Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It wasn't a race...really...

Plenty of exciting stuff is going on, so as usual this is going to be a little all over the place! Bear with me!

So the Tour is in full swing. Some exciting racing has already took place, and unfortunately if you're like me... some tragedy. Cav's wreck on day 1 removed him from the tour and opened the door for Dolph Lundgren Marcel Kittel to rack up stage wins most likely uncontested. I've got some backup hope reserved for Renshaw, but I admit it's a dim light. I just can't get behind any of the other sprinters... I dunno Cavendish has always been my sprinter, so disappointment from the start for me.

Fastest man in the peloton!

Next on the list of things to get to... some of the new designs on the Cobb T's. Sure sure you can wear your Ironman finisher (or sprint finisher...whatever) technical tee before/after the race... or you can get a few double takes (and probably a laugh or two) with one of these. Here's my personal favorite...

You just sorta need to be able to back it up ;)
Heh... should have went for the full monty and just spelled out A** in my opinion. But oh well.

As for the not a race race report...

It wasn't a race, it was just a fun ride. Except there was a KoM jersey for the first person up Butterfly gap... halfway through the ride. So it was kind of a race. Sort of... but not really. Unless you were in the first group... in which case it was definitely a race. I think. Maybe... but not.

Here we are waiting to get the show on the road (and beat the heat)

Far left black and blue Cycology Bicycles kit. The hulking guy to my right in the same kit is Jimmy. 

The only real "team" in the area is Knoxvelo (you can see the red/white kits peeking in and out in the picture) and they were the only guys there in force for the 100 miler. I had 100% pure intentions going into the ride to A.) Have fun and B.) Ride with the "A" group to the climb. Jimmy was a little more serious about it the night before and the morning and by the time they called for everyone to start getting ready to go I had lapsed into full on "race" mentality. Jenny would later shake her head and say under her breath "boys..." I guess that explains it.

Heading out of town... in the best place for staying out of trouble.
We get the go and I'm immediately ready to get to the front and lead out of town. I've said it before and I stand by it... the first couple of miles of a big charity ride are DANGEROUS. Give me a Cat5 crit any day.

I'd go into a little more recap from the first 40 or so miles but honestly... there's not much of interest. I sat in once the "A" group was established and poor Jimmy did the lion's share of the work. Unfortunately there were a significant number of Knoxvelo boys in the group and they were unwilling to let any funny business (that is, getting away early for an "easy" win) go on, so it was just a matter of putting in the miles.

As we closed in on Butterfly we started getting organized (that is to say I dragged myself up front to talk to Jimmy) and discussed how I felt. Honestly I felt pretty good (so no excuses for what's to come.) so we started some back/forth attacking on the group. Everything got pulled in pretty quick but we caught some people off guard. As we turned down the road for the climb I made my move. Unfortunately the rest of the group wasn't full of slouches and they were all experienced enough guys to not let me make a gap. Then it was just a matter of who was strongest.

I'm a pretty good climber. That said, the kind of climbs I excel at are steady grade long grinds... you know, basically a inclined time trial (imagine that) but that's not what the gap is like. It pitches and levels, pitches and levels... the kind of climb you need good steady power AND a strong kick.

I got crushed.

Once I saw I wasn't in the league with the real climbers in the group I backed off, managing to come over the line in decent shape but far from the winner.

Crossing the KOM line after a disappointing showing on a tough climb.

Such is life on a bike.

I feel like I'm going to get a good chance to recover (it's not like the climbing is over...) and catch back up to the guys in front of me on the little bit of downhill following. Of course it's the perfect time to drop my chain!
My front derailleur stop screws had backed out from all the rough roads we'd been on! That's pretty intense!

I get things adequately "rigged" back up and try to keep as much grease off of me as possible (yeah...) and then find myself in no-man's land. I ride to the next aid station and find that I'm all alone. That's one thing you learn early in bike riding/racing... if you can't hang, nobody is going to wait for you. (Nor should they)

Fortunately... it's not a race.

I wait around, drink some extra Gatorade and find some other stragglers coming in. We form up a good group and head off for the last 50 or so miles.

Nothing much important from that point on, just what it always should have been, a fun long ride. I don't think I've ever been quite so ready to get back to Barley's and have a drink though. (Hard Cider...YEAH!)

So next year... I'm going to go into this "not race" in better shape. 150lbs is still a bit too heavy for this kind of climbing. I think at the same power with 10-15lbs lighter I'd have crushed it. But it wasn't a race, so no big deal. :) Right?

This weekend is my anniversary tri race, the West Side Y. It's short and painful, and I'm excited to be able to do it again. Of course Nationals is closing in, where I can go and really get my butt handed to me. I would say I'm just going to have fun...but yeah... we all know how that goes.  I'm going to have fun doing the best I can and hopefully do a little bike split crushing at least.

One step at a time.

Thanks everyone for reading. I as always appreciate it.

- Christopher Morelock

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