Monday, 13 June 2011

Clarendon Weekend

So that was the famous Clarendon course. Based on years of hearing about it, well, it's not that I thought it wasn't a hard course, and I thought it was fun as shit, but I don't know I kind of expected maybe some psycho craziness. The filter that you should read that through is that I missed the break that had literally nearly every significant threat in it, that went on lap 3 or 4. I was picking daisies somewhere in about 50th when that went.

At about the time the break went, I started to figure out where and how to conserve energy and pick my spots. Turn 3 (the right hander) was key, just kill that turn and get right straight out of the turn, then roll the outside of turns 4 and 5, then take as many wheels as you wanted out of turn 5. You had to be a little aggressive prior to turn 1 but nothing that ever caused an issue. So it probably took me what like ten laps to get where I wanted to be, so at that point we had maybe 30 left? At some point I became aware that there were a lot fewer dudes in the race than there had been. Since there were two large teams that, thanks to the break, were gunning for a best case scenario of 9th or 10th, I figured if I put my oar in the water and showed that I still wanted to race for first, that they might work with that. Two - maybe three - things became immediately clear when I did that. I remember having the front of the chase through turn 5 but I think I took the lead through turn 3. In any case, I pounded it really hard up the finish straight, and that thing a break does when you're catching it - you know, getting closer? Yeah, that wasn't happening. So I took a quick look at the speedo - 28.6. Okay maybe I can go faster. Wow they still aren't getting any closer and how fast are we going now? An even 30. Okay we down to sticks and seeds here but what else can we throw on the fire? 31.2, at which point I saw them go through the turn 1 so fast that they nearly ALL wiped out. So it sure looked like we were racing for 10th at that point, but maybe someone else wants to keep this thing going, so I did the elbow wag out of turn 1. Nothing. Okay. Whatever. I've got a couple of shots left to take on this one, and I'd a heck of a lot rather finish in a small group fighting it out for low teens than sticking in the pack the whole time. I missed the break, shame on me for that, but let's make some lemonade out of this. I tried a couple of times solo and I followed Mike from Harley on one jump where I thought "that's the one," only it wasn't. Now that we seemed to be racing for 10th, everyone seemed really intent on racing for 10th.

Around then, Bryan from Haymarket made a great jump, paid the toll to get clear, and poured gas on the fire until it was going. It never really looked like he was going to get across, but he was making an excellent case for himself. He lasted a good few laps and if I'd made it up to him as anything better than a complete corpse and given him some tiny modicum of help... Coulda shoulda woulda. Missing the first break was pretty lame but not trying to get to Bryan will be my regret of this race. I don't know why I didn't. Lame.

Spent the rest of the day drinking all the beers I didn't drink in the runup to Killington, so now I've got to go back on the wagon. Had a lovely ride yesterday out in the hills. They were alive with the sound of music, and my head was alive with the sound of "wish I hadn't had 5 metric 40s yesterday." Pretty much suffered like a dog for every pedal stroke the entire day.

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