Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Once upon a Time.....

This could be the beginning of a wonderful story.......

But that story has already been written and fully capitalized on (milked for all the $$ it's worth). Instead of a great bedtime story you'll just have to settle for this:

Flint Ridge Circuit Race

It's been cold. Gawd, I can't stand it anymore. I remember the days of lore, when Average temperatures in Lawrence are 56F in March and 68F in April. Those should be fairly pleasant months. Sure, it's spring and sure, you get the total shit days. But seriously, I can count on one hand how many days we've had over 60F in 2008. I don't even think I need the thumb, forefinger, or pinky. I had a chance to race and train down in Austin, TX (check past postings) this spring and I don't think I've had one day without a jacket or long sleeve jersey since I got back. Basically, I'm suntan-less and starting to get bit depressed. In response, I've been traveling south for pretty much all the races this year. 4 in Austin, 2 in Oklahoma, one in Arkansas. I seems strange that I've raced nine times, and only once in KS. But that's a whole other talk that I may or may not have now.

This race is super fun, it's more like a roller coaster. From the start/ finish line it rolls uphill. Twisting, and banking in a meandering way that resembles the flight path of a bumble bee. The back side of the course is the same, but it rolls downhill to a super steep, crazy fun roller coaster drop into a pair of corners and then back uphill (20-22% ish) to the finish line. 9 laps. Fun.

The HRRC/ Trek Stores team brought Myself, Shadd Smith, and Joe Schmalz. Mercy was in force featuring Alex Welch, Matt Ankney, Chad Cagle, and Bill "Iron Liver" Marshall. Also, in the mix were the Tulsa Wheelman. With only three teams present and some independent riders, this had a good chance of being an attack fest with a bit of a negative feel to it. That's fine with me. It's just like local races back home with small fields. It kind of resembles a cross race.

As it turns out, I'm not sure exactly why it happened or really just what the hell happened. Did I totally mis-judge my abilities? Did I just get too careless? Was I a bit overconfident? Or did I get totally and completely worked over? Anyways..... when the dust settled, the two riders that were the biggest threat to win the race were up the road and I was left behind. Fuming and frustrated. I take full responsibility for having botched the race for the entire team. That's right, all for me.

I ended up riding around in no man's land with on Tulsa guy, Chris until the last two laps when 4 more guys showed up, including Shadd Smith. In the end, it was Shadd taking 4th, Alex 5th, myself 6th. Matt Ankney won the race after riding about 35 miles solo. Tough man for sure!

Bill Marshall and I stayed in Tulsa with Chad Cagle Saturday and had the wonderful experience of a night out in Tulsa, Mercy style. It was interesting seeing these guys in their "real world" clothes and doing regular things. Okay, so hula hoop dancing at the Sound Pony isn't so normal. Sound Pony is an awesome bar owned by bike racers and cycling enthusiasts. Oh, and it shows. It seems that everyone lives an alternate lifestyle outside of racing bikes. You know, mild mannered "normal" person until they get in the team kit, then they're super heroes!