Friday, July 17, 2009

More time in the mountains

I'm spending the weekend in the mountains again. Last week, I got a great ride in the Laurel Mountains and got 4 ridge climbs in. I think I'll follow it up again this week and start back up racing at Westlake on Tuesday. Nothing like the scenic climbs on the backroads to help re-ignite the motivation to race.

Second half begins

Well, the first half of the season had some ups and downs, though usually i've been on the more disappointing side of things. I sat on the wrong wheel at Barbour earlier this month and kinda fell asleep on the initial climb. I finally started paying attention towards the top and all of a sudden we were 25 yards off an accelerating front. No worries, I thought. We'll chase back on as soon as we top off with the 8 or 10 people here. BUUUUZZZZZZZ, wrong answer Bob! I looked back to see who was still with us. Where'd everyone go? Ahhhhhh, crap, now I was forced into chasing mode with Skip Rodgers, who was a decent time trialist, but didn't have the steam to really help get us back. We got to within a few seconds but after a particularly hard pull heading into a climb, I popped. Oh well, it was now a training ride. I got into a group of other riders most of whom were working well, but certainly had problems going hard when I started pressing the pedals. In the end, I was set up for the sprint for 8th or 9th and for the first time in a couple years, I had a mechanical on the bike. I coasted in and was a bit depressed as this was a race I've owned for a couple years now. My race the next day at the Lil' Moes' mtb race was going well and I was sitting in third and I had another mechanical. This time it was a biomechanical as the back started barking big time. So for the second day straight, I was having a long drive home. I continued this string of woes by going to Westlake on Tuesday with a teammate. I wound up popping a spoke on one of my Zipp carbons. Dammit will this never end? I got a spare and since my race was effectively over, I started busting ass for Ted. I closed down a couple dangerous breaks and was telling him where to be and when. He just missed getting to the front in time to get the winning break but did get the second one and finished up in 7th. The one good thing that I was able to take away from this race was my ability to move around in the pack at will. The other teams were using my chasing accelerations to set up moves as I would string the field out quite a bit and even caused a couple splits in it. It was good to be able to hear 'Ok, here it comes' when I rolled up to the front and really pressed on the pedals for a good half mile. Hopefully the second half of the season will go better and then it's time for cross!