28 April, 2011

Another Week, Another Race

This was to be my second update to my racing season.  However, I got quite busy at work this week.  Therefore the details will be lacking, after the 4 days I have forgotten most things.  This being my first time to PLRA, I am not familiar with the course to recall the sketchy areas.

The good news is that the Friday before the race, my sweet Metal kit arrived from Twin Six!  My first team gear, now I feel special.

The race was the first event of the "New " Tailwind Racing, the Pontiac Lake Time Trial in Waterford.  Single speeders were scheduled to race at 1:30 in the afternoon.  Plenty of time to sleep in a bit, eat, and make the drive without feeling rushed.

We arrived at the park a little before 11:30 and headed to the registration.  This is where the frustration began.  The line was way deep with people standing around waiting to get their information logged in.  I was not terribly concerned, as I had preregistered afterall.  The sport racer's start was being delayed 30 minutes, so they got priority in the line, then beginners, then us one-geared folk.  After 40 minutes, I got to the front of the line, and entered my information onto the computer, got my start time (1:20:10 a.m.) and was told to add 40 minutes to this time.  I also verified with the Tailwind person that my starting time would be 2:00:10 that afternoon.

Again, I wasn't upset with the delay, as I have my tag now, and sign-in should run smoothly at future races.  I was kind of annoyed about having to stand in line for 40 minutes, next time I am bringing a chair or something.

I head back to the truck and check if my bike is still there.  Did some assembly, stuck on my number, and headed back to the start area to browse around.  I stopped by the Big Ring Coffee tent, and picked up a bag of Single Track beans, for future race mornings.  Around 1:00 they guy showed up that I was buying a bike rack from.  So I made that transaction, and mounted a Kuat NV rack to the back of my truck.  I am happy to no longer have to take of my front wheel all of the time.  I am not sure if I am thoroughly impressed thus far, but still learning.

Any how, it is now ~1:20, time to change clothes and start warming up, still with around 40 minutes before race time.  I get some spinning in, an the legs are feeling rather warm.  I head back to the truck at 1:45 to grab my helmet and stuff for the race.  When I get there, my wife tells me they are starting!

I snatch my gear and get to the starting area at 1:50, a full 10 minutes before I was scheduled to start.  I get to the gates, and tell them "Number 904" to which I was told "We already sent the low numbers!"  I go to somebody else with a clipboard and was told I had to start at the back!  Again, WTF!?!

As I am standing there, straddling my bike, watching everybody go in front of me, I was informed that the promoters were trying to make up some time, so the moved the starting time back up.  Who thought that was a good idea?

Finally it was my turn to go, so I did.  I jumped on it, flew out of the gate and was down the trail in a flash.  Heart rate pegged, my wife said she didn't have time to take a picture.  I was pissed and letting it all go, I never saw the guy I started with until we were standing around waiting for results (stay tuned). 

I honestly don't remember much about the trail.  It was surprisingly dry, only 1 mud hole about 1.5 miles in.  I rode through, I wasn't slowing down for anything.   There was a climb at about 2 miles and I charged up it like a goat on crack.  Some more single track miles in, and I hit the climb around 7 miles.  I There is a sharp right-hander at the bottom which I almost washed out on.  As I result, I carried no momentum up this hill so I hopped off and ran it.  After this is was just more pedaling to the finish.  I was trying to catch my O2W teammate Gus Hemingway (or Hemmingway if you are looking at the results) who started ahead of me, but never caught a glimpse of him.

Once across the finish, it just felt different.  I didn't have my finishing burst, with the puffy-cheeks of fury.  I wasn't feeling overly tired, or stressed.  I am pretty sure I went sufficiently hard.  I almost crashed, at speed, three times.  I luckily recovered each time, only unclipping once.  Seems like I was riding on the edge.

So, I started around 2:00, finished in around 44 minutes (by my Garmin).  I stood around the registration area, and found out that sport awards were not posted yet.    They had to have started around 13:30 or 1!  So I went back and changed.

Now to cut an excruciatingly long blog post short:
~3:45: Sport SS times posted, I was not even listed.  Got in the "complaint" line and waited my turn.  Apparently I did not have a category assigned.
~4:00: I am now on the results sheet, last place without a time.  Back in line.
~4:15:  Awards.  Not sure where I ended up, as times weren't reposted.  I wait.

It turns out I got second place, behind Gus, who flew through the course a full 2 minutes faster than I.  It was an O2W 1-2 finish.

I grab my medal, jump in the truck and head to the Waterford Sonic.  In addition to spending ~5 hours at the race, I only had breakfast that morning (and some Gu).  Time to carbo re-load!

My dear wife ended up getting sun/wind burned face whilst standing around all day.  I have the best pit crew!

Now it is 3 days until Custer.  Cold, crappy weather in store.  See you there!

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