Big race weekend. Shed Park in Lowell and the last race of the Accelerated Cure series in Easthampton. Friday night was a bit hectic as I had no clean kit, a dirty bike, and needed to get in a trainer ride to open up the legs.
As the season has dragged on, it has become easier and easier to roll up to a race with a less and less clean bike. In my head, I want to race every weekend, but in reality it the legs are cooked and it is harder and harder to get out of bed.
Regardless, we rallied to scenic Lowell. Got there early(even for my standards). Course was pretty rad. Half super tech and half roadie safe hammer zone. The goal was to race the 4 race and the 3/4. Based on my lingering illness and almost non existent training, I was skeptical. I did devise the formula for trouble.
Bad Weekend=MT < OZB. When minutes training(MT) are less than ounces of beer consumed(OZB), you are setting yourself up for the beatdown.
4 race jumped off. Rode my usual midpack fodder self. The spiral of death was hectic the first couple laps and bikes were getting tangled(pay attention-this becomes important on the last lap).
Spiral of Death
I was feeling good on the run ups and was managing to catch and pass people. Last lap and I am neck in neck with one of my many nemesis, heading into the last run up (ride up for a lot of other people). I dismount and start to run-pushing the bike. The bike does not roll. Rear wheel is jammmed and the bike is dragging. WTF????? Get to the top and am baffled. Chain is on, not jammed. Then I realize the wheel isn't in the dropout..?WTF. Clearly massive watts were not the culprit. I end up flipping the bike over and beating it back into place-losing a bunch of spots as today's nemesis floats off to Valhalla. Fully bummed, but unbroken, I remount and finish.
My conspiracy theory is that in one of the trips through the Spiral of death, I must have tangled with someone who pulled my quick release loose and it finally got me.
I need zapruder film to confirm, but I have a feeling that all I will see are pictures of me punching my rear wheel....
Race over and now it's time to think about the 3/4.
It was a sunny day, how did my bike get so dirty?
Legs that were cooked when I got up, weren't any better after the first race, but what the hell. Line up and give it a go. After 3 races, the course was more chewed up than my first run through. SOD was a muddy wreck.
The woodsy section had some rutted, drying mud that managed to buck me around like an idiot everytime. So, in true coward's fashion, I rolled off the course after a lap and a half. Day over. Packed up and headed home. Not washing the bike was not an option, so it got done. Bike-life was not over though. The Bicycle Film Fest was in town showing Where are you Go. The trailer for that movie looked cool, so we went to check it out.
It was pretty cool. See it if you can. Time for sleep cause Easthampton was another early roll out.
We rolled up to a very cold Easthampton. Pre-ride was kind of a bumout. A lot of hate was dished out towards the course. Boring with some hectic, sketchy mountain bike sections. It did have a sandpit. Morale was at an all time low on the start.
I actually started in the small ring and planned to ride at the back and treat it like training, or maybe just drop out after a lap.
Half way through the first lap, I managed to almost clip a tree. Nick passed me and told me to chill and "take a deep breath". Turned out to be good advice. Once I was racing, the course was fun. Not a sketchy crash fest. Second race in a row where I was really feeling good on the run ups. Passing people and going hard every lap. The sand pit was similar to Northampton on the first day. Thanks to some good advice, I road the sand better than ever. Thanks PedalPowerCoaching! I was enjoying it more every lap and then it was over. I bobbled the last ride down/run up muddy section and lost a couple spots, but was still happy.
New rule-No negative nancy shit before the race. Just listen to Slayer and get ready to do it.
The 3/4 race was an option.... but not really. Burritos and fish tacos were next on the agenda. Followed by coffee and the cruise home.
2 weeks and 2 races. Then it is time to start building for the road season.