Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Swanson V2.0

It doesn’t get any better than damp and tacky at Swanson Park. Swanson is right up there near the top of my list of favorite places to race when it is damp and tacky. With the usual suspects in the line up, sans Kent (doing the Leadville death march) and Shim (apparently opting for a criterium elsewhere) and the welcome addition of MOD, I was looking forward to another fun race with the fine folks of Nebraska.
So as we were heading into the singletrack, MOD and I were in the lead and took two separate lines into the woods. Neither of us seemed to have a whole lot of interest in taking the lead, so I told MOD to go ahead. My plan (my hope anyway) was to follow MOD into the woods second wheel. He’s super smooth on the dirt, and with Swanson being his home track, I knew that it’d be a lot of fun following his wheel. It’s not always the best strategy, especially when the other guy is riding a singlespeed because it forces you to race and react to his strengths, rather than your own. I think that was partly what led to my demise two weeks ago when Kevin ripped my legs off at Ingawanis.

Sweet shot of the start with MOD and I 'offering' each other the lead.

There were probably four or five of us together throughout lap one, and as predicted, I had a blast following MOD’s wheel throughout the lap. I’m not sure who’s more fun to follow, MOD or Kent. Either way, I ride so much better when I’m following either of them. As we neared the end of lap one, it was MOD, myself, Ryan and Nate. At some point during lap 2, Nate dropped off and Ryan followed.
I continued to follow MOD’s smooth lines throughout laps 2 and 3. Only tailing off when my chain dropped from the big to the small ring. At the end of lap 3, I took the lead with a little reluctance as I was having a great time riding with MOD. After a few corners in the singletrack, I noticed to my surprise that he had fallen off the pace. I kind figured that he would have stuck with me pretty easily in the tight twisty sections. After the race, he’d said that he was probably pushing one tooth too many on his singlespeed. Pushing too big of a gear at Swanson will eventually get the best of you, with all of the tight corners that you have to accelerate out of.
I held on for the W, MOD held his position for 2nd, I think that RF was third and Nate might have been 4th. In the women’s race, Rox had her usual day of domination and checked out with a hole shot among the men’s field. Julie came in second and Katie Bergman brought it home in third. I think the first thing that Julie said to me after the race…’I love my bike’. Music to my ears…

So we’re most likely going to head up to the great white north and do the Minnesota / Wisconsin series collaboration, known as the ‘Border Battle’. It’s a really fun course and the best of the Midwest will be there. I’m looking forward to the pain of a good ‘ole fashioned butt whoopin’.

Thanks for reading,



Shim said...

As an old dude, I have to go with the best & most interesting race and while I like to race at Swanson (once a year is plenty and backwards isn't very interesting) the East Village Crit is one of my favorites. I got a chance to double up and get in a full day of racing. Unfortunately I have lost interest in the Nebraska Series, Swanson, Ponca, Jewell and Platte are still of interest, but the remainder of the races are of simply fillers. They draw more people so I understand why they do it, but its also the reason only 8 cat 1's showed up for the past two races. The payouts need to be evaluated as well.

Anyway, I'm pulling the mountain bike out next week and plan to see you at Sugarbottom.

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