Cut out of work at high noon on Friday. Sweet. Mike nearly lost his hand at work this week, and couldn't ride or race. Not sweet. Me and Jared headed out Friday to his friend Bart's house in Lancaster. Jared ate more cookies on the way to the race than I have eaten in the last 2 years. For real. The line at the Breezewood subway was less than 4 people for the first time ever, and Jared was stoked.
We got to Bart's house and chilled for an hour or so before crashing hard.
Bart lives 2 exits away from Mount Joy, which was a lot easier than leaving Pittsburgh at 530 am. Totally awesome of him to let us crash.
The race: 70 degrees and sunny. Should make for the perfect race right?
There were 3 teams with 5 or 6 guys. All major players. The day looked up when I saw Hebe riding toward me! Totally surprised, it was a relief to have another teammate there. We started into a headwind, turned into a crosswind, climbed into a crosswind and finished into a headwind. Get it? The first lap had an attack that I tried to cover and got into the middle and just couldn't bridge it. Then Ramon blew up the lead group anyway and we all came back. Bad move pushing it so hard with so little of a warmup. Mental note.
From there all the teams took turns launching their guys and trying to make stuff stick. I was hanging out towards the back just trying to stay on and maybe recover some. There was a crazy gnarly crash that somehow I managed to miss most of. I had to chase on with a few dudes to catch the main field again. Hebe missed the crash only to flat out a lap later. I would have given him my wheel due to the world of pain that I was in, but it was 10 speed and the downhill and wind were so fast, it would have just given him a ride to the car.
With a few laps to go, Jared attacked to bridge up to a guy and managed to hold it for the rest of the race. This was such a relief to me, cause it gave me every right to just suck wheels and sit in. Jared is seriously ever impressive. I hung in until the climb on the last lap and managed to get into a small group of three which got caught on the fast descent. I got dropped on the descent a few times, I don't know what is wrong with me, but my terminal velocity is seriously like 40mph then I am spun out and hurting. I need to work on that.
Jared ends up with 8th (they paid up to 7th). I think I managed 15th. 60 or so starters 16 finishers. I wish I had a bit more to give, but I guess I am happy just to avoid the crashes and finish. Wish Hebe wouldn't have flatted.
On the way home Jared and I were talking and I said that I think that if I punched
Hacker in the face as hard as I could, it wouldn't phase him. Jared called him and asked and he said "probably not, definitely not during a race." Gnarly tough, reminds me of my Dad who I once saw put a butter knife through his hand.
I think that this was a good workout and a lesson in the pain to come this year. Hopefully I can fix a few things with myself to be a bit more competitive and help out a bit more. Maybe Ill even learn how to bridge a gap!
After the long drive home I went to an easter egg hung organized for my Somali Bantu refugee neighbors/friends. It was really cute. Haji and Muya were really upset that I keep not winning these bike races that I go to. Someday. haha