Monday, 31 August 2009

Getting Good at Getting Dropped

Thursday was get dropped from the Goon Ride with a mechanical night, so in an inverse of the misguided optimism with which local fans must look at wins as "one game winning streaks," I had perfectly guided surety that Thursday was a "one ride getting dropped streak." Mine had much better chances of becoming significant in length.

Friday night was one of the more fun nights lately. Wife's office had a chance to unbury themselves from a ton of work and the ongoing task of getting things back on track, and celebrate a birthday. This left me at the start of the Saturday 10am with a body full of sake, beer, oysters, tuna, shrimp, eel, avocado, more oysters, pork bellies, beer, more sake, rice and a team of little people playing jai alai in my head.

Since every effort level kept the headache level static to the exclusion of all other bodily ails, I worked a level somewhat higher on the scale. A few comments like "you know we're usually still riding warmup speed here, right?" type of comments ensued. Yes, I know. Sorry. I'll probably explode in 3 minutes and you can return to your regularly scheduled programming. Out on Tuckerman, a certain male triple crown winner joins the ride, making me instantly regret every joule of effort I might have unknowingly burned, but decided to stay with it, take all of my turns, and get shucked when it happened. Buckle your chin straps, kids, it's about to get fun.

Well, it didn't get that fun. The Glen rollers came and went without any real fury being unleashed, the Esworthy false flat did its usual job of sucking balls, and the Seneca part comes and goes. Chuck, the Mystic Velo guy (wicked nice guy, fast, totally forgot his name) and I are rolling on the front, all cool. Onto River, up the first little roller, down, up the second roller and the check oil light is just going nuts. WTF? Son, you got dropped. Nate was good enough to wait for me and we picked up a small group on the way in. Good conversation, much fun had by all. Nate decided to go all Wolverine and pummel the shit out of us for a while. Whatever training he's been doing lately is working.

The enthusiasm for driving to Gundel (4 hour drive, one hour race) had waned, so the plan had been to go to Skyline Sunday with Nate and Mrs. Wagon, but 3 year old Nephew Wagon decides he needs to go to the hospital for some pre-pneumonia thing, which launches Mrs. Wagon up the New Jersey Turnpike. He's an awesome little kid. What to do, what to do? Since there was no chance to ride with the missus and no way to spend Sunday with her anyhow, Nate and I might as well go race, right?

The Gundel course is like a cross between Washington County crit and Tysons. The shape and length are kind of like Washington County, the direction (Nascar) and profile are just like Tysons. Long downhill, which lets the stragglers come back on every lap. The finish stretch is a pretty long uphill, just about like Tysons but straight, but there's a turn at the top and about 150 meters to the line from there. First one to the last turn probably wins.

I really prefer when we field a smallish team for races. This time we had 4, and that's ideal for me. The group yesterday was perfect, since everyone knows what's up and is fun to race with. It was enough guys that having teammates helped and made the race a lot more fun. I'd be more than happy to line up with 4 or 5 team mates at every race. Everyone did a good job, if you were spectating you might have sworn that we knew what we were doing, and in the end we pulled a 3-4-5 finish out of it. Yes, I know we should have gone all lead out train and gotten 1-25-26. We all thought it was just fine, thanks.

It's been a fun go over the last several races, with good success. The final day of the 540 series was great, and we won one of those races. Then Jeff, Ryan and I had a few fun rolls at Greenbelt with Jeff taking a win and a second over that span. Although we missed the podium at Page Valley we did well, and now this. August has turned flavor of the racing year around for me.

The guy who won, Michael, is strong as balls and nice as hell. I wish he was a douche because guys that strong should be douches so you can hate them. Avid readers will remember him as "the dude on the red Cervelo who gave the field a caning for a few laps at Greenbelt some weeks ago." Anyhow, he rode first wheel for like 70% of the race, and when he went early the final time up the hill I thought "he'll pay for that." Nope. All except one of the bunch who tried to go early with him died, so I was able to thread through those and nearly caught the first two but missed out.

Nephew's fine, discharged yesterday afternoon and causing trouble within moments of getting through the door.

Next stop Turkey Day.

1 comment:

Flanagan said...

Thanks for the kind words. You guys really raced well as a team yesterday. Don't seen that in the Cat 4 ranks too often. Congrats on the 3,4,5 plus prime for NCVC, well earned and deserved!