Well, that did not go soooo well. But, I am really still just trying to make up ground from the damned allergies. After Great Glen, I was supposed to be starting up interval HARD. I did. Then I did a coupld MTB training races of 45 minutes at Catamount. Started to feel sharp.
Then allergies hit. Two weeks of no riding, feeling flu-like and sore. Then, next thing you know, its Suckerbrook and rather then mini peaking, I am stale and sore and got nothin’. However, I am still dedicated to just working my way up into pack fodder status in the A masters. I could drop back into B master, but I am just not feeling it. I come away wanting. Just not satisfying.
Perhaps, if things continue to go poorly, I will do the B mens race for a while. The pack is bigger so I can work on holding wheels and closing gaps more. So far I have been doing alot of riding alone. Thats not optimal. I think the 2/3 race is just slower on average (say 10th-30th) then the A masters as well. The pointy end is probably the same, but that is irrelevant as I am not getting lapped. Don’t believe what you read. I was NOT lapped at Catamount.
After Wednesday’s train wreck, I decided to just stay off the bike. God, I was so deep down sore. Friday more of the same, still sore so rather then spin, I just bagged it. Saturday AM I rode about 45 minutes easy. Not great, but not immediately painful either.
Come race time and I was horrible. It hurt right away, and not in a good way. But, I was not _last_ until I rolled a tire. Well, the tire came off the base tape. Old Rynos have too much grip for the old base tape bond. I tried riding it to the pit, but then the valve stem tore. So I ran it in, changed wheels, and kept on going.
Times like those, you have to ask yourself, “Self, what would Gewilli do?” The answer is clear.
I was dead last. Until good old Carl Ring had the inevitable mechanical. On the second LONG climb, I see NHCC up the road going slow. Oooo, can I pass someone? Get closer and its Carl running. Hah! I was so happy to pass someone that I was perhaps less then charitable and supportive of his situation (he had been having a great race till then, good power course for him). Carl tends to ride in front of me, so I tend to get a great view of him crashing, and its become a bit of a standing joke. At least for me. Carl, maybe not so funny, but I enjoy it. Moving on.
I felt a little better the last two laps, but Bold and Co. were coming up on me in the last half lap so I stayed on the gas and JUST sqeaked over the line as they were sprinting. In my defense, to those who say I should have gotten out of the way – well, I was IN FRONT of them, thus out of the way. And, its hard to see how fast they are coming up. It was just 2 of them. I kept looking back and the gap was going down over the course of the lap, but then at the very end it came down really fast (between looks). And it was all twisty, so I did not think pulling over and being on course was smart. And, sorry, I am not going to dismount and dive into the bushes for them.
So I stayed in front of them, and crossed the line ahead of them. WAAAAY to the right hand side, opposite side from the officials and camera, and they had plenty of room. Whatever, I didn’t get lapped and that is what matters to me. So there.
Sunday – well, I felt better in the AM. And it was WET!!! Yay!!! But, I had ruined my ultra important Ryno from tire. Oooo, not good. So I ran the 34 Grifo. Not good. Wide is not good on slick terrain. You want BITE. Skinny car tires for snow and ice. Same deal here. The Ryno in the back had mad grip, and that made it worse, really unbalanced.
Anyway, I warmed up well, lined up 6th row, had a decent start but felt horrible, Saturday was SOOO HARD with all the climbing. God. I was feeling it. But I made myself gas it harder. I made some nice passes, yes NICE CLEAN PASSES in the first chicane, which I know like the back of my hand from all the Wednesday races. Then I blew it. I dove inside the last corner and passed a bunch of guys. I totally had it, until I lost the handle. Front tire just let go and I slid right across the lane, just like Nascar when they loose a front tire in the corner. Directly into the wall, thank you.
Who did I land into, but Myette, who was staying at my house. I felt so bad, I started apologizing mid slide, and continued to do so as I put him into the tape. We got off pretty quick, but not before he gave me a disappointed “JERRRRRYY!!!” in the tone of voice you use when you are exasperated with your kids. That is all he said. I still feel bad. Look, its the slow guy from the back effing up the whole race. Thanks loser. Oh well, that’s racing and I have made that pass a million times in the past. Whoopsy.
Suitabley chastised, I slid back to the back.
And then Carl Ring came by. WTF, why are you back here? I sort of got on his wheel and he dropped me and made the group that I should have made. The group I was in last year at the end of the season. Oh well. Then he had to change bikes (mechanical….insert snicker here) and then came past me again and then sort of blew, and I passed him. Then he came passed me again (he was clearly fitter then me). I clung to his wheel, or just off it, for the remainder, and we passed a couple guys who popped.
Meanwhile, Eyebob is loving it as he is getting great shots of the two of us killing each other. It was a blast.
Last lap and he gaps me on the hill. I try to close, and sprint and almost make it up to him to have a real sprint, I was hoping to get to bang into him and rough him up a little before he smoke me, but it was not to be.
The announcer did give us a shout out, saying “Here is a nice little grudge match coming to the line…” as we had been together all race.
So, I saw some small improvement. I feel that if I had the Ryno on the front I could have held alot more speed. I felt so bad on lap one I was going to drop out. For real this time. Then I forgot, then it was 3rd lap so I kept going. I just kept thinking how this was going to improve my crossresults.com points so I could not DNF. Thank Colin, no shit, kept me in the race two days in a row. Then, three to go I started to feel alot better. Well, I realized I was not closing any gaps, so I rested some. Then two to go and when I see two to go I am HOME.
I love two to go. Not one to go. One to go is like free, cause you always have the motivation to drill it. Two to go is the last lap you have to make yourself go hard. Cause one to go, you will go hard cause you are done! I always race to two to go. Gets me thru it.
We had Bob Kramer and Bruce Bell on our six, so I had to drill it all the way home. Felt good cause I was almost racing at the end there. Too bad the race had already gotten up the road. Just not enough bodies there to keep me in company. Well, there was close to 60 people I bet. Seemed like a small field to me though. And I was alone so that was not good.
I leave the weekend with mixed feelings. Clearly, I do not belong in the A race right now. But last year I ended feeling like I did. I really really dont want to drop down. I am not getting lapped, so I will hang in. Maybe I will try a 2/3 race. I dunno. If I dont keep trying I wont get better. Its really just the fact that I thought I was coming into this season ready to roll and it all slipped away from me. I had fun today though.
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