Wednesday, May 07, 2008

racing for less than gas money.

I have kept up with the speedweek crits via the blogosphere (blogger put a red line under that word as if it isnt real?), and I must say that it is bizarre that people love crits so much. Each entry talks about crashing, nearly crashing, broken 1000 dollar wheels, road rash etc.

Turkey Hill.
People complain about the local pro team(s) showing up at the Lancaster county races and beating up on people. I must say, watching the break at Kirkwood go and the break at TH go were two different experiences. TH, the break rolled away and invited people to be in it. Kirkwood was another story, gaps formed and people were blowing up on the second lap when it went. Because I missed both of them, I guess my opinion hardly matters.

Wilkesville cycling classic.
MIDDLE OF NOWHERE Ohio. 3 years prior, I took a 180 mile bike trip downriver with a couple of awesome girls as they were leaving to ride to California. I escorted them out for what was supposed to be a day, and ended up being 2 or 3 days of riding. I had my brother come pick me up rather than pay for a bus home. The Ohio river was lined with union guys camped in front of their former employers in what was apparently years of striking. We would ride past houses with SCAB painted across the front of them. In tour de france fashion, people had painted "JOE SMITH = SCAB" on the road as you rode past. Weird. This area consists of the borders between Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. It is extremely rural and poor.

It is also REALLY hilly. Insane hills. Relentless hills. This means good bike racing courses. The wilkesville course is a clover. Riders head north, then south, then west, passing through the start finish two times before actually finishing. There is one climb, it is a mile long and about 400 feet. However there is 5700' of climbing, made up by the never ending rollers. Route mapper, Scott Thor provides the profile of the brutal course.

The smallest field ever led to the early shelling of most of it, with only 4 together for the final pass through town. Going into it, Turner and I decied that since we had no teammates, we would make sure that we were both in every move, then settle it like men on the last climb. This worked well, as it it was just us two for the final 1 mile climb. I attacked him and got away solo, thinking that it was just 2 miles downhill to the finish (please consult elevation profile). That was like the longest 5 miles of my life. At one point, a finishing female rider was cooling down, coming at us and I asked how much longer and she didnt respond. After the race, Turner said he asked her the same thing as he chased me and she just laughed. Turner is an awesome friend / cycling nemesis. We sprinted against each other after we attacked the field at Turkey Hill the day before, and 24 hours later we are trying to demoralize the other. I could see his moto less than a minute back and just tried to keep the pace as high as I could. I am really good at drafting, but not so good at soloing.

I managed to stick it for my first ever solo victory. I was stoked, but I wish that the field was bigger to make it seem more real. I did break some victory salute rules of the previous post, but there was a cop car and a moto in front of me, it just seemed like the right thing to do.


Anonymous said...

Tim Tyler races have been banned from getting Usa cycling permits. I guess Tim and your favorite Kirk don't get along. Tim avoided paying some of ins fees and claimed the races didn't happen. Kirk is now a USA cycling rep for Ohio. They don't get along. Go figure 2 jerks don't make a right.

Thats cool course I have a story to tell about it but I'll save for the next the time.

Anonymous said...

BTW did I mention they don't get along. How much did winning net you?

Burt Friggin' Hoovis said...

Nice job, Steve...

Burt Friggin' Hoovis said...

The Pittsburgh super team? Is Danny the Mascot?

Seriously though, that'd be a hard one to come up with. There are a bunch of older guys that you'd have to include (e.g., Mac Martin) that most people around today wouldn't even remember.

So if any of you Western PA sissies want to do a real ride, this is leaving from Newville PA at 10:00 AM on 23rd of May. Don't even show up unless you've got a 25.