Wednesday, August 11, 2010

As it was meant to be...

I had a FUN, cycling filled weekend, with ups and downs(literally), and it even included a few of those "moments of clarity" that helped put some things in perspective. I went out to Madison Wisconsin to do the Centurion GranFondo. For what it's worth that IS the future of cycling in the states. It's no surprise these events are so popular in Europe where cycling is revered... . I decided (the night before)to get the AC recharged in my car since the trip up there was about 3 hours and it was hot. So Saturday we head off to the highway and NO AC. Turns out there is a leak, and the $100 I spent at Jiffy Lube leaked out a faulty hose within one day. I'm dealing with them later...For all my readers who are limited in time I decided to condense the trip into a collection of notable highlights, and include a collection of pictures for those of you who asked for visuals :)
  • First road trip with new GPS. Still got turned around because I didn't completely trust it LOL
  • Arrived at packet pickup Saturday winds were howling. Hooked up with a babe for a kodak moment ;)

  • Came across Fabian Cancellera's bike at the Specialized booth. Rep wouldn't let me ride it :(  Note cable stop I "aquired" - DON'T judge me...

  • Food was great on this trip! Lunch was at a Cheeseburger in Paradise which was across the street from the hotel, and dinner was at Cosi. Margarita Chicken pizza mmmm
  •  Saturday night we visited the closed to the public TREK expo. Some cool rides and gear on display. Kids suddenly want to buy road bikes LOL Had another photo opportunity to take a picture of a babe and a bike ;)
The 2 coolest things I seen were
1) The ultimate touring/pizza delivery bike

and a custom water bottle program in which you can design and order online.
these 2 bottles are going to be HUGE sellers.

The rest of the show was typical shiny new bikes you can find at any reputable shop...
  • Race morning was greeted with severe weather and a number of delays. The 100 mile race/ride was cancelled and everyone who stuck around did the 50 miler (complete with 3200 feet of climbing -In the Midwest :)  

  • We were moved into an airplane hangar while the storms moved thru.

  • I had some pretty mixed emotions as to what I was going to do but decided to stay and do the ride when my "LPM" called my bluff. We have a rule in which we can't wear the shirt or in this case the jersey I bought, unless we do the event.

So back to the hotel I rode, switched my HED 60 mm wheels out for some low profile lightweight Mavic Ksyriums I brought (just in case), and changed into dry gear.

  • Some prerace comments. Not cool for "roadies" to rip on triathletes when waiting for the start. The Tri dude did have a great comeback when he brought up he was prepping for the ironman. Made the "hair-on-legs" roadie change his tune, and suddenly befriend him. Almost to the point of being over the top. Some people.... It  was also kind of arrogant to see a team walk up last minute and push their way to the front while the rest of us were out braving the drizzle and wind waiting for the start. POETIC but a story for another day. TRUST ME :)
  • The race was great. If great means torrential/monsoon rains, and wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour. I haven't done much pack riding this year so it took a few miles to relax, and ease into a steady rythem with a group I hooked up with. Initially I  simply couldn't hang with the hardcore racers at the front, but ultimately found myself holding my own with other strong riders after everyone settled in. Did I mention the monsoon rains and wind? Nothing more exciting then flying down some downhills in driving rain and seeing 42/43 mph on the cycle computer.  I did well on the climbs even though on a number of occasions I had to look down to be sure I had a cog or hopefully 2 in reserve (just in case). Going into the event I knew I wasnt geared for significant climbing, and I had to ride smart - I DID. I landed up stopping once to pull out a hand towel from the hotel that  I used as insulation from the cold rains at the start,kinda like they do in the tour with newspapers, but I fashioned the towel to not only cover my chest but also brought the end of it high enough to act as a makeshift turtleneck, and low enough to act as the fron tof a second pair of shorts. It was brilliant if you ask me, and it worked well. I alsostripped off my wind jacket since at that point I was SOAKED and warm from the efforts. I spent the last 10 miles or so trying to bridge back up to the group I rode with that landed up getting about a  half/3 quarters of  a mile ahead of me when I stopped. I never caught them but did pick off all the riders that were shelled off the pack, and encouraged each of them to jump on and work, but they were cooked apparently, and no one came along. THINK Time trial mode in no mans land.The sun came out with about 3 miles to go and turned the wet roads into a steamy sauna, and the organizers put a pretty good climb at 2 miles to go, which had my legs almost turning squares. I did continue to move past riders on the climbs, probably thanks to training out in Lemont over the summer. I jumped with about 500 meters to go and picked off every finisher within striking distance and was passed by no one when I lit it up at the end.
  • I finished 177 out of 584 racers/riders 50 miles 2:22:29  rank in category 28/92 M40-44

It's funny, I was concerned about a 100 mile race, and it turned into a 50 miler as if the universe gave me what was in my best interest. I did the best I could, and realized a few things. I have a tendancy of signing up for events that could be considered events I'm in over my head with, and that is possibly what stresses me out so much pre race. Ultimately I walked away happy, I haven't raced this year but have been enjoying the training when I can get it in (sound strange?) BUT if you are going to do GREAT in races you have to have race miles in your legs. NO QUESTION.... My reality doesn't provide for that right now, and my placing is a reflection of my natural abilities which IF I raced more would become more evident and move me up in the rankings (just like it did 10 years or so ago). Sure the ego thing gets in the way, but like I said, I did great with all things considered, and walked away happy


1 comment:

  1. That's a beauty of a shot of Trek Bicycles Owner/President John Burke you got in the hanger. The dude in the gray/yellow kit in the middle.