A good race that wasn’t

Fat guy on a little bike

Fat guy on a little bike (Tom Winfeild phto)

I made the trip with the Hoff brothers to the Psycowpath opener this last Sunday at Swanson. An iffy morning of weather turned into a beautiful day for racing bikes – not too cool or hot, and enough breeze out in the open for a bit of refreshment.

My day went well for a while. I went out for a warm up and was pleasantly surprised in how good I felt. I had been doing some home improvements on Saturday and was a bit stiff when I got up. I managed to get loose at home but was worried that a 2 hour car ride would exacerbate the situation but I was fine. I was feeling good going to the start line.

I got a decent start with no clip in issues, and moved out with the pack. I slotted in a little higher than I should have but with some faster riders driving me I ended up burning a personal best lap on this course.

I didn’t pre-load with nutrition and hydration like I should have so going into the second lap I felt a little flat. A little Heed and a get and i was good to go again. At the end of lap two I was still way under the lap times I had hoped for.

Lap three went by quickly and I was starting to settle into a good rhythm. Going into lap four I was starting to feel some fatigue and a little crampy and a couple folks I had been leading were starting to catch up. I stood to climb up from the pavement crossing and my left thigh cramped. Still not wanting to get passed, I pushed on and made up some great time the remainder of the lap and back to the finish line. I had planned on pounding down some Heed and a gel or two to stoke the fire.

Just as I crossed the line I heard a pop and my seat dropped out from under me. I stood to keep from getting a carbon fiber enema and my thigh cramped and all hell broke loose. I ended up in the rough off course but got unclipped without too much embarrassment. My race was done at the halfway mark.

The seat clamp bolt snapped which completely ended my day because you can’t use any parts you weren’t already carrying to make repairs and who carries bolts? It literally took a $.58 bolt and two minutes to repair it on Monday.

Oh well.

Even after four laps I was still well under my best-case scenario for lap times. Had I not bonked and not broken down I most likely would have had seven laps, eight if things had gone really well. With that I would have ended up mid-pack, exactly what I had hoped for.

Tracking my performance and comparing it to the last two years is very encouraging.  I am on par with 2011, my last good year of racing, and greatly improved over 2012.

I see some areas that need work but I am encouraged and looking forward to Tranquility in two weeks.


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