Monday, October 22, 2007

Hard. Western PA race report

When I talk to people that I dont see much, and they ask "how is bike racing going?" my only response anymore is: "hard." It is the easiest way to summarize it all. Its really hard to climb into a car for 3-5 hours each way to suffer through a race, hoping to maybe pull out a result. Its hard during the race, when you hope for a flat sometimes just to make it all end. Its hard Monday morning to go get a taxi cab and
sit in it for 19 hours just to make some money to go do it all again the following weekend. Then there is the training and bike maintenance and the monthly laundry that I do.

Then there is cross. Hard cannot summarize it. Unholy suffering for 1 hour. 1 hour for the leader, a guy who more than likely is a national champion, probably has gone to worlds, just finished racing 10,000 miles on the road for a pro team etc. 1 hour for him, and if you are lucky enough to not get lapped, it is like 1:06 for you. Awesome.

There is a highlight of every race though. Certain things are memorable and make you smile in retrospect and make the race easier to get through.
- Every cross race the announcer says something like "these are the professional Men" or some such hype up. Sure the guys at the front of the pack, except studs like Leech, are doing it for work, but the other half are probably getting through work each day by looking forward to racing their bike that weekend.
- It is amazing how many people seem to know my name as I go around the course. It makes it a bit easier to suffer through it all, and in exchange during the other races, I of course cheer on anybody whose name I even think that I know.

This weekend, back to back UCI races, was an awesome time to be around friends and awesome teammates. Really good people all around.
Recap of people who live in the Pittsburgh area, which apparently will include Greensburg, and Renfrew. Also people who wish they still live in Pittsburgh. This is from memory, while warming up and stressing out over everything, so if Im way wrong, remember what you are reading and that cyclingnews is also a website.
- Soupie pulled out the 5th place on sunday in the C race. Super secret CCCP (cyclocrosscoliationofpittsburgh) training has paid off!
- turner crashes out saturday and has a chain mishap. Sunday is redemption, taking PUNCHES during the race (or so the announcer claimed), attacking the field like a gazelle, putting it all on the line the last lap, finding some grass to lay in during one turn but still pulling out a 6th place.

- Stubna rides strong enough on saturday to pull out 9thish place. He took sunday off to do secret Dirty Dozen training. He actually baked me brownies to try and fatten me up saturday night. His mental games did not work. I told him that I havent eaten, and will not eat until the Dirty Dozen.

- Nick Fisher brought the pain with the Fu crew and Finished in the 10-20th spot each day. I think his highlight was being in a group of 4 or 5 for saturday's finish, leading out the sprint and winning it.

- Mike Mihalec of Beaver Valley velo showed up and got a top 10. Good ride for a guy that lives near Pittsburgh, but I dont see much of.
Elite Masters

- Big Brian Wzxcxchski rolled tubulars and makes it look like he is just riding around, but still pulls out top 20's. I think Brian gets number 1 fan award for cheering this weekend. He and Nick Fisher might have to compete for it.

- Gorski. The races are like 5 hours too short for him, but he is still managing to dangle off the lead pack in like 11th constantly. Good rides for sure.

- Pfluuger. Gerry works his way though the pack and works his ass off making top 10's. I think he is on par with Fergie as far as advice about tire pressure and components and whatnot. Smooth, but with gears this year apparently.

- miniturn. Minturn enjoyed his last week of call ups. His 1 UCI point expired and he will be in the Scrum soon, which might lead to him sacking up and starting to try. To quote Gorilla Buiscuits "why play for us, if your hearts not in it."

- RUGGS. Saturday was his course, but the razorblades and barbed wire the I put in front of him managed to rip a hole in his tire. He ran like 2 miles to the pit and still almost caught back to my group. If he were greg lemond talking about how many tours that he should have won, Ruggs got a top 20. Sunday Ruggs' inexperience showed I think when he was waiting in line for a bottle neck and me and another dude ran through with our bikes like it was the guy from Texas Chainsaw Massacre It took him like 6 of 100280 laps to catch back on to our group, where he rode through me and tried to grab Bobby Lea's wheel, but couldnt. Sweet first UCI races though.


Chris Mayhew said...

Nice job man. Looking forward to hearing about it in person. There are some sweet pics of you on Cycling News.

Anonymous said...

Wish I didn't have to miss this weekend, but thanks for keeping it real with a sweat write up of all the local psycho-crossers!


P.S. See ya in Loulleville, thats how you say it if your from the South!

Joe Ruggery said...

You were right - never look at the lap board in an Elite race...