Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The McFlurry Incident, Part Duex

I know, I know. I've gotten some, "where the hell is the rest of the story?" questions. For all ya'll...

Okay, here WE GO!

Iowa City RR

The Road Race is a bit south and west of Iowa City. The race flyer directions say to take I-80 into Iowa City and back track on IA-1 or something of the sort. However, our New Plan had us heeding the rules of the road. Oh yeah, that also meant that we were, indeed, running late. Luckily though the New Plan only was in place for the interstate highways. It has yet to be rolled out for the back roads. Which meant...... The Old Plan.

Yes, once we got off the highway, we were indeed back to hauling ass! Woo Hoo! So we take a couple hot routes through some corners, hit the gas a few times and made up some time in the Team Car. Pull into the race, 46 minutes to sign in, assemble bikes, dress and line up. Ready, GO!

Wind. It was windy! I don't mean Kansas wind. Note: Kansas operates by the BWF (Base Wind Factor- Ben Coles). This implies that 10mph sustained winds are the "Base Wind" for KS. So... a "wind" of 8mph actually is equivalent to 18mph sustained winds for anyone not of Midwest origin. Now that we've had the background...

The winds were sustained 25-30mph in KS terms (yeah, get your Math on!). So, that means, as Shadd puts it, "This wind is so strong, by the time we're done racing there won't be any paint left on our bikes." HA! I didn't think he was serious, but he was.......

Okay, take note: We actually had a team meeting! The idea was simple: stay out of the wind and use each other to do it. I guess this race started at warp speed last year with a crazy cross wind blowing into the gutter. There's nothing quite like getting gutter ridden at the word "Go!" right after getting out of the car after driving for 4.5 hours. Nope. Nothing quite like it. We decided that the same thing was going to happen today and that we needed to find each other, set up our own echelon and rotate to protect each other.

Right as the gun fired... yup. In the gutter. I was about 15 guys back, Bill about 3 guys in front of me, Shadd about 5 guys in front of him. EVERYONE was in the gutter. Beautiful. Oh, wait. I mean, Blah. I ride up to Bill, there's two. Then we make our way to Shadd, three. We start rotating as a second echelon. It wasn't really easy, but it did make the initial cross wind much, much easier. Nick and Joe made their way up to us after a couple of minutes. Five. Four guys rotating and Joe acting as Gatekeeper preventing anyone from getting in the rotation and fouling it up.

We turn. Tailwind. Whew, man that part sucked! But now we're on the tailwind section. I had an 11 tooth cassette so that's good for about 40mph. But Joe is on Jr. gears (100" maximum). And a 53x 11= 133". That means that While I'm cruising, Joe is spinning like these guys. But Spinning does keep you young.

Turn, crosswind. Short 300m. Turn, headwind. Holy crap. It was so windy! The P, 1,2 field was doing about 12-13 mph with many riders in their little rings. Can you imagine? Finish line, turn, crosswind again.

Bill got himself in a small group of 5 that rode about 20 miles off the front at the beginning of the second lap. They were caught in the tailwind section by a stellar, 43mph sustained effort by one guy. Impressive. But Bill is harder to keep a reign on than that. Like a cannon, BOOM! There goes Bill again. This time without the help of anyone else. Great move. Bill was caught with about 10k to go in the race. The solo move didn't really work, but it did get many people's attention.

In the end, the race was a field sprint into the wind. Crazy hard, like riding into a hurricane wind. Nick free-lanced the sprint to a 6th place. Excellent job! I set up the lead out allowing everyone to cue up on me. Joe took the first lead out and Bill followed. BUT... Shadd was put into the wind way, way too early and got passed by two guys in the last 10m.

Shadd did a hell of a job legging out the sprint, but in the end, a 3rd place for the day. Not bad.