Monday, September 20, 2010

MAC Charm City Day 1 (Balti-less and Motorcycle Gangs)

The first MAC Double Header of the year graced the city of Balti-less with its presence. I missed out on this race last year and had only head rumors of the course being "hard" I honestly didnt know what to make of that being that every cross race is "hard". I watched a course preview on the interwebs and saw the course had like 50 dismounts a lap. Ok so 3 and an option in the sand pits... but it was a lot of off the bike time.
Lauren's race went off pretty well. She seemed to handle herself very well on the tricky course. Definitely a lot of new stuff there but she looked strong throughout. It was fun to watch her navigate things like this steep off camber tree 180 degree turn. Look at the "not happy" face".
Lauren wrapped up in 24th on day 1. She was a bit higher in the placings but she had a bit of a backslide late due to fatigue. All in learning how to race.

Speaking of learning what the hell your doing... my race. I got a nifty knew target leaders jersey from Champion Systems and the MAC series for being the points leader in the MAC B Mens Series. It was bright Orange with a Circular target on it. As soon as I saw it I got a little nervous. Orange is my fav though so hey what the hell.

The start was fast and I found myself back a bit farther than I would have liked after foolishly giving up a few too many spots in the first few minutes. I was yoyoing a bit and when I looked up to see teammates Matt and Craig right in front of me. It was perfect. Having two friendly wheels in front of me helped me regain contact with the now pretty defined lead group. Once in the lead group however I found myself still in a bit of difficulty. The course although fun, didn't have a ton of flow, it was very start stop in nature and when a the back of the group, that means you have to sprint the hardest to maintain contact out of every corner. The most disruptive thing would of had to have been the retaining wall barrier...
 It was so hard to move up on the course, while the pace was so high it made the obvious places to try and move up simply too fast moving to do anything. I was in a world of hurt. Holding 5th or 6th the entire race, when, on the last lap Steven attacked before the field. I was too far back to cover it. I would loose the leaders jersey if he beat me by more than 1 spot so I started to take risks. I picked up one spot, then another, then made a quick pass around Gerry "fueled by Ice Cream" Adasavage and Fred "I dont have a nickname for Fred yet" Brown. I was in second with a 5 or 6 second deficit up to Steven. 
Photo credit

 Gerry and Fred weren't going anywhere though and I felt them both chomping at my back wheel. As we entered the last few corners I knew I needed to sprint for my shirt. I launched hard and maintained a tiny margin over Fred, with Gerry and some other dude in tow. Close call! I pointed to my target as I crossed the line knowing that even at max heart rate I could do 2nd grade math to figure out I would keep the jersey for another day. Matt Harris nagged a top 10 and Craig had a strong ride for 15th. Not bad for a field of 125 starters...
Photo Credit

 Afterwards we did the post race hangout thing in the gorgeous weather. Teammate Geronimo killed in the Elite Masters race and took the win.
I know why you are all still reading... Motorcycle Gang? Well correction its not a Gang... its technically a non profit. On the highway heading from the race venue to the hotel we got stuck behind probably 20 street bikes with riders wearing RR on their vests.The kept making all of the same turns we were making... One of them nearly killing himself when he passed on the shoulder of an exit ramp to catch up with his group. The Maryland Ruff Ryders were having an event at the hotel we were staying. We had wondered why the hotel was almost entirely booked... well its because these guys had selected the otherwise very nice Aloft hotel as place to park while revving your engine to 8000 rpm and walk around yelling. Good times.
Day 2 up next...

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