Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wawayanda Spring Cleaning H2H series #1

The alarm went off at 5am. I really wished it hadn't... I loathe that cell phone jingle, alarm thing. I would have loved to stay in bed for a couple more hours, but no, that was not to be. I rolled over, stumbled out of bed and threw on the clothes I had laid out the previous night. I staggered around the house, searching for the kitchen and ultimately, some breakfast. I sourced some mediocre scrambled eggs, a nice buttered multi-grain bagel, a pint of OJ and a shitty cup of french press coffee - why can't I make a good cup of coffee anymore? I pinched my nose and pounded the coffee in an effort to jumpstart my race morning with some UCI legal stimulant.

I had just about everything I needed prepared and ready to go the night before. It's so nice - and so different from the norm - to not have to scramble the morning of a race. Apparently, some of the good in Kim is rubbing off on me. It's a damned good thing too... we needed to be on the road at 6. BP showed up in our driveway at quarter till.

The drive took us through scenic Bucks County and into the rolling hills of North Jersey. As we approached the venue, I marveled at the menacingly large hills and plentiful rocks. The terrain wasn't nearly what I was expecting, but I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting... Regardless, the landscape had my mind racing and my nerves churning. We arrived a full two hours early for Kim's race at 10:30. I knew she was a bundle of nerves being her first H2H race in years. Fortunately for her, relief was coming soon, whereas I needed to wrestle with mine for almost five hours before toeing the line. Some light hearted joking about Ron's amusing USAC license predicament helped pass the time. I also snuck away to catch Kim on her laps to give her a lil love.

(Kimmy racing up the double track)

Time for the Gun Fight.

Ron and I lined up on the front line wielding our knives - our rigid steel singlespeeds. Ron was the only familiar face in the crowd. I love that. I love to think that the other guys are grumbling about "the tools with rigid singles on the front line... they don't belong up there... they'll be out the back door... etc, etc." In reality, they probably couldn't care less, but it fuels my fire - so in my head - they're saying it.

I got a good jump on the start and was second wheel at the top of the first hill. Unfortunately, I spun out the 32x18 pretty directly thereafter on the doubletrack descent into the woods. Ron was better geared than me - more on this later - and he was one of the first to blow by. A few more guys made a last ditch effort to get ahead of me into the woods. They succeeded and I was relegated to 7th or 8th into the singletrack - not really where I wanted to be on a technical course. Meh.

For the first couple miles I was getting jammed up by the traffic. It was frustrating for sure, because I could see Ron slipping away and I knew there was at least one guy away from him. One by one, the guys ahead of me were making mistakes that I could capitalize on. Finally I managed to break free and bridge up to Ron.

(There's Ron checking his gap to the next guy - me)

Unfortunately, that was short lived because the last third of the lap is mostly doubletrack. I waved by-bye to Ron as he just walked away, pushing the right gear.

Early on the second lap, I traded spots with Brian Lariviere and another guy for a mile or two. On one of the pretty techy sections, Brian took a nice digger in front of me... I went left and made it through unscathed while the other guy got jammed. After that, I managed to almost bridge back up to Ron again. I got to within 10 seconds, but just couldn't close it. The double track struck again and that was the last I'd see of any of my competition. It made for some interesting head games on that lonely third lap. I'd push hard, then follow it up with complacency. I'd get scared, look around and push again. For a while, I was fueled by the prospect of reeling in Ron, but it just never came to fruition. Not wanting to get caught with my pants down, I pushed as hard as I could on the double track. I knew if I was going to loose 3rd, it'd be here. In the end, I found out that Ron was only ~20 seconds up. Damnit... just out of sight.

At the end of the day, TBR brought four racers to Wawayanda and we earned four podium spots. Not a bad showing, not bad at all. We were all pretty destroyed after our efforts on a truly abusive - but super fun - course. This was more technical than any course in the MASS, I think. This place is ROCKY. This place is AWESOME. This place will make French Creek seem kinda tame. See you out there...

No comments:

Post a Comment