Monday, December 6, 2010

Colorado Finale

My frenzied weekend started Friday when prepping early for Bend, I was gluing on a fresh new Dugast Rhino to handle the mixed bag of terrain and weather conditions ahead. I've never been a huge fan of gluing tubys because I've had so much limited experience that I'd gladly hand off the task to someone far more competent than myself (that's you T-town!). So after completing a the job Friday evening with a very satisfactory job of gluing and not getting any glue spooge on the sidewalls or braking surface, I threw on a quick coat of sealant and took Jen out on date night for a nice dinner. Upon returning I wanted to check the sealant and make sure it had dried uniformly and noticed that I had glued the rear tire on the tread pattern reversed. I had glued the friggin tire on backwards!!! Instantly, rapid fire thoughts are running through my head like "well, Michelin Jet's on my commuter are front and rear specific and well, the backwards Rhino almost matches the Jets,'s fine" . Well after a very restless night of waking up with State Championships anxiety and the tire debacle I decided that since the glue wasn't completely set up and I haven't ridden it yet, I'll try to peel it off and repair it in the morning.

I quickly rushed through Saturday morning's breakfast and went downstairs to start the process all over again, with a lot of pulling, tugging, wheezing, and sweating I was able to get the tire without any damage to the base tape. Re-glue, lay down tape, another layer or glue and put the tire on in the proper direction. Funny thing is, I won't know if the job is done completely right until I race at Nationals. I had no plans to race this tire at States because of the dry conditions forecast all weekend. The remainder of the day was fighting for parking spots at the mall as we are wrapping up ( pun intended ) our seasonal shopping extravaganza.

On Sunday, Jim and I loaded up the Element chock full of spare bikes, wheels, trainers and embrocations for what would be our last trip up North this season. Arrived in plenty of time so throw on heaps of clothes and make an attempt to warm up. It may have been dry but some humidity in the air was making the temps feel pretty brisk, hovering just above freezing when we arrived. I was able to witness a portion of my fellow ex-Mainer Matt Klick from the Frites en Mayo team sticking it to all the Cat 3 guys. He was looking buttery smooth and composed up front but looked to be the victim of some coordinated attacks from behind and finished up 3rd. for the day but a great race and ride.
64 of us lined up for the 45+ race, I rarely get a bad case of the jitters but I was super nervous about this race primarily based on the terrain. flat and FAST, I think the fastest course I've seen in some time. It was an elastic band course featuring short turny tech sections punctuated by these long, drawn out straightaways requiring megawatts of power. Whistle blows and I get a decent start, not exactly moving forward but not sliding back either. We bottleneck slightly in the first few run-ups and turns but I can see the front end of the race disappear off into the horizon on the power sections. " these guys are SO fast" . I put my head down and tried hanging with groups, moving forward when the group started to lag or bobble and hanging on for dear life when attacks started. I was consistently gaining places on the short stair run-up but would blow to the sky on the sandy runs through the volleyball court. I had a bit of a 2 to go meltdown and lost a few spots and started picking bad lines making small mistakes. On 1 to go I pulled it together with an internal memo that this was the State Championships, you're having a good race so keep it together. I rolled through in 29th place, the 2nd Cat 4 guy in our field and was absolutely thrilled (It obviously doesn't take much to get me thrilled) , but I couldn't have been happier with such a clean race. Thanks so much to all vocalizing their support from the other side of the tape (Lortie, Dave-O, Matt, Brian, and Rich from the Frites crew, Bob P, Matty O, Dan from BSV) it was seriously motivating and meant a lot when it's just too easy to ignore those dangling in the middle of no-mans land.

So there you have it. 2010 Colorado Cross Season in the books and it's been a great one, perhaps a little too dry would be the single complaint. I'll post some more wrap-up items on this past season in Colorado but now I'm looking to Bend. Typically goals for Nationals: don't get lapped, don't get pulled.

Thanks for reading


1 comment:

Brian said...

Thanks for the blog posts this season. I enjoyed reading them.