No Jeff Cup yesterday. There's just too much going on to really have felt ready and also to devote a really full day to it. So Kyle and I headed out to the helligen of Fairfax County for the Ronde von Fountainhead. Despite riding to work all week for the second week, which incidentally puts a huge number of miles into your legs in addition to saving a fortune on gas which you then negate by eating half the universe every day and still losing weight, I was freezing in the parking lot and overdressed. The dressing rule for mountain biking is if you are not freezing in the first few minutes you will be drowning in sweat soon.
The first lap was all Kyle, as I started things out with far more air than planned over one jump early on (which in my case amounts to a vertical assault under which one could slide easily three, maybe four, sheets of paper), from which I landed in a position frequently referred to as "not on the trail" and "headed straight for a log." When I hit the log and came off the bike I assumed the position known as "the Superman" in an orientation called "headed for a rock." Narrowly avoiding the fate known as "having a broken collarbone" I came away with the much more livable condition of "huge bruise on the chest." But we rode fast and did a good lap, including two good samaritan stops.
The second lap I had to redeem myself from the beating and stripped down to race gear in the parking lot. We started out at that pace where you don't feel like you're going any too hard but when you look at it you're actually covering a ton of ground. Always on the second lap, I do the bermed turns better but Kyle does them more better, which pisses me off. I caught a free one after the skinny bridge on new Jackrabbit when you start going uphill, which is always when I have to close a gap. A guy was dealing with a mechanical so we stopped to help. Gap closed! We got back to getting on it and just kind of stayed on it. I think I had my first ever glimpse of "OLD MAN POWER" (and what a bright, shiny light it is!) and turned the screw on the same hill I usually do. To the exit from the picnic benches was pretty psycho fast (the kind of fast where you realize that you are indeed hauling ass and not being as smooth as is ideal as a result) and we finished the lap in 1:03 (versus 1:05 for the first). Not bad for riding every skinny in the joint and stopping to help people. That's the 4th best Strava lap on the new course. I don't put much (any, really) stock in that but as a gauge against some people who I know are VERY VERY FAST, we're holding our own.
Could it be that Dolan will be my first actually race of racing? Then All American (for which I'm signed up) and then a bunch of mtb races until Poolesville.
That other Ronde was a pretty good race. Too bad for FC. Pippo's going to take hell from the Italian press and Cipollini and everyone else but the guy had a shattered collarbone like 7 weeks ago. He gets some serious hardness points for that. Also, when you've been racing your balls off for 6 hours and you're left with the simple question of how to beat an incredibly in form Boonen, that's probably not the easiest thing in the world to accomplish.