My sleddogs

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

race #'s 6 and 7....

If you're wondering why I went from race #4 to # 6, well, I forgot about Hillsboro. Anyways, it seems as if this moving shit is like a broken record. Between moving my things from Chicago to a storage here in St. Louis, to a new apartment here, and then also moving into another apartment in Kansas City it just seems as if this moving process is never going to end. Anyways, I took this weekend very easy and tried not to move too much as to keep the legs loose for this weekends races. The only problem is I rode semi-hard on Thursday which is what did me in today. It was supposed to be an easy ride, but the wind didn't help.

The Tour of St. Louis was this weekend and since I couldn't race on Sunday I figured I'd just do two races today. I did the Masters in the morning and then the CAT 3's a little over an hour later. The weather was pretty horrible, it was drizzling and about 40* and windy for my first race. My goal was to try to get a top 10, but as the race started I soon found out my legs had nothing. There was no overdrive and I was doing everything I could to just be mediocre. I'll contribute that to my ride on Thursday. The masters races are a little harder then the 3's seeing how there's a lot of good, well seasoned riders and less riders, which doesn't bode well when your redlining it and need to recover and there's nowhere draft or to hide from the wind. The bottom line is a break went away and the pack wasn't too motivated to chase it down so I ended up with a pack finish.

I ended up going to Starbucks after the race to thaw out and dry out all my clothes using the heater in my car. The CAT 3 race was next. There were twice as many guys as in the masters race. We had plenty of Dogfish riders in this race. Seeing how I didn't have much to give in this race I did what I could. This race for the most part was a bit easier, but there were still moments where I was struggling to get my legs going. This race was pretty much the same. While there was no rain it was still cold and windy. A break got away and ended up with another pack finish. There's more racing tomorrow, but intead I'll try to get in a recovery ride before my drive to KC. No racing this weekend, so hopefully I'll be done with all this moving crap. It looks like the racings pretty slim until Tour de Grove so we'll see what races are upcoming.

Monday, April 11, 2011

race #4 Hermann RR.......

I decided not to do the omnium and wanted to just concentrate on the road race. Having to commute back and forth for work now just doesn't give me enough time at home. I've also taken on more of a role keeping up with my niece and nephews sports. Either way, the Hermann road race is tough enough on it's own.

I made sure I road early in the week as to save my legs for Sunday. I usually don't ride on my work days because I'm too tired after 12-14 hour work days, but I road the trainer on Tuesday and then I was able to get out for two and a half hours on Wednesday before work. I also didn't move anything from my storage as I did the days before Hillsboro, and paid the price. Needless to say, I thought I was as prepared as I could be for this race.

I made it to the race with plenty of time to get a warm-up on the trainer. When I made it to the line I saw we were well represented. We had Dwayne, Denny, Brian, Justin, Dawson, and myself. By the way, Dwayne was sitting 5th overall in the omnium, pretty good for his first season of road racing.

We started through town and made it to highway H, the first climb of the day. I made it up in a decent position. I could tell that the compact cranks really helped. It still hurt, but now I could spin more then power up. Throughout all the climbs I was able to maintain a decent position. I only had one bobble where I almost lost my chain shifting to the little ring, there's a little more I'll add to that later. The first 12 or so miles was just undulating hills that seemed to never quit. We finally made it to the next major turn which was fairly flat and fast for the next several miles. Brian really laid the hammer down on this section to really string it out and see if we could lose anyone hoping to recover. This is also the section our other teammate Denny lost his Powertap head unit hitting some of the nasty potholes in the road.

We were also getting close to the KOM and several attacks were launched. They hurt, but I was still able to keep my position and if I lost any it wasn't much. As we flew down the hill into town I was able to gain positions. These new Reynolds wheels are FAST!!! Heading out of town and up Guttenburg, not sure of the grade, but has to be around an eigth of a mile and at least a 25% grade for some of it, I was not too far of the lead group of twenty or so. I got to the top with a couple other guys and we were able to catch back on within the next mile or two. We hit a few more climbs and my legs finally started to slow and now I found myself getting spit out of the lead group. The group did some damage because it was in these next couple miles guys were getting spit out one by one. I found myself catching and passing a few guys, but now also found myself on my own. A couple guys caught me too and I tried to stay with them, but my legs had other ideas. I would be on my own for about the next 8 miles or so. I started thinking to myself that this wasn't too bad. I got further with the main group then I did the past two years and if I could just make it up the last few hills to the flat section I'd be able to recover enough to make it to the finish line with a result I'd be happy with. That was until my chain broke going up one of the last hills. It was an awful feeling. One minute I'm telling myself I'm gonna finish this damn race this year and the next I'm picking up the pieces of my chain. I have a feeling that I torqued my chain earlier in the race and it was just deteriorating from that point. I use a connex(quick link) so I searched for the pieces and found them intact. I put it back together and about that time I saw Denny and Brian coming with a group of four or five guys. I latched on and made it about 10 feet and my chain came apart again. My race was over at that point and knew there was nothing more I could do.

As I waited on the side of the road for the sweep vehicles none ever came. I saw many racers pass and one I even gave my last bottle of accelerade. to who was dieing for anything. Since sitting there wasn't getting me anywhere I decided to walk up the hill and then I coasted/walked to the next turn where there was a marshall. We sat and talked for a bit, but now time is just ticking away and I'm not any closer to my car. Out of the blue I asked him if he had any safety wire. He said he didn't know, but he had a bunch of junk in his trunk and I'd be welcome to anything in it. There was a coat hangar and all kinds of stuff. At the last minute he pulled out the safety wire, but now I need something to cut it and twist it with. Next he pulls out an old pair of rusty needlenose pliers. I was in luck. I put my chain back in place and connected it with the wire. It worked. I was saying to myself I don't care how far behind I was I was going to cross that damn finish line. I made it about five more miles down the road, but then as soon as some more hills came the tension was just too much and my chain blew apart again. As I was fixing it for a third time some woman driving down the road asked if I needed a hand and I said, "ya, a ride back to Hermann!!!", she said hop in. I jumped in the car and had a nice chat with her. I know she'll never read this, but thank you. Well that was my 2011 Hermann road race, until next year!!!