RACE REPORT: EX2 Adventures at Rosaryville

as the weekend approached I took a glance at things...
I knew that I would like to get on the bike and that I would like to get my boys on bikes as well
with the marriage separation leading to divorce my ex and I are working a shared custody situation
this weekend would be the start of my week

my time with the boys
in addition to getting them to school... making lunches... making sure they do their homework... making sure they get dinner... having them brush their teeth and go to bed at a decent hour
I also want their time with me to be positive

there was a measure of what was going on bike related and what was going on kid responsibility wise
Grant had soccer practice on Saturday and a soccer game on Sunday
Dean had rowing scrimage regatta on Saturday morning and then nothing else for the rest of the weekend
then there was an Alleycat and then a race at Rosaryville

What is an Alleycat?
What is Rosaryville?

hmmmm.... what to do... what to do?

my 14 year old son Dean has gotten into the FIXED GEAR
there is a youth bike culture in the city that emulated the Fixed Gear Courier Culture
and well
this has an assortment of high school age boys racing in the various Alleycats

Dean had heard about this Alleycat and expressed some interest
well... the father side of me could not help but offer up some hesitancy
sure Dean can pedal fast... but can he stop fast
how can this kid race an Alleycat when he has very little understanding of the layout of the city

it does not sound like a good idea... I have my hesitancy

Friday after work I met up with Dean in Dupont Circle
Dean had his bike so we met up to ride home
normally I have Dean take a somewhat longer route home on the Bike Path in Rock Creek Park
it is good for him to ride in an area where there are fewer cars... I feel it is more safe
as well as it being less like for him to get lost
as the bike path sends him by his mothers house and an area that he is more familiar with
while the city streets... I am not sure of his understanding of the lay out of the city

so we rode home togheter
while we rode I tried to verbalize what I was thinking and why I was riding the way I was riding

up New Hampshire Avenue from Dupont in the bike lane
as we approach a 4 Way Stop I could see that there is a series of cars all taking a right
most certainly one or all will enter the bike lane to take this turn
none of the car drivers will anticipate the fast moving bicycle
my guess... these cars will drive into the bike lane without a glance for a bike and use the bike lane as a right turn lane

so I explained to Dean how I would avoid that potential collision by passing these cars on the left rather than on their right

then through the intersection and back into the bike lane... only to pull the same maneuver at the next intersection
all the while verbalizing why I was doing what I was doing

the ride home went that way...
trying to alert the boy to watching the timer on the walk signal to know how much longer a light will remain Green or how long until a light turns Green


too bad I did not Strava our pedal home 
I would have certainly had a few PRs for our Efforts

we got home... Dean left out on his fixed gear to visit his friends across town
while I left out to walk the dog

then I looped in the car to get Grant and then Grabbed Dean and we went home to watch TWILIGHT together
all with an early bed time to get ready for rowing and soccer in the morning
not to mention we were tired from our early rise to get dean to the boat house by 5:30 AM

it was decided... No Alleycat for Dad... No Alleycat for Dean
we would race the EX2 Adventures race at Rosaryville
but first... I needed some help with Dean's bike.. the chain was loose and I did not have any luck getting this set up
to my pleasure Chris Merriam was willing and available to take a glance at my bikes
to my discredit...I did not realize that when he said 1PM he meant one and not sometime after one
my morning tasks with parenting had me show up a few minutes later than Chris has expected
I hate taking advantage of his generosity
I am not one of his four children... even if I behave like it

Chris was able to resolve the bottom bracket issue I was having on Dean's Juan Solo
while also turning a screw or two on my bike

thanks...  really thanks
Chris... I would love you either way... but your mechanical assistance is so valuable to keeping my family rolling

chris also raised the handlebars and replaced the flat bars with a slight riser
Dean is huge
his is outgrowing his bike 
he is outgrowing his bed 
Dean is larger than life

Dean took a spin around the neighborhood on the freshly tuned up bike
it took a minute of adjustment for him
the mountain bike is very different than the fixed gear in so many ways
but in a matter of a minutes he developed a recollection of hand brakes and the ability to coast
to my displeasure Dean got onto his fixed gear... crossed town... and spent the night at a friend's house... not without asking and not without arguement
I wanted him close for the departure to the race
but with the 1PM start I thought the sleep over would not be that big of an issue
as it turns out... it was not

I packed our gear...
Dean has inherited some DCMTB gear
I packed a DCMTB skin suit... and then some DCMTB shorts and a MORE button down shirt made of breathable fabric along with helmet... shoes... socks... gloves... water bottle
times two
just as I had to pack for Dean I had to pack for myself


morning came and before my coffee was made I was slapping tubes into my slowly leaking STANS tubeless set up
then walked the dog as I drank my coffee
I crossed town anxious about the race
racing makes me anxious
I am competitive... I want to do well

where is my fitness at?
how will my body perform?
how will my bike hold up?
how fast will my competition be?

it was not clear if I would race single speed or Clydesdale
in the end... I decided to race Clydesdale on the Single Speed

Dean had breakfast at his friends... I drank a coffee... ate a banana and a few other breakfast bars that I grabbed when heading out the door

we made the short drive from downtown DC to Rosaryville in PG County Maryland

the drive was trouble free.. but as we got close I thought it odd that I did not see any other cars with bikes on top on the road around us
when we pulled into the State Park it was interesting... there was no sign... no race arrow... nothing
before we even entered the park I voiced to Dean, "it does not look like there is a race today"

we drove past the old lot... then past the turn off for the new lot... then over to the Pavillion

no cars..
no sign of cyclists swarming around trying to warm up...

at the turn around I pulled up the EX2 Race info on my iPhone
sure enough... the rescheduled event was on Saturday not Sunday

I was 24 hours late to register and race
no race today
photos from EX2 Adventures Rosaryville Race?
I don't think so

there was a moment let down... Dean wanted to race... I wanted to race
it was a beautiful day and we would get to ride
as we suited up I laughed to myself about my botching the father son Rosaryville Race
we made small talk with other riders
sharing with them my misunderstanding about the race schedule

then a familiar face rolled into the lot
Eric Lever from NCVC and Ed Sander's cyclocross fame pulled up
Dean and I were nearly ready... Eric asked which way we were going and used us as a rabbit to push his pace

Dean and I took to the loop
taking a left to run our first lap Counter Clockwise
we shared this plan with Eric so that he could chase
immediately into the woods we ran into a cluster of entry level cyclists heading our way slowly
then there were horses... more horses... and more riders

it was not crowded
but it was not clear

we rode and we talked
maintaining a good pace
rocking it pretty hard
but not going ballistic
not getting hypoxic

the first lap with Dean went well...
Dean was riding strong in my shadow
on the one long downhill at Rosaryville I ran into MORE Roasaryville Trail Liaison Jim McNeely and another man working on new reroute of that downhill
instead of a bullet straight up\down
the trail now dips in and out of the woods a few times

Jim and his assistant were reworking these reroutes so that they flowed a little better
thanks Jim and friends... your efforts are awesome... your efforts are appreciated 

first has good randomness
this link has a shot of Jim

Dean was patient as I chatted with Jim
as we talked Eric caught us
then as Eric and Jim exchanged hellos I heard some chatter about MABRA come up
I feared that there could be a long conversation about cyclocross race promotion so Dean and I pushed on
we finish our first lap... back at the parking lot Eric caught Dean and I again 

we discussed our desire
Eric was cool with riding a second lap with us allowing Dean to set the pace

my fear that he is strong for the short sprint but lacks endurance was inaccurate on this day
the rabbit has legs and lungs

Eric and I caught up as we tried to catch Dean
any time that Eric and I accelerated into Dean's shadow he was able to lay down the hammer and pull away
it was really quite impressive
his speed and control was impressive to watch
I can not deny that this moment was making me proud

Strava Data for this Ride

lap two flowed better than lap one
no horses... fewer cyclists coming the opposite direction... and no social stop
his pace never faltered
any time I threatened him in his shadow he was able to sprint away

that is not to say I was ever trying to catch him or pass him
but if I had tried
I fear I would have been denied

our ride was better than a race
(maybe I am just saying that)
we got to spend some time together
we got to ride more miles than we would have raced
we saved the entrance fee

the lap time for the lap at Dean's pace was under 50 minutes
a solid pace for anyone
a fantastic pace for a second lap
and then
an amazing lap time for a 14 year old boy who has not been on a mountain bike since the fall

No comments: