Monday, April 30, 2012
Pontiac came and went in a flash. Maybe because my round trip in the car was only 1.5 hours instead of 4.5 hours. Met up with Dub 9 in the early morning again but also got to chat with more guys and gals I haven't seen in a while. Most noticeably Todd "the Hitman" Powers. I was lucky enough to catch up with him at the registration table and then hitched on his wheel for the warm up ride before the race. Was great to catch up with him and get some pointers from a seasoned veteran who knows a thing or two about racing.
It's still hard to believe I made it to the beginning of this race season. I have been trying to make it back the past two years with zero luck. I did a couple races last year but nothing like I wanted to. This off season went okay but I got sick twice for over a week each time. then of course the kids were sick off and on but I expect that to happen. Sue getting an avulsion fracture in her right ankle wasn't planned but we made it through that and are on the tail end of it. And then there's the extra hours at work.....well this is life and I do my best to train around it all. Sue has been super supportive of what I am trying to do this year and she has given a lot as well to help me get to where I am now. Enter the Yankee Springs TT. The official season opener. Hadn't raced there in 6 years and had only ridden there once since then. Last time I raced there I was in the Sport class and finished 24th out of 27 with a time of 1:00:55. Figured I couldn't do any worse than that. Really didn't remember much of the trail but got a run down from my friend Dub 9 before the race. I was feeling pretty positive that morning and had a game plan set. I needed an early start to make it home asap so I signed up in Elite, under Max Rockatansky, two classes higher than last time I raced here. I am not chasing points in the CPS series, I was just there to see what the legs had and to get a good training race in. Like my man Osgood says, the best training is racing. Well I went off early and got dropped early. I was feeling okay the first half of my first loop but then it can time to climb and I seemed to have left my climbing legs in the car. What the hell??? I thought I was in better shape than this. As I was completing the last mile of my first lap I seriously considered quitting the race and going home. Yes, I was that out of it mentally. But I came around 3+ minutes faster than I thought I was going so I sucked it up and made the turn for my second lap. 10 miles down, 10 to go. About 5 minutes later I hit a good spot to switch bottles and down some calories. I swapped the bottles from my jersey to the bike and when I reached back to grab my gel flask all I found was an empty pocket. Oh sh!t. I had left it in the car...along with my climbing legs. "This isn't good." I said to myself out loud. I was already struggling and without proper fuel the last 5 miles were going to hurt. So I took a chance and kept going hoping I wouldn't bonk. Well when the climbing started again my legs didn't want anything to do with it. I was losing time and power. Crap. I had to stay seated on all my climbs because if I stood up my legs would start to lock up. So I decided to let loose a bit on the descents to try and regain some of the time I was losing on the ascents. Problem is it takes a lot longer to go up the hills than to come back down them. I was probably losing at a 10:1 ratio in terms of seconds. But I finished the race, shaking a little and in need of food. My times were not that impressive but I gave myself a pat on the back for fighting thru the race and not giving up. I finished with a 1:44:17 which was fast enough to put me 17th out of 36 in my actual race class which is Expert 30-39. But I was in Elite and finished 29th out of 31. Yeah, I had no business being in that class. But I got to go race and get all the do's and don'ts and pros and cons out of the way before the Pontiac TT.