Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Zip Up Dummy!

I don't know if anyone noticed but there was a great race put on by some very enthusiastic folks last Saturday right here in Longmont. As Cross races go, it was one of the very best I have done and I am not saying that just because I helped put some of those lovely stakes in the ground. Instead, it was a great race because of the support from Xilinx, our sponsors, and the Blue Sky Nation!
Needless to say, your intrepid reporter did not have high hopes given his cold of the last two weeks and only riding 3 days in that period. But the sun was shinning, the Enervit was cold, and Horatio was ready to "take one for the team" (more on that later). At the start line Ho and I got our customary call ups (have I mentioned the importance of going to that first BCR/BCT weekend) but it was Dan's call up of Dave "The Crusher" Kilmoyer that stole the show, "in the first row hailing from Longmont, Colorado and weighing in at 125 pounds sopping wet...THE CRUSHER..."

And yes Dave can really shred a skinsuit that way!

Since I had a spot on the front row and knew from setting up the course the night before that the rider who got to Bob's ramps first would have a big advantage going down the hill, I decided that it was time to actually take the hole shot as opposed to just slotting in near the front. So on the whistle I got my foot in quick and slotted in for the first hundred meters to the Start/Finish and then took off like it was a Power Loop going down the hill. I got to the ramp first going full speed, hopped up on the grass and almost immediately took the first hard right like I was being chased by the paper boy from "Better Off Dead." I want my 2 dollars...

Fortunately for me (not for him), Horatio had slotted into 4th going down the hill and decided that the first right would be a great place to lay it down and give three of us a nice big gap! (Now that is team work!)

So by the bottom of the hill on the first lap, three of us were already off the front and probably had 5-10 seconds on the first chase group. At this point, I just tried to keep it smooth and easy at the front. After going back up the hill together and through the first technical section, I blew the remount on the second set of barriers which dropped me to the back of our little group. Luckily this turned out to be a good thing as it allowed me to see how strong the other 2 guys were while getting a little draft back there for the next lap and a half.

After lap 2, we were finally joined for a while by a 4th rider who had bridged up from the chasers. Since we were actually going fairly easy, I thought the group could become 6 or 8 if we didn't pick up the pace soon. Luckily at about that time, and perhaps thinking the same thing, Scott Fliegelman from Fast Forward Sports went to the front and upped the pace enough to drop everyone but me. However, sitting on I thought that I was a little faster than him in the technical sections and was still plenty comfortable. So with about 2 laps to go I came through and picked up the pace a little more.

While I would love to say that something dramatic happened on the final two laps to get me away, it was just not like that. I simply kept the pressure on in all of the technical sections and it appeared that Scott kept getting more tired each time he had to close the gap until the last lap where the bungee cord finally broke.

Luckily coming into the finish strait up the hill with about 5 seconds in hand, Rob, the consummate professional, had the good sense to yell "Zip Up" before I crossed the line!

Finally I would like to say thanks to all the BSV'ers out there encouraging us and working so hard to put on such a great race! It was probably all that yelling which actually made the race for me and BSV is one of the most fun cycling clubs I have ever been involved in!

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