Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Snakes And Melons

Snake Alley… I was looking forward to throwin’ it down on the snake this season. My legs were feeling pretty good, motivation was high and I was looking forward to dukin’ it out with Nathan Moenck and Matt Landon for the 3rd time this season. Rain threatened all day and as I was buttering up my chamois, the skies let loose. I sat in my car for a few minutes, going back and forth about whether I would race or not. The rain kept falling as was my morale to race in the rain. The thought of washing out on one of the downhill corners got the best of me and I decided to pull the plug. Road racing is a low priority for me and I’ve already fulfilled my quota of skin loss for the season at the ICRR.

Melon Head… I went back and forth with myself as to which race(s) I wanted to do. I finally settled on doing the 40+ race in the morning and the 30+ race in the afternoon. Unlike Saturday, the weather was fantastic all day long. A great day to be outside. The 40+ race had about 45 starters and the pace throughout the race was crazy fast. A lot faster than the 30+ race in the afternoon. It took me the better part of the first half of the race to work my way to the front of the peloton. My plan going in was to sit in and watch for dangerous breakaways. I was a one man band, so I didn’t want to waste any of my bullets chasing down a breakaway that wasn’t going to stick. Everything stayed together until the end so on the penultimate lap, I began working my way to the front again. We got to the top of the hill and I noticed that there was a dude off the front and pulling away. I didn’t really think much of it because I figured to group would swallow him up and spit him out the back. I managed to go through the corner at the top of the hill at the head of the peloton and as we went through the start / finish area nobody seemed interested in coming around me. Shortly after that point I looked back and quickly realized that I had a pretty substantial gap on the peloton. I had to make a pretty quick decision at the point, do I punch it and try to stay away or do I back it off a little, wait for the peloton and save my bullets for the sprint. I figured the peloton was close enough to me that they would catch me if I tried to stay away so I soft pedaled down the hill. I got to the bottom of the hill, looked back, same gap, so I drilled it going up the hill. Two or three dudes passed me right before the corner and I got pipped by a couple of others at the finish and ended up in 9th. Not to shabby for a greasy mountain biker, I was good with that. If anything I got a great LT workout in!
The 30+ race was pretty uneventful for me, my plan was to hang on, not get dropped and get another good fitness building workout in. As I mentioned earlier, the pace was a little slower than the 40+ race. I was floating near the head of the peloton throughout the race, tryin’ to keep my nose out of the wind and my arse off the pavement. Once again the peloton was ‘gruppo compato’ on the penultimate lap. So I figured, what the heck, I’ll try taking a flyer off the front again, see how it works this time when I really mean it. At the top of the hill I drilled it and was able to establish a nice gap. Going down the hill I could sense that somebody was trying to bridge to gap. I looked back and it was none other than Jimmy Cochran. It was at the point that I quickly began to realize that the lights were beginning to dim. I looked back at Cochran and told him that I wanted half of his payout for the leadout, then I looked forward and gave it all I had. About halfway up the hill he passed me as did the remainder of the peloton. I shut it down and rolled across the finish, satisfied with another great workout!
Now that I’ve had some time to reflect, I think I finally figured why the cosmo’s didn’t align for the Snake Alley race. Last year, tPod and I found this video game arcade. I was kind of a geek back in the early 80’s, you know, the kind that would spend countless hours at the video arcade playing games, acting like a dork, etc. I was pretty crafty at the helm of Galaga and it just so happened that this arcade had an old Galaga sitting there. I fed the game a quarter and tPod stood there and watched me play the game for nearly an hour on one quarter until I rolled it over. I killed off all of my extra men and we rolled. The next day I had a stellar day on the Snake… Didn’t do that this year. Now I know better. Next year I’ll be all over Galaga.

Thanks for reading,


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