Saturday, July 11, 2009

Superweek. Enter the Vortex

Day 1: Beverly Hills Classic.

Yesterday, er.. Thursday, Myself, Joe Schmalz, Chris Wallace, and John Giles loaded an insane amount of stuff into a Honda Passport and drove North. Destination: Chicago and the first few days of Superweek. I've been here a few times but the last couple of years I've made it a point to do different races that I've never done. Joe's done Superweek last year and had fun. Chris and John have never been here so they had no idea....

We are entering the Vortex. Superweek is a place where time has a different meaning. Where the only time that matters is the race start time and when Noodles or Chipotle close (10pm, sharp, by the way). Once you're in, you are on Superweek time. Coffee at 4pm, Race at 545pm, which really turns into 620pm after Eddie Van Guyse (sp?) finishes all the introductions and what not. On a side note, I heard he played the "Villan Italian" on "Breaking Away." The race gets over around dark and by the time the car gets packed and we wait for payouts, you have to book it to the closest decent restaurant and squeeze through the door as the employees are desperately trying to find the key so they can lock up and go home. If you're lucky, you're home the same "day" that you left, and by the time you get the car unloaded, laundry "done," showered, desert, and settled.... sure enough it's the wee hours of the morning. 2am or so. Awesome. But on the plus side you're not needing to get up at 8am or anything. But I wouldn't miss this for the world.....

100k Criteriums, thousands of cheering, barbeque-ing, beer guzzling spectators every night. It's definitely more closely related to Nascar than anything bike racing like.

Today's race was just that way. Super fun, fast, and really tough. Oh I meant to say, rough. I think a couple of potholes had their own off ramps. With 80-ish guys on the start line for a go, it meant that the racing would be hard. And sure enough it was. Mercy Cycling was represented in the break that formed 5-6 laps in (of the 62) and sure enough, they lapped the field. Chris and I did our thing to keep him out of trouble and out of trouble he was, finishing an incredible 9th place in his first SW race of 2009. Consider that a warning shot.

Other than that... with 2 laps to go, the rider in front of Chris decided to test the Pauli Exclusion Principle. Yup. It still holds true and indeed two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. He threw himself on the ground and took Chris with him. Chris is okay, but a bit bruised.

Okay, time for bed. It is 232AM in the Vortex.