Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Yes I got spanked in Arkansas

So I was really excited to do the Joe Martin Stage Race in AR last week--especially coming off a week of super fast crit racing, but unfortunately I got sick--real sick--and yes I did race which was stupid. I am finally starting to feel better, so hopefully Tripeaks this weekend will go better than last weekend. Oh yeah, even if I wasn't sick my chain still would have broken on the second stage and I still would have had to ride Sean's (teamate) 53cm bike 50 miles solo to the finish. That was not fun, but I wish someone had a picture of it because it must have looked hilarious. Anyway we will do better this next week. Hopefully Ryan Gamm won't break another fork and 2 more wheels which he managed to do on the first stage--he also had to borrow a bike and ride solo all the way to the finish. Hopefully Andy won't break his cleat on the last stage and have to pull out and not get a finishing time and therefore having to dnf the whole week. AHH the joy of stage racing.
I am in Lousiana right now which is very enjoyable. I am going out to get some VOODOO BARBECUE tonite...yum.
I leave on thursday to go back to AR for another stage race, this one will go better I hope.
Congrats to Danielle Musto and Mark Hendershot for winning their 12 hour races this past weekend. Maybe soon Mark will learn how to spell my last name properly because I have only known him for ten years now.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I like big bikes and I cannot lie

The World Series of Criterium Racing has officially come to a close. I escaped without a single scratch on me--I definately left a bunch of rubber on the pavement--but no skin. There were 6 races total with 10,000 in prizes each day. As a result there were 150 guys there every night. Oh yeah, the races were all 50 miles each...ouch. I held my own, I finished 19th, 23rd, 19th, 27th, 18th, and 15th which put me in 28th for the omnium and officially the highest ranked amateur. Holla.
Every single one of these races came down to a field sprint which means there is incredible amount of movement and swarming and elbow throwing while we would jockey for positions. It is probably the scariest thing in the world...it is usually scary at 28mph, but we were going close to 40 at the end of a lot of these stages. Someone ripped their shorts on my sti shifters--no joke--I didn't go down, I almost did. My bike is so stable, I think it would take a linebacker to tackle me to get me down--KNOCK ON WOOD. Seriously though, I got caught up, pushed over, chopped in corners, hit pedals, cornered off road in to a yard, and hopped curbs all at about 30mph and the bike just did what I wanted it to every time. Pretty Cool.
So I am now home for a couple days and then I take off to Arkansas for 2 seperate stage races and hopefully a trip to Louisiana in between.
The library is closing now, but I have some good stories coming up that I have to share. I should write a book about traveling with rich harper. it would be entertaining to say the least.

Monday, May 01, 2006

athens and roswell

The first two races of the 6 race "USA CRIT SERIES" were this weekend. Saturday was the infamous Athens Twilight Crit and Sunday was the historic Roswell Crit.

Athens is the craziest race in the world. It is awesome, 180 racers and about 5000 drunken fans surrounding the course. Intense would be an understatment, it is really an experience that can only be understood by watching the race and racing it is even more insane. The Abercrombie and Fitch team had 9 racers showing up to race. 8 of us hit the pavement (somehow I managed to avoid the crashes) We broke one bike, one wheel, and one wrist. Chad, the director extroidinare, broke his wrist and reid broke his frame and wheel.
The crashes were crazy I saw two of them right in front of me and both times I was first or second through them. The first one looked like someone caught their handlebars in the metal barriers at 40 mph and just flipped over. That one took out a good 30 or so people. I managed to sneak through barely and get back on the back of the pack. The second on was similar and again I was able to catch back on, that time I was the last person on and I was at the very back for the next couple laps.
Besides all the crashes the race was a typical NRC crit for me. I started at the back, tried my best to stay in the middle and out of trouble and then move up with about 5 laps to go. It worked all right and I snuck in for 19th place. It seems that I am always in the 15th to 25th positions in all the crits, no better and no worse. Athens is a great city and this event is the coolest on out there by far. There are so many people out watching and cheering it really makes you feel like a rock star.

Sundays race was the roswell crit which had at least two crashes as well. Reid got tore up again badly and broke his carbon handlebar, bennett crashed badly and someone told me he broke a rib and his arm but still finished....thats crazy.
Our team did well today and most of us ended up finishing towards the front. I tried to move up as best as I could, but started a bit late and managed a 23rd place. I would say that the whole weekend was a great success. These were the first national events for me and I was a bit apprehensive going in because sometimes these races can seem impossible to finish, but I felt good and it was a great confidence booster.

I have two days off to mend my aching legs before the series starts again on wednesday which kicks off the final four days in a row. Reid P and myself will be at all of them so hopefully things will go well. I hope reid doesn't run out of equipment.

I have new sunglasses and shoes--they are hot--thanks chad.