs, but it was good training if nothing else.