Sunday, October 14, 2007

CCCX #3, Wish I had a 12.

Great course today, very fast and had mine and Greg G.'s names written all over it. (Should have been there G).
Groovy T and I did a little pre-ride and I was all smiles heading back to the van to get pinned up.

They started us on a road section used at the District RR, mild climb about 500 meters to just under a kilo, then a mild descent to wide left hander onto the dirt.
From there it was mostly all Return of the Jedi style single track. Fast and swooshing with a some sand traps you had to be mindful of.
Then a couple of short road sections that were great for opening up the throttle.

As we lined up for the 35 Bs I was joined by Charles Pockell-Wilson from Morgan Stanley and John Ford from Spine, both with sparkling new Specialized cross bikes. (Bike lust!) (Side note, the Specialized Cross Bikes are looking pretty sweet...I aunt one.)
I liked the wide open start and being on the road was thinking these two power houses might just open up the venturis and let the rubber fly from the gun.
The whistle blew and the accelaration was half hearted. I moved towards the front and gave Charles and John about 2 seconds to make a move, nothing.
So I punched it moved into second position and realized I still had more throttle and jumped around the leader, Tom Ryan(?) of East Bay Velo.

He quickly grabbed my wheel as I drove the pace down the hill and started getting some good separation. We hit the left hander without even thinking about brakes and drilled it to the first barrier.
It was nice to approach the first barrier with clean real estate for a change. After that we formed our alliance and kept the pace hard for the next lap, the gap was opening and I was getting pretty excited that I might have worked this one out right. Tom was rolling well, but his pace on the road climb was more like tempo and I wanted to hit it full throttle. He was happy to let me dictate the pace starting the second lap. Which ended up being a mistake for both of us, not as much for him.

We bombed through the Return of the Jedi single track and my overly ambitious pace managed to help me find one of those afore mentioned sand traps. The front tire washed out and down into the soft stuff I went. I must have went in really hot as there seemed to be a bit of a delay before Tom came crashing down too. Thankfully he had tried to get around instead of T-boning me and we were both physically alright. We still had our leads but when we got up and found our bikes tangle up a bit it delayed our remount. We got them apart and as I took off noticed the gear seemed really big. Hit the response! I looked down and my rear dérailleur cable had come out of the stop near the head tube (no tension) (Double Fook!).
There is only one way to fix this on this bike. You have to put the chain in the top cog and release all the slack on the deraileur cable. Time consuming.
I had my single speed Mt. bike in the pit, but this course was too fast for the gearing.

1. Stop and wrestle with this thing while everyone and their mother passes.
2. Deal with the bike being stuck in a 42 x 11 gear and salvage a placing.

Two guesses which one I chose. For those of you that have never seen me ride a single speed, you get a third guess.

I had seen the course and anything I needed a little gear for was through sand and I felt I could run it just as fast.

I jumped on the bike and proceeded to do a 40 minute power sprint workout. You never know how big of a gear you can turn until you have to.
The next few laps were spent making back some ground on riders that passed. The road sections was a double edge sword, I had to dig deep into the fast twitch muscle to get the bike rolling when coming off barriers or single track, but once I got on top of the gear I was able to wind it out enough to catch and pass small groups of riders each time through. It would have been nice to just get on a wheel and recover, but I could spare no loss of speed and just sprinted past like a lunatic...foaming at the mouth and all. As Dr. Richard says "Ouch Time!"

Out of all that I managed a 4th place finish and no more washouts, but I really wish I had a 12 instead of an 11.

It may also be time for a real pit bike.

Tom ended up winning and I gave him a congratulatory knuckle tap before collecting my trinket.

Dr. Richard has his work cutout for Monday's Chiropractic appointment. My low back is killing me.

Other lessons learned:
1. I can race harder than I thought.
2. I figured out how to take control of the start and really punch it.
3. Figured out how to lift my knees more when I run and really accelerate (ala Olaf).

Groovy T was feeling less than groovy so we bailed right after the 35 B race. Thank goodness, I was too beat up to do a second race today.
One of these day I am going to sign up for the As, not masters As, just As. If I am going to get my Ars handed to me, it may as well be from the baddest Mofos around.
My Kung Fu instructor once told me that if I really wanted to learn a new style go pick a fight with the guy who is the best at that style. I opted out of that, but took the lesson to apply it to other things.

Photo credit: Harriet Riley

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Blogger velogirl said...

sounds like an exciting race, Ron! congratulations.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Gianni said...

I like just watching them ride around, both the women and the men.

Smooth like butter.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Nome Agusta said...

That was the most painful race I have ever done.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Johnny Sprocket said...

That is an awesome report. I love people who keep going despite the breakage excuse. Shows real character to race what you've got.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Nome Agusta said...

Or pure stupidity to not know any better.

But only 22 seconds behind the winner. I am getting closer.

Look at the grimace in the photo as I try to push that gear through the sand.
From the gear charts I have, it looks to be about a 102 to 103 inch gear considering the tire height.
If someone would have told me that, I would have just stopped.

11:55 AM  
Blogger lauren said...

you've got that "tight teeth grip" going.

sounds like it was a fun course!

10:29 AM  
Blogger X Bunny said...

i can race harder than i thought

makes every race all that more painful from now on


cccx puts on same darn good races

7:12 AM  
Blogger X Bunny said...

oh, and the nome is wise beyond his gears...

7:45 AM  
Blogger Nome Agusta said...

That line totally Rocks!

If you don't mind I would like to use that. I am thinking of having decals made for my single speed bikes.

8:30 AM  

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