Tuesday, March 22, 2011

1st Racing Weekend - Woodlands & GearLink Cup

Wow, I didn't realize that I haven't done ANY race reports.

My first race of the 2011 Season would be the Woodlands Classic (3/12/11). It's good because it's where we do the training crit every Weds so I know ever bump/crack/hole on the course. I had decided to do the CAT4 group due to lack of fitness and I wanted to race with guys that I was used to racing with. I had decided to ride my bike to the race (20 miles), do the race and ride or get a ride back. I was having two of our Pro's (James & Rad) stay over my place for the race the next day.

I got to the race in plenty of time and kept loose. The race started and went like this when with only 5-6 laps to go a terrible crash happened and the race was neutralized. After the course was cleared, the race resumed....this killed any chance for the stronger riders to separate themselves from the weaker ones and the resulting sprint was a mess....I didn't keep the position I wanted and ended up coming in at 18th. I waited to watch the Pros and then rode home after their race. James and Rad are cool guys and it was nice having them stay over and chat with them.

The next day was my team's race - The Gearlink Cup and everyone was supposed to be there early...I brought Sadie with me and arrived on time only to find out I wasn't needed. I ended up shooting some photos while I waited for the CAT4 race. The course had two technical turns and was fun to ride on. After the crash the day before (the CAT4s are really sketchy) I was either starting at the front or the very back. I chose the front and rode 2nd wheel for 2-3 laps. I faded back a bit then fell back to the back after another 4-5 laps. I was working my way back up when on the S turn I felt a push from the inside right when I was next to the curb moving at around 24-25 and heard someone say "sorry" and then I went off the road and hit a sign post. Next thing is I'm on my back and seeing if I've broken anything...ok, no and I throw my helmet in discuss for having been pushed off the road when I was feeling pretty good. I then look at my bike and realize that it took the brunt of the hit from the sign post. Damn. I get on the bike and ride to the start/finish line for the neutral support tent to check out my bike and see if I can get a "free lap" and get back into the race. With only 5 laps to go....no go on the free lap. Damn. The mechanics said it looked like the seat stay was cracked and I was out of the race....I figured "screw-it" and finish the race anyway. I finished the race and ended up with a broken bike and a super sore thigh. Stats are here.

Not a great start or even a good start for my season if factoring in breaking my BMC.

That's Racing....


New Bike/Broken Bike

Before (new)
and after the wreck (more on that later)

This is the shortest I've owned a bike and then had it break on me. Actually I got pushed into a post during a race and the above is what happened.

Lucky for me Cliff was able to find a demo/loaner for me and get me back racing...
These BMCs are very different bikes; the SLX01 (carbon rear and top tube) has a longer top tube and more std geometery whereas the SL01 (carbon rear seat stays) has a compact frame.
I may have the SLX01 fixed....more later.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Aaron's Visit

I was flying my son down from Cleveland to visit me and was taking off (for the first time in 2 years) a Friday & Monday. This 4 days has been a blur so I wanted to jot down what we did before I forgot some of the details.

Friday morning we went to Honeymoon Island's "dog beach" to hang out with Sadie, cook some hot dogs and just hang out at the beach. It was nice (you must keep your dog on a leash at this beach) but was pretty windy, er really windy. We saw the sunset in Dunedin and then to relax in the hot tub and watch a movie.

On Saturday we drove to Tampa and Aaron and Sadie "helped" me keep laps/assign primes/write down the podium for the A & B race at the Tampa Crit. After that we went to the "dog beach" at Davis Island and had a cookout out and played with Sadie; it was a great time. We dropped Sadie off and headed back to my brother's gym and then home; we went to the Dunedin Brewery and then after dinner a friend stopped by to see my place and meet Aaron.

Sunday we took a slow drive down to Pass A Grill after I got back from a 35 mile solo ride. We ate at the Brass Monkey (yum) and then hung out at the beach....it was a perfect day. After getting back we were invited for dinner at a friend's in St Pete and brought Sadie with us; it was a nice evening.

Monday had me renting a tandem kayak and packing up a small cooler, backpack, the dog and Aaron for an adventure. If it wasn't too windy I had wanted to go to Honeymoon Island and paddle to an Island to play/eat at.
Well, the wind had kicked up from 7kts to what I was guessing to be 15-20 kts....I only really knew how windy it was once we got in the water. Long story short, the boat flipped over; luckily, I had secured all the "extra things" we had brought with us...Aaron stayed calm and even though Sadie loves to swim...I took her over to the shore then got back to the kayak, flipped it back over, had Aaron hold on to it and swam out to get the paddles which had drifted away....Aaron helped get the kayak back to the seawall then we put it back onto the van. I asked him if he wanted to drop Sadie off at home and try it again on a more secluded spot and he said sure. That was awesome of him and we put the kayak back into the water at Safety Harbor and had a great time....he even got the hang of paddling.

After that it was getting to be time to get him back to the airport so we dropped off the kayak and went home to shower and go to the airport for pizza and wait on his plane.

It was one of the best times that I have had with him in a long, long time.

Back to work and training on my bike for the race season that has already been underway for a month!