Sunday, May 2, 2010

My return to bike racing.

I have been out of bike racing since my collarbone was broken in a race on March 13th. I have done a couple of the local Seward park races in the last couple weeks to prepare for a "real" race.

I finished in the top 20 in the first one, it was scary and I spent quite a bit of time at the back being skittish and over-reacting to every move in front of me. There was a crash behind me at one point and I spent the next 5 laps with a 5 foot bubble around me. I managed to get back into it at the end and didn't die or get dropped. Goal accomplished!

The second Seward park race I felt a little better and actually led for a few laps and spent the whole race near the front and was just off the lead group at the finish but still finished in the top ten. Not quite as scary as the first one. I still have not fully tried out my left arm and really sprinted with full power.

A "real" Race!
Much to the chagrin of my wife Robin, I signed up for the Michelob Ultra circuit race, a new race in an old location. We had a race out there in Glenwood last year but it was a different course. The course is a 6 mile loop with what feels like 1000 feet of climbing per lap but is only about 250. There were 3-4 steep kickers and one longish climb, then a downhill finish.

I drove to W. Seattle got on to the ferry and then rode to the race as a warm up. It is about 12 miles from Southworth to the start line. A good amount of climbing too. ~1200 feet.

This course is conducive to a break getting away and staying away due to the hills, I had one teammate and he was up near the front from the start and attacked pretty much right away but the field quickly pulled him back in. On the third lap I got near the front and attacked on a climb and very quickly got a gap but only one guy came with me, oh well, have to work with what we have. We hammered along for one lap before we got caught and rejoined the group. I stayed near the front for the final two laps but in my head was thinking there was no way I was going to contest the sprint. I moved to the left side to get ready for the sprint, still pretty close to the front. We made the right turn onto the final straight and the speed increased to 30+ within a couple hundred meters. We passed the 1km to go sign and there was a crash directly on my right, ACK! a bike was on the ground in front of me but I had an "out" into the oncoming lane. I used it, then there was another guy on the ground in front of me, I had to go almost to the opposite gutter to avoid him. I had to really push it to catch back up to the lead group, I passed a few people at 200m to go. I was really freaked out by the crash and its proximity to me. I never stood up in the sprint but managed to be going 40MPH at the finish and grabbed 7th place.

I met my first goal, no crashes. My second goal, don't get dropped. My long shot goal, top 10.

1 comment:

Ted Diamond said...

Spectacular!! Kudos on the reaching the end of the comeback trail. The Force was clearly with you. 40+mph finishing sprint -- wow!