Monday, September 15, 2008
Post-fat and "now what?"
(photo by www.skinnyski.com)
Another one in the books and not on the page I would like to put it on. The weather set in on the Chequamegon course on Thursday which was guaranteed to leave the muck. Friday we rode into Hayward via the pavement, got coffee, got a Powerball ticket (ya, go ahead and laugh. Someday....), and went back to Rosie's Field for some openers. Other than that, stayed off the greaseball trails.
Sunday was nice but the rain opened up shortly into the race. The rollout was ungodly fast and some serious crashes complicated things for many. Hareland went down hard and ended up with a few packs of bacon attached to his leg and hip. He still finished around 50th. Tough. Anyway, the pace to Rosie's got up to 37.1 mph, which on a mtb bike is too fast. We all looked around at each other waiting for someone to make the call to slow it up. Finally we did, got into Rosie's, caught Cole on his cross bike, and then drilled it to Hwy OO. Shortly after that I hit the big puddles and contaminated my rear deraileur housing in the back loop. I quickly found that I could not bring the deraileur up into an easier gear unless I unclipped and kicked it up. So, with a serious issue with the bike I set out to make the best of the situation. On the way to Boedecker Rd. I got dropped in the series of little climbs. 30 seconds back and I chased on with another but the time there would be short lived with more required shifting ahead.
I came into Firetower with the lead group minus Jeff Hall who was 45 seconds up on us. It was at this point where those who had ill racing bikes would be tested. I was stuck in an unforgiveable gear and had to grind the Firetower out. That was it. I had such great legs but not all the functions I need for my bike. So, I settled in and just tried to keep it real.
We hit the Telemark climbs and I was bummed to see Doug up ahead of us. He was having a difficult day in the end as well. It was great having a teammate out there but the weather was not going to let us take advantage of that. I think he was going strong, and I knew I was, but things were not working out for us. Again, I grinded out the Telemark climbs and proceeded on now with my newly added chainsuck. Shortly before the finish Dewey and Schnell caught us with good-to-go bikes. We passed Matter having issues with the bike and I knew this was a "no bad luck" race. I heard a knocking in the front end of the bike and finally attributed it to a loose skewer on the front wheel. But, being that I was not being chased and would not catch the rider in front I rode it in. Lesson learned by Simonsen (You really have to tighten down your skewer on a rigid fork.) I finished 13th and not tired one bit.
The bike worked great otherwise. I opted for a bit more pressure at 29lbs in my Hutchinson Pythons on the ultra-cool Hed Ardennes with the DT 240 disc hubs. They did their job and performed absolutley great. The Gary Fisher Paragon rode as good as I expected it to and furthered my choice on passing on a Superfly. The bike rode great even with the rigid White Bros fork. Last second changes in saddle position and saddle made a world of difference.
So, Johnathan Paige took a play out of the "road" manual and school us in the end. Jeff made a great move and it is too bad it didn't succeed. TJ was always going to be a factor and he round out the podium. Hell, he even won a bag of decaf coffee. Just what every cyclist loves.
Speaking of coffee. 53 X 11 was there serving up some seriously needed coffee. Thanks to Evan for keeping me energized and full of warmth. Thanks to Gary for the nearby PortiPotties.
My cat loves coffee too. Nice neck piece.
So, this weekend will be the TT for sure being put on by Brone's Bike shop in Fountain City, WI. I may squeeze the road event in as well but may have to get back to work due to the WSU Homecoming. Do I still have TT legs? Who knows. All I know is that my legs now have a few beers in them topped with some Ben & Jerry's. Hell ya! Ciao -Ian