Sunday, July 17, 2011

Race #82: Hot hot hot!

It was really cool racing at Hueston Woods. Like General Butler, this is another classic race course that I am getting to race for the first time. Similar to Butler, it is an older style of trail building that is very roller coaster: killer climbs and fast descents.

This week has been chaotic with Patrick the Paragon (my Gary Fisher mountain bike). First, two chain rings needed to be replaced (I spent most of the Harbin time trial off the trail fiddling with my chain suckage) then a crank arm bolt stripped and my crank arm fell off when I went for a ride! Mitch and the Crew at BioWheels saved the day and replaced my crankset at the last minute! They really saved my keester and my CORA race series points.

Geez it was hot today! I think my fitness is still a little off and I really suffered out there. Not to mention that I couldn't handle a bike worth a darn. The race started out semi fast, not like East Fork. I jumped on the front for a second but my legs didn't feel that great and I let Marty and Brent have the hole shot (I wig out if someone is sitting on my wheel sometimes).

They were going pretty fast. I think I let about 10 seconds open up and I tried to close the gap drilling an uphill when my front tire slid out. Perhaps I was riding sloppy because I overheated. So I cooled down and tried to protect my third place and rode efficiently in the hopes of poaching a spot but those guys were more than a minute ahead now.

I felt like I was in no man's land until about lap 3. A rider was coming within striking distance of me. Like last week I kept gunning it whenever I could but I started overheating and riding sloppy again. There were quite a few technical uphills and I kept coming off the bike and having to cyclocross sprint up them! Somehow I caught Marty (I think he overheated too, it was 92F) and I tried to keep this other rider at bay. I worried I might blow and cramp and crop to 4th.

That other rider caught me at the end of lap 3 and I was lucky it was a rider in another race. But I still had to protect my spot. I took my last gulp of water at the beginning of my last lap and had to hope that I wouldn't cramp and have Marty catch me. I swear he was just behind me. I think I got a second wind, tried to ride as smooth as possible and somehow I pulled off my second place! I nearly melted from the heat and the pressure and my brain kept daydreaming about water and it kept telling me to quit.

Many huge thanks to BioWheels, this is the third time they have come to my rescue and fixed my bike last minute for a race, each time I have gotten on the podium! My career would be nothing without them!

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