Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Green Tunnel of Pain

Once again, the green acres of Interlocken provided equal parts of pleasure and pain. Pleasure in getting to rip around on pretty green grass, the opposite of what we usually get to ride here on the dry, dusty Front Range. Pain for pretty much the same reason, trying to milk a bit more speed out of the legs on the same power-sucking green grass. No matter the mixed messages, still one of my favorite courses.

The only gripe I have with the course is that the start is not great. The quick neck down into the sidewalk/bush gauntlet right after the start is NOT good for anyone more than about 10 back at the start. Even with that, it opens up fast after the "bowl of death" surrounding the volleyball court, and things get sorted out quick. What I usually remember about the "Bowl of Death" is slogging up the steep grass run-up, trying to hold breakfast down.
With Not-so-hot call up points, I am pretty much doomed to last row call-ups for now, and Saturday did not change my luck there. Racing in the 45+ open also reminded me that it is not NEARLY as easy to pass half the field as my last back of the grid start in the beer-drinking-dads. I managed to get by a few in the mess that developed coming out of the sand on the first lap (a cluster of stumbling that would have made the 35+ 4s proud...). Racing 45+ got me into"my place" in the train a bit quicker, and settled in to some good chasing and a bit of back and forth with a couple of folks. While certainly NOT tearing up the old guys, I felt pretty good, and after avoiding some nice "spin-outs" on the slippery grass (Check the end of the Lap 1 video..), and blowing up a bit trying to get away from a few people, I even got one more good pass in on the hill of the last lap, and made it stick.

Sadly, Darron Cheek came up and caught me in the last 200 or so meters. Was really trying to not get lapped, but on such a short course, my puny top speed was just a bit short of pulling that goal off. In the "lap management" sense, it was perfect in getting me out of one more lap, but I really wanted to avoid that even on a shorter course. Sigh.

I am getting a bit annoyed by one thing this season. Getting beat by folks who are just a little faster on the straights, but have not so hot bike handling skills. I expect and kind of enjoy a bit of the "less skilled" riding in the beer-drinking-dads, but for some reason I have higher expectations in the 45+ race. Generally, it is the case, lots of smooth, solid bike handlers there, even way in the back where I race in the 45s. But I am getting more motivated by loosing contact with some folks who's driving is not "above average". Kinda hating that I did not get in the mid-summer "training" I had intended, and am paying now in plain lack of power & speed. Guess I just need to get faster, or quit whining about it, huh? HTFU an all that.

Here is the bar-cam view of Lap 1 from the 45+ back row Saturday

The upcoming weekend is looking QUITE interesting. We saw about a foot of WET, heavy snow here in "Not-Boulder", and not that far from Boulder Res. With some luck, all this will melt SLOW, and we can milk a bit of slime out of this for the "Rez" and Valmont. Going to be interesting to see how Valmont rides if it is a bit muddy. No matter the conditions, I am registered and ready. The "dad's" race Saturday, 45+ on Sunday. Going to be a blast no matter what.

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