Saturday has now came and gone along with the last race of the '08 MSG season. It was really cold, just like it's been at the last couple of these. Today I think it was in the upper 20's to start. Friday I wasn't feeling all that great. I wasn't "sick" but I spent all afternoon on the couch wrapped up in a blanket with chills. I didn't ache or anything just very tired and cold. Anyways I got up early Saturday loaded the exploder with all the bikes and gear, Austin would meet me at the park later. I arrived and it was very cold but thank goodness no wind or it would have been miserable. I helped a little with the course setup before registration opened. I went ahead and signed up for SS also even though I knew if CX4 didn't go well I would not race it. I was toying with an idea to do all 3 of the classes that I could run, the third one masters 35+. The way I was feeling I knew I couldn't do all three. I didn't feel sick though just run down. Rob gets my bike set up on his trainer, he's been helping me out alot lately..THANKS Rob! I get a lap in on the SS to get the course down in my grey matter, then I get on the trainer for about 30 min. Time comes and we line up, I forget my glasses so I have to jet back up the hill to the car and back, they wait on me though. I get back in line and we start.
The sandbaggers blast off the front end and take off fast. Several of these guys could compete in the3's competitively but won't ( I am most certain they have insecurity\dignity issues ) . Any who that's a thorn in my side that I shall not get into here because I could do a whole blog post on that subject.
I lay back on the start figuring I may only have enough raw energy in me for one lap. We pedal up the hill onto the longest up part of the course and I find Mark's wheel and just follow. 1\4 lap in and we are in a cluster following a TCRC rider that seems to be holding about 8 of us up. I tell Mark that we need to get past him. He agrees but doesn't go, so at the first opportune time I jump to the front of this small group that we are in and Mark follows. I make a mistake in a turn with the tape a little more into the race and Mark goes around along with another guy. I'm content now to just follow. We start to reel in folks at a slow retrieval rate. I liked the course, not alot of climbing just long and a hammerheads dream. We come around to the run-up at the parking lot on the first lap and we are doing ok. I look ahead and can see more guys I know and I think "ok, I can get these guys by the last lap". My first lap was 7:28. I decided to back off a little because the officials didn't know if we would be running 3 or 4 laps. I wanted to save a little for the last lap if we were running 4. I started to let Mark gap me a little. Little did I know later I wouldn't get it back, GO MARK!!!. My second lap was 7:51 and I started feeling like crap. I had caught Smith and was struggling to keep his wheel. He looked pretty rough also, his face was all red and he was huffing good. We came around to the finish line and the "2 to go" was up, great we are doing 4 laps. I didn't think I had 2 more in me so I just did what I could to keep the pedals turning hoping I would start to feel better. I rode Smith's wheel for almost a lap and he slowed so I went around but he soon passed me back and I followed some more. He's usually a really strong rider maybe he had what I had, a bug. My third lap time stunk so bad I'm embarrassed to post it but it was 8:18.....YUK! I saw another guy I know up ahead and I made my mind up to go catch him even if I puked while trying to do it. On the last lap I closed as much as I could to a bud of mine(Archer) without using all I had. I wanted to save a little for the final paved stretch to the run-up. It worked out well I passed Smith through the barriers , remounted faster than he and was on the gravel in front of him. Target in sight.... I dug deep to find some energy that I didn't think I had and reeled Archer in. I actually caught his wheel before the pavilion. I sat up thinking I can out run him up the run-up so that's where I will make my move. BAD DECISION, I didn't put Smith into my calculation. He apparently had a little left in him also. Just before the lefty into the grass he dives through the weeds under and in front of both of us while turning left. But! His momentum carries him into Archer and over to the tape which makes them have to turn even harder left to get around the marker in the turn. I try to quickly take advantage of this. I try a triple upshift with my Shimano shifters and It doesn't like it at all! My chain jams and my pedals stop rotating. Clank, scrape, clang sounds like the transmission is dropping out of a 18 wheeler scraping gears. I shift back the other way quickly and the sound doesn't get any better but my pedals start to turn over, then it finds the right gear and I start rolling again. Piece of junk Shimano! I'm so used to my Campy shifters on my S-Works road bike, if I had the Campy on my CX bike it would have made that shift flawlessly. Next CX season that's all I will run....CAMPY!!!! Well by this time Archer and Smith finished "rubbing elbows" and Smith was the dominate one leading through the turn. I fell in about three bike lengths behind Archer after my shimano crap made its mind up what gear it liked. ( you may be asking yourself why I have Shimano on my CX bike if I don't like it? It was stock OEM on the bike when I bought it, I'm changing it over to Campy but it's Christmas now so it will have to be later when more funds are available or I will apply for the Govt. bailout $$$$) I rounded the last two turns before the run-up, I can still do this I'm thinking. I dismount and dig my toes into the slick soiled hill and run up passing him and launch back onto the saddle with a nice remount that I impressed myself with. I needed to because I knew Archer would dig and dig hard for the 50 yard sprint to the finish line. I started pedaling with all I had, wasn't much but I dug. I did not need to be doing this feeling like I was either. I got half way to the line, dropped my head to look back. Left side, right side, where's he at? I do it again, right side , left side, where? What? I'm not believing this! He let me go without a fight????.... I sit up after making sure that he's no where around and ease across the line. I rarely ever do that, I have seen SO MANY RACERS lose the race in the LTF. (ie;LTF- last ten feet). Now the pain surges through my body. I headed for my ez-up where Rob is warming up on his trainer and I have to sit, just sit. I knew I was soon going to be hurling. My hands on my face the feeling in my gut...... dam, get it out! Rob starts heckling me ( wouldn't expect anything less from my bro). Finally everything starts to calm inside and the recovery starts. Whew, I didn't need to be racing today, the truth be known. My last lap ended up being a 7:50 alot better than the third one, can't believe I had it in me. I figured I would feel like crap today but I'm actually feeling a little better. I managed a 16th today and I'm taking it as a top 5 in my book with the way I was feeling. I won't be doing the SS though....NO WAY JOSE' !!
Austin's mom drops him off around noon. We just sit around and watch some more racing and freeze. It's Rob's turn finally. The 3's line up and he's got the face of a man on a mission. He could possibly take home the win overall this season if it all falls together. He started out in 4's but moved to the 3 after so much heckling I gave him..lol just kidding yo! But today he wouldn't become the overall champion. The guy he needed to finish 4 places or more behind him had a great race. He ended up with a 2nd over all for the series,NICE JOB. But he did win today's race with a thunderous win and gap to second......Great Job Rob!
Now it's little man's turn. They get to the line and we have a strategy. He's in second overall 1 stinking point ahead of third. He has to beat this kid if he wants second, no if ands or buts! They start and there are about 12-14 jrs take off, nice group. Jesse dominates and destroys the field (as usuall). Austin gets his rhythm and sits in 5th. The kid he's supposed to beat must have had Wheaties with EPO that morning....he checked out! That's OK Austin is giving it his best! That's all I ask for. During this race the promoters start "seeding the hill" they are putting singles $$ and small gifts for the racers to grab and distract them on the run-up. He gets a dollar and on his second lap he gets a pair of socks, they just happen to be my size!! lol. He finishes and I'm not even sure what the points system is going to be. There was another kid that beat him that was in a close 4th overall so we will have to see at the awards presentation. There was a cookout afterwards (Thank You MSG Staff), Austin ate enough for me and him both! When the awards were presented, Austin ended up third place overall in the series. Consistency pays off YO! 4th's and 5th's all season netted him 3rd, GREAT JOB SON!! Love Ya!!!
That's it for the '08 MSG Series. I'm really looking forward to next year. I'm not sure If I want to get really serious and try for a top 5 overall next year. I really just enjoy doing it. Steve made a comment a while back "we're not here to win just beat your buddies that's what makes it fun, braggin' right's". You know there's alot of truth in that statement. Next on the radar is Knoxiecross in Knoxville,TN. They always start their season after January for some reason. I have never done any of these races but if my economic situation holds I will be going to these. Here's the info:
A friend of mine had a shindig over at his house last night. A "Martini Christmas party" he says. There were several folks there and we had a great time. Thanks Greg! Great party! I had a martini, a beer and a shot. I knew better, the way I have been feeling of late, to go past my limit and my limit isn't much I tell ya! I'm a lightweight when it comes to alcohol. We hung around til about 1030 then we were off to Dusty's house for another party. Angie says "I don't know how you are doing all this? If I had raced and hit two parties after the way you have been feeling, I would be dead." Oh well do what ya gotta do. We arrive at Dusty's house which is close by mine. Alot of people are hovering around the water meter in the yard. No telling what's going on with this group, they get kinda wild sometimes. Seems like some chick parked in the grass on the meter and with the ground being soft from all the rain it sunk a little and cracked the water pipe, actually broke it. They turned off the water, glad they caught it or his water bill would be horrendous. There was a ton of cycling folks there, mostly roadies. After the excitement Angie and I hit the keg (MILLER BEER) Yum. lol. I got talked into a game of "bean bag cornhole". You toss these four bean bags onto a wooden ramp, if they stay instead of sliding off you get a point. If you can sink it in the hole you get three points. Its the rage game of late supposedly. After one turn I got it figured out. I hit two "in the holes" and one on the board for 7pts. Wow I'm a pro! Jon Horne and I mopped up on Kaddish and Dusty , glorious victory!! After a while we were getting cold even though they had a firepit and space heater blasting. Then Thomas asked if we would give him a ride to his car. We decided to jet about midnight, take him to his car and turn in for the evening. That was a great day, lots of racing and plenty of good friends. Sounds like a Michelob commercial ha ha........