7.26.2006

backwards day at wakefield tonight

tonight was race three of wednesday at wakefield
my third race of three races at wakefield
tonight was backwards night at wakefield
that is the night when the run the race in the opposite direction

ah.... backwards day
they choose to make backwards day the same night as I decided to try and double things up
by doubling up I was going to try and race early at 6PM with the single speeds
then line up on my geared bike with front shock with the Clydesdales at 6:55

by running things backwards it is more than just so confusing that it almost like riding a totally different course
well, it is a totally different course
sort of like the down hill way versus the upwards way
the backwards way is also the upwards way
although it is a roller coaster so it is not that much up or that much down

the drive out was not a pleasure
even getting out early had me in traffic
getting there in time for the single speed race was not a comfortable experience
not quite rush hour traffic, but basic commuter traffic bullshit just the same
slow and stupid
or fast and foolish
tough mix out there.... especially for the sections that the cars slow to a parking lot for some unknown reason
had me watching the clock

got there just in time to register
scott scudamore called thirty seconds when I was still filling out the forms

no time to really warm up
needed to fuel up
and lay out my bike for the second race
the finish and start of the races would be close
had different gloves, glasses, and shorts... just in case

like a fool I decided to ride bareback again
sure I had thought about bringing stuff
actually had a packed camel back
but work a tool-less mini camelback instead
so.... not entirely bareback
but rode like just the same

had I not learned my lesson the week prior?

raced the single speed with no mechanical issues
the new tire and new tube in the front rolled nicely
my guesswork with the front tire pressure felt good
my body got worked... but felt good enough for the second race
not sure of my final placing in the class
opted to mellow on the last lap
conserved energy for the laps to come in the next race

rolled across the finish and tried to fuel up with some more of the free energy drinks and free water provided by... (will find that name and link! as I dig them and their product)
switched shorts, gloves, went with clear glasses.... stuck with sweat soaked shirt and sweat soaked socks
rolled down to the start line as the pre-race meeting was still on its way
a minute later I would have been playing chicken with the whole expert class

there were 5 or six clydesdale
the backwards course did not give me any advantages of familiarity
well... I had the three previous laps of familiarity
but not the familiarity I have with the course run in the standard direction
the gradual climb at the start also seemed like less of an advantage

the fog horn start with the megaphone sent us sprinting forward
gears are different
gears give options
I was using those options
the pack fought forward and thinned out as we got into the first hundred yards of uphill singletrack
there was another clydesdale right on my tail
I could hear him
I could feel him

out of one section of wooded singletrack past a few sport racers
then back into the woods again
rolling fast into the woods I learn that the set up of my geared bike is not so dialed in wiht the whole braking idea

almost went over the handlebars
well.... started a polish wheelie then recovered
the brakes did not slow me down so I had to slam on them to stop me from hitting a few trees
the closely tailing clydesdale slammed on things hard
we managed to return to the trail without a full stop and without making contact
no trees and no polish wheelies
I try to factor in the quality of my braking with each future turn

the first lap went by well considering that my rear wheel felt a little squishy
felt good at the start
felt like it was getting more squishy
again more to focus on when trying to corner fast
not sure how close the trailing clydesdale was
the legs and heart were pumping along using any lungs that would be needed for talking
the body was feeling good
the shock felt good as well
the shock felt super good on the man made boardwalk sections

halfway through lap two the slow leak becomes a flat
not sure where or when
but the combination of my rough riding style and my old and worn tires allowed a snake bite ontop of a slow leak
thought I could race the clock
beat the slow leak to the finish
instead I was running
then stopping
a few minutes of conversation took me to deja vue

another flat
just like last week
people pass
lots of people pass
all the people I worked so hard to pass get to pass me back
then a familiar face
not a friend but a familiar face on the trailside offers me a pump
that was when I learned that my slow leak was a pinch flat
I was going to just inflated it and try to finish it out
or at least ride to the next pump

just like last wednesday I am bumming a 26 inch tube and pump from outside help
not exactly norba rules
but.... this is not norba
and it is a 26 inch tube in a 29 inch wheel

with outside assistance from some cat that works at the pro shop in georgetown my flat is replaced and filled

back on the bike
lots of people to pass
not so much trail to try and pass them back

I work my way through the course
psyched to be back on the bike
feeling like a total joker for flatting out again
just one week later
not bad karma... bad tire pressure and worn tires

bad to my bicycle
bad to myself

this week I was not as fortunate as last
the course is too tight and too short for me to reel in all that passed me
a slow tire exchange did not help
maybe I need a better pit crew
just kidding.... I learned that lesson when i saw Cars with my son the other day

finished the race
rolled into the finish fourth in my class but satisfied just the same

the night was a great night of riding and racing
the back to back races did not effect the outcome nearly as much as the flat
the flat which was an ignorant error dictated my fate
time to race smarter
even for the short, local, fun races... I still want to race and I still want to finish

it is vital that I approach the events with my bicycle properly prepped
and
I need to ride with everything that I may need
even if it is a small seat pouch mounted on each bike so there is no debate on to carry it or not to carry it

great night even with my flat and less than stellar finish

it was great to be out racing
it was great to step it up and try to double up with the two events

it was fun racing with the single speeders
that class really flies
there is a different feel racing in that pack
although the pack dropped me pretty fast and there I was riding on my own

it blew my mind seeing some stylee riders busting a move over that log like that image of camps
I am sure that there will be some great gary shots tomorrow
along with the results

the night migrated from the race, to the gravel road, to the local watering hole
had the steak and cheese
the halapenos really made it for me

good times

cranky monkey on sunday
one more wakefield next week

best just publish and post
bedtime
kids get up early
it is idiotic for me to stay up late
it is already late

guess I had one too many of those free energy drinks

1 comment:

Frank Brigandi said...

how great was cars....drove my porsche 944 across country 2 times. there's more to see yet.....I want to ride across country at some point...i doubt my family would be thrilled about my wants and quests though....if I'm at a race that you atttend, bring your bike over, i'll always throw a wrench at it... i always have parts and tubes too, tubes are free on race day, parts..it always works out someway.....and the hot dogs will be well done with onions and the beer as cold as possible.....