Tuesday, September 23, 2008
This race was in Londonderry, NH, and it was a mix of pavement, grass and trails. Here's how it went down: The race started with a half lap on a paved oval track followed by a hard left turn with a short little uphill that lead into the woods. This small hill had good line in the middle but was soft on the sides. It was rideable with a good approach but would be a run-up if congested. You then had another left turn, a short downhill trail, then a hard right turn up a steep hill that would definitely need to be run. At the top of that hill, there was a longer trail section that was fairly fast with very little in the way of techincal obstacles. After a short rise, the trail turned right and went down a steep hill with a near hairpin turn at the bottom, followed by a soft uphill that again would need to be run up. At the top, the trail was slightly off-camber but easily rideable. A few twists and turns and you were out of the woods and on to some flat grass areas riddled with caution tape and 180-degree turns.
We were then directed up a short, steep, soft hill that again had to be run up. At the top, we were greeted with a short stretch of sand that was also best to be run. After that, we crossed the pavement and went into the infield of the track. A couple of twists and turns, and two sets of barriers later and we were back at the start and ready for another lap.
I got a good start but I was NOT comfortable with the speed and closeness of the other riders as we were rocketing from the pavement into the woods. We were "criterium" racer close and that's not something I'm accustomed to. That's not really come up for me in other 'cross races I've done and it's certainly not something I'm used to from mountain bike races. I backed off and that put me back many places. Once in the woods, I was further hampered by a small stick that caught a ride in my derailleur. I knew I had abandoned derailleurs on my other bikes for a reason! I lost probably almost a full minute as I unwound the vine-like stick from my cogs and derailleur, and I'm pretty sure I was at the back of the pack. Damn. From there, the rest of my race was uneventful, and I slowly worked at moving back up through the ranks.
I think I finished around 15th out of nearly 30. Not great, but that's racing. Thanks to Tom Merrill for the pics!
Tragedy struck when Doug stepped wrong on the air compressor hose and rolled his ankle. I administered a quick evaluation using the Ottawa Ankle Rule, and decided that an X-ray was not needed. Ice, elevation, compression and NSAIDs were also quickly administered and Mike and I got back to hammering. It was slow-going, but we eventually got the job done and Mike was even kind enough to let me fill the back of his truck with as much concrete debris as would fit.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Check out this little story from Cyclingnews.com to see why I used the word "fortunately" so much:
Czech triathlete and Olympic bronze medallist, Jan Rehula, suffered one of the worst possible consequences of a seat breakage after a training accident in Sydney recently. 27 year old Rehula hit a pothole, snapped his seat, was gouged in the rear by his seat post and lost two litres of blood.
He has so far had two operations and has internal damage in his lower back. His start in the Hawaii Ironman triathlon in October is in doubt, but his spokesman said that he was quite positive that he will be able to resume his career.
Yikes! I'll stick to metals...