Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Iron Cross VIII

The racing part of this post is going to be short. Many of you already know what happened but I'll reluctantly rehash my bad luck then we'll talk about how I spent the rest of my day.  
The race started with a lap on the CX course, including 2 sets of barriers and the circle of death. It was pretty off to be riding a cx course in a race, while telling yourself to hold back... there are still 4 hours (at least) to go in the race. We came out to the road the groups started to establish. I put myself towards the top 20, and sat in. People were already falling off the pace so I had to make a short bridge to get up to the selection of 10 or so. Climbing the first 4 or 5 % climb, I felt pretty comfortable and was just sitting in drafting on the fast pace up the climb. I felt my bike start to bob a bit, like the rear tire was loosing air. I hopped the back wheel up to test it and I hit the rim... it was going flat... on a climb... 6 miles/ 30 minutes into the race... Here is a glimpse into my mind at that point.
"Nooooo... Really???" "Ugh well maybe I can make it..." ......pause..... "Dude theres like 55 miles left, you are not going to make it" "Fine I'll fix it" I felt like I had been picked last in kickball. That actually would have been a good bet because I am not very good at kickball. I digress. 
Photo Credit: Don P.
I fixed the first flat in 5.5 minutes. A lot of people had gone by me. I was pretty far back at this point. I started to continue the pace I was sustaining while back in the group, making passes at a rapid rate. I came to the top of the climb and went to go around a large mud hole. I took a good looking line to the right and of course the rear tire nailed the only rock in the entire section. Instant pinch flat. It was exactly 3 minutes and 18 seconds from the previous flat. I had one tube left and 1 CO2... I used it to fix the flat... and then watched as more riders blow by me. I had no remaining flat supplies and was forced to ask myself... "Do you think you can race 55 miles of this course without flatting again?" My answer "No but I can likely coast the downhill 6 miles back to camp" I dropped out... it sucked, like any DNF sucks.
I rolled back to the Camp Thompson to see Zack Adams and Chris Jones working to take down the cyclocross course and set up the finish ring. I rolled in clearly announcing that I had won setting a course record of 52 minutes. I was pissed when the podium was no set up for me yet. Amateurs.
Photo Credit: Don P.
So back to reality. I rolled back to the car, changed off then headed back to camp to help out rolling up tape, putting a million cans of coke on ice, setting up tables, walking the tightrope on the porch railing to hang banners, etc. I was bummed out I wasn't racing, I really hate DNF'ing... anything. 

The day turned for the better when I started to help Joe Castle out handing out the finisher medals to riders completing their day. It was one of the single most rewarding cycling related things I have ever done. Seeing the variety of faces and feelings the riders expressed, from sheer joy to utter exhaustion. Never have I seen so many people become overjoyed at the thought of a free can of Coke. Abe was there taking pictures, it was nice to hang with him as well. 
My teammate Darrin was still out racing the whole time. I made sure I was the one to hand him his medal when he crossed the line. Darrin described it as one of the more epic things he's done on a bike. I think he had over 6000 ft of climbing on his Garmin as well. Here is an extreme shot of him eating a burrito.
Photo Credit: Don P.
Next year I will be back with armor plated tires...

On to some self/team promotion...Philadelphia Ciclismo in conjunction with Cadence Cycling and Revolution Wheelworks is holding a cyclocross race on Nov 7th. Its part of the PACX series. I'll dedicate a proper post to it as we get going but I wanted to get the word out. Its going to be a blast. A few of us were up there yesterday doing course recon, we have some great ideas we hope to implement including a new start loop. Please reg up, it will be a good day of bike racing, I assure you. If you enter the Men's A race you will get to toe the line with yours truly.

1 comment:

Marten said...

I swear next year I'll make it to Iron Cross, looks like a good experience. Have you considered tubeless for your non-tubular racing/training/riding? Working pretty well so far for my 140lbs. Some tire/wheel combinations work much better then others.

See you at Spring Mount.