Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Race report: PSU

Yeah, that's good, but what about this??

There's your shout out to the Men's C;s, although Rob has already posted that first one to the ECCC listserv, so if you are one of those that check your email every 5 seconds to procrastinate from the impending doom of finals, you have already seen it.

It's funny, because I feel like this weekend did the exact opposite of building us up (except in vertical feet). First, there was the TTT that was kinda flat, but not really at all. I was also pissed for that race and attempting to take it out on the false flats until I realized that that was hurting me a lot, and I might not make the 10 miles if I kept it up. I also made the smart move to get to the line early which 1) made my teammates late while they were looking for me and (2 in my rush I forgot my glasses, causing me to get dirty spray in my face for ten miles. And it wasn't really raining very hard, so there was none of the "kick it into your face, then wash it right off" kind of thing from Yale. Long story short, I ended up riding slightly outside Liz's draft the entire way as to ensure that I could actually see her and not slam into her.

I think the highlight of the TTT was our men's A team, which consisted of two A riders and a D rider getting his butt kicked so that we could finish.

Once the weather cleared up a bit, it was time to start the road race of doom. Hats off to all the climbers in the field. Not many people on our team were in that category this week (apologies to those of you that were that I may be skipping over--but I did offer you the chance to blog and tell your side of the story and had no takers). Something about living on a pancake of an island. The problem with road races is that they are really really really really long (one really for every lap the men's A's did). And you can't really see anything, so you just sit around eating cookies, doing space legs, making inappropriate comments, and making a fool of yourself on random tandem bicycles. And, in my case, dancing around to RIT's (?) music choices, most notably "Stacy's Mom." What a classic. Next year I propose that we buy our own team iHome. Dancing is something we really could use more of at bike races.

While I am not yet completely off the subject of the road race, I'd just like to say that I channeled Carrie a little bit in being pissed that our race was only 21 miles. It took me until about halfway up the climb to get warmed up (see: me getting dropped), but afterwards I was picking up speed and feeling good. I was ready for another lap. I could also have used another lap for training for Bear Mountain this weekend, but c'est la vie. I finished. Which is more than I can say of all the other road races this year (curses to flat tires and dehydration).

Now, on to Sunday, skipping over the mediocre small-town Italian joint and the smoke-filled first floor of the truck-stop Ramada, the crit. I had been looking forward to this all week. Now, when we rolled up in the misty haze, there were quite a few looking at the chicane sequence with timidity. I was either too confident or too stupid to notice how scary it was. Either way, it worked out in my favor. I pretty much figured that it couldn't get worse than this, and if it did, at least I knew that I'd have my favorite photographer/ER doctor to come to my rescue (if you were around for the Men's A bunnyhop-over-the-haybale scene you know what I'm talking about). Of course, I spent so much time worrying about what time I should get queued up for the start that I got to the line a little late and ended up in the 2nd row. Which put me in the 2nd group. I tried to play it smart. In some ways, that worked out well for me. When I was close to someone going into the chicane, I went to the outside of the corner on the 2nd turn, which saved me from getting caught behind Carrie's crash. At the same time, after about 5 laps when things started settling down, I wasn't quite smart enough to realize that two of the girls in my group of four had teammates up the road, hence, perhaps I should have done a little more work than I did to try to pull them back. But now that I think about it, if they were blocking, they weren't doing a terribly good job at it because we were going decently fast. There were a few obstacles over the course of the course--one being Army riding with a flat tire and try to pass on the inside coming into the chicane. I almost felt like pushing her into that corner that she wanted so badly, but was content to growl at her and promptly pass her again on the next straight away. The one time that I let her in front of me coming into turn 5, something pops off her tire and she goes skidding into my lane. Another match burned catching back up to the group. But at least I felt a little safer on the course. That is, until UVM (Emily, I think) kept clipping her pedal on turn 4. Props to her, though, for never going down. I was impressed, even though it scared the bejeezus (how the hell is that word spelled?) out of me every time it happened. Interestingly enough, I didn't even notice that it happened coming around the last turn on the final lap and nearly took all of us out. I was busy cursing myself for not being ballsy enough to make a move before the turn (which, now that I know that we all almost ate it, I guess that was a good move, last in a field sprint is better than eating pavement and getting a DNF; see DFL>DNF).

Anyway, that was that. There was lots more that happened, but I have a review session now. Plus, by not writing about anyone else, I can passive-agressively motivate other people to write about it. Right guys?

That being said, hats off to Dave Collier, with a wicked move for a 2nd place finish in Men's C's, and of course to Mags, who kicked ass without even wanting to. And a word for all of my WoB teammates, who raced like hell (in the good way)--did you hear that we got a shoutout from the announcer at our race for fielding such a large (and attractive) team??

I am going to go figure out how to write without parentheses now.

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