Sunday, October 28, 2007

Contrast

I'm sure I'll pay for it, but I decided to take a mental break from home work to get some race reports up...

This weekend was all about contrast... in courses, weather, results, race setup... everything. Saturday was the race down in Brockton which had been described to me as the "most ghetto race ever". As I told the guys after the race... I'm not sure I'd go with ghetto, but I think low-budget is definitely a fair description. The race site was relatively easy to find, but there wasn't a hell of a lot to find. No mob of racers there 2 hours early, no tell-tale course tape... just a reg tent and a finish line tent and I wonder if those would have been there if it wasn't raining. Now granted it was early since I was in the first race, but it was looking pretty barren. Turned out to be not nearly as cold as I thought so the rain was ok. I headed out on my own to check out the course only to find that about half of it wasn't even set up yet as evidenced by me getting lost repeatedly. Fortunately the park was small so I couldn't go far. The most striking feature of this first sorta lap was the pavement... everywhere. Start on pavement, turn onto a short section of grass and trail with a log barrier, back onto a long stretch of Roubaix-esque pavement, little bit of dirt path, over a bridge, couple turns on grass, more pavement. Ditch off the pavement for about 10 seconds, back onto pavement, ditch off a couple more times, u turn on pavement, random useless detour to the left right before the finish (on pavement), repeat. It was also as close to flat as you'll find. All the pavement was slick so I saw several cases of road rash before we even started. Anywho... maybe 30 of us line up and the RD announces that he's got merch for 12-15 placed deep so keep racing... sweet! The whistle blows and as usual I let everyone including the guy with the big fat padded seat ride away from me. I paid for it at the log barrier as some guy face planted and f'd us all up. Lead 10 or so were gone already... great. I further messed myself up by taking a momentary dismount after jamming my front wheel into a hole mid-turn. I did manage to remount quickly and only momentarily lost a couple spots. The rest of the race went like this: sprint out corner, drop the guy with me, catch the next guy, do the same to him. I did have one guy who hung right on my wheel for over a lap and then I finally gapped him at some point and I think he later went down which finished him. I was happy to drop the last guy I was with going over the triple barrier at the bridge. I sprinted over it, remounted clean, and exited hard and I think that did him in. Rolled home 8th, missed my one point by maybe 15 seconds, and got some blinky light things. The layer of grunge on me and the bike was impressive and signaled a pretty fun low-budget race morning.

Today's race at Canton can best be described in one word: SUCK! Since I'm way less positive on it I'll even use a different format to add to the contrast from Saturday:

- Dragged my ass out of bed early, drove to the race, parking lot was empty, realized race was at 10, not 9.
- Tried to nap, had already finished a coffee... no luck
- At least it was sunny...
- Third warmup lap I found out that I'm not G. I was going around a right hand turn in the field and the front tire peeled off the rim. I had used the clinchers Saturday since I was going with higher pressure anyways due to the pavement. Tubies had been tested Thursday and had made it through 2 laps great. Lap 3 I just leaned a little going into the turn and that was it.
- Had to carry my bike back to the car, pull the wheels off, change into my running shoes, run to the pits where my other wheels already were, run back, change the wheels, and find myself with 10 more minutes until lineup
- Lined up second row, couldn't find my pedal at first, when I did find it I pedaled with the aggression of Barney. I don't know where I was at the start, but I sure wasn't in the race.
- Rode lap 1 like a total pansy and probably slower than my first warmup lap which is always slow
- Lap 2 it was race time (finally) and I started absolutely flying. Would love to have known how much faster I was that lap.
- Lap 3 I paid for lap 2 and Saturday's race. Still passing guys, but not as quickly
- ONLY bright spot was that I saw a teammate off in the distance on the final lap and reeled him all the way back in. Caught him right before the final barrier, gapped him, mounted clean, and rode away. I hate to do it to a teammate, but if you're ahead of me at the end of the race, you're probably fair game.

Ok, so now I've just rambled and wasted too much homework time. That's all for now... I might have some more coherent thoughts later or tomorrow.

4 comments:

CCC said...

Excellent RR's! Rolled tubbie? Damn! This $hit happens to all of us, I'm sure you'll get back in gear for NoHo!

gewilli said...

DOH

sounds like old G has to have a clinic for you deep pocket MoFos who insist on buying tubulars...

solobreak said...

Hey, I rolled through Brockton right after your race. Sorry I missed you. I did a lap of the course, way longer than the last time I did it. I thought about entering a race but didn't feel like I had one in me. The wet pavement didn't look too cool on cross knobbies.

You gotta have G-man glue your tires. Rolling, not cool. You're supposed to have your license suspended for that. Too bad they never seem to do it any more. What did you use for glue?

trackrich said...

I used Mastik 1 and did 2 base coats on the rims and tires before doing the final coat on the wheels and mounting. Both pre-coats were allowed to dry overnight. I did one of two things wrong: Didn't get an even enough coat on the final time so it didn't reactivate everywhere or had it set up too much too fast on the final coat. I could see from the one that came off that there was good coverage at the edges, but it didn't seem like I had gotten good adhesion in the center. Yes, I suck.