Sunday, March 23, 2008

Its a good day when a crit doesnt suck.

I was going to head out to the visit-pa dot com mountain bike extravaganza this weekend, however things fell through. I didnt have a mountain bike and one could not be delivered for me to ride. It is coming though shortly. I was honored to be invited though.

That left no reason not to do the Steel City Showdown criterium on Easter Sunday. Amazing venue for a crit. It is unexplainable to those who are not from Pittsburgh, but it took two of the most beautiful bridges and used them as a course. It took one of the nicest baseball fields and used it as a backdrop.
You can see the whole course in this picture. Go across first bridge, make a right, cross second bridge, make right, come back across first bridge.

Having a race that you can ride to, and knowing the local roads to warm up on is awesome. Jared, Mayhew and I cruised out California ave for a few hours before the race. Of course when we saw a few cyclists, we realized that it was Danny Chew and Co.

Danny was heading for Redgate Rd in Sewickley. He was VERY adamant that I go and do a few time trials up this hill. He has his and MATT EATON'S personal best times up this hill during the 80's. I always tell him that I dont want to do it because my bike is probably 6 - 7 lbs lighter than theirs were, which is like 2 - 3 % of total rider/bike weight and is an unfair advantage. Also because it tortures him not to know my best time.

The race was good. The break established itself. I "blocked." People chased. I "sprinted" and got a top 10.

Last year at a crit I had the unfortunate path crossing with a guy who was mean. My team at the time missed the breakaway. We were trying to do our job of chasing it down. I was putting it down when a fellow whose team was IN the break was aggressively trying to disrupt the chase. Fine that is bike racing. He was a bit too physical for my liking and I backed off the chase. It was kind of like a dog with an electric collar on. Each time I tried chasing, he punished me with the threat of taking me out of the race. Good sportsmanship there bud.

Anyway, yesterday was THE EXACT OPPOSITE situation. I had a guy in the break. He did not. He was chasing and I was trying to disrupt the chase. I was very UNagressive about it, just sitting on wheels and chasing attacks down. In his rage, he again got agrressive with me!!! It was awesome, I was sitting on his wheel, a bit to the right of him due to the cross winds. He pulled off and hooked me slightly and forced us both to the back of the pack. No words were said. My new nickname for him is Blaster as in master blaster, as in BEYOND THUNDERDOME!

A lot better than my first race of last year where I got dropped 20 miles into an 80 mile race and then double flatted the next day.


Jason said...

I love reading this. If for no other reason that it makes me appreciate mountain bike racing more! I cannot imagine a fellow racer getting "aggressive" like that during a race. Much respect to you and your ilk. Sounds like you handle Blaster well.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a prick. Don't worry next time there will be a little more muscle I'll hold him and the snake can put him head-lock.

Burt Friggin' Hoovis said...

When someone threatens to take you out of the race, the thing to to is to the following (after the race):

1. Calmly explain to your local official what happened during the event, the rider and what was said.

2. After you talk to the official, you find the rider in the parking lot and calmly explain to them that if you're ever in a crash where they're involved, you're going straight to your car to get the baseball bat out of your trunk and beat the fucking shit out of them, their car, and any of their friends and family who come to try stop you. You have to mean it, too.

Over the years, I've found that most of the guys who act like assholes during races aren't 1/10th of the villains that they pretend to be. Once they're convinced that you aren't going to be an easy target they back down.

Note that Tactic #2 WILL NOT WORK with Keith Davies. (Anybody remember Keith Davies?)

And you should take it all as a Compliment, Steve. If you weren't hurting and/or frustrating the guy, he wouldn't be responding.


Chris Mayhew said...

Steevo would have to own a) a car b) a baseball bat for your advice to work, Hoovis.