Monday, August 3, 2009

Salida Omnium

This past weekend, I took on the Salida Omnium. Eric(far left) was also brave enough to battle this beast. Here we are, still sporting smiles after the Friday night TT. I didn't have a particularly stellar performance, but it sure felt good to turn the cranks. Nice evening with minimal wind. Still can't get over how many guys show up with $4000 TT setups.

As far as the Saturday road race, I can't speak on Eric's behalf. Here's what I thought:


Seriously, I trained hard with Salida in mind. I knew that five 12-mile laps with 1300 feet of climbing per lap would be hard. But I also envisioned finding a grupetto. Maybe 5 or 6 guys, and struggling together.

What really happened? The neutral roll out was, well, neutral. We stopped at mile 6 on some country road for our final instructions from the referee. Some poor kid's front tire exploded about 60 seconds from the start while we were standing there. Must have scared the piss out of the 40 or so guys that were standing on the side of the road. . . pissing. Funny how the timing worked out on that one.

The race started pretty mellow for a couple miles. We made it up the climb on lap #1 in ok shape. If 80 guys started, I'd say 60 were ahead of me, and about 20 behind. I thought I did a pretty good job of not blowing up early. But I found myself about 300 yards behind a group of 4 with nobody coming from behind to help, as I fought a mild headwind on a false flat approaching the climb for lap 2.

Long story short, I spent about 50 of 60 miles alone. [The above picture is one of the few moments I had another rider to work with]. It was a freakin' 50-mile TT with 6500 feet of climbing and one heck of a false flat which was accompanied by a head wind. Seriously, we're talking about a tiny 1% grade for 3 miles. I look down and I'm in my granny gear on this thing for the last 2 laps.

On the brighter side, I hit 53mph on the descent a couple times. That was worth some fun points.

Yes, it hurt that bad [above, approaching the final climb]. I could hardly turn a crank for the last 2 laps. I knew I was done with 24 miles and 2 more times up the climb to go. I spent the last lap cursing the idea of doing a road race ever again. . . .but the Steamboat Springs stage race has peaked my interest. :-)

So yeah, I was exhausted after that road race. Nothing else to say. Tahoe was pooped from hiking with Jen.

Like many other racers, I opted to forego the Sunday Crit for other activities (such as rest). I think I would have had about 1 lap of fuel in my legs and I would have been dropped. Instead, Jen and I took the mountain bikes up to the Continental Divide for a couple hours of beautiful singletrack. I'm calling this my "stage 3". A much happier place than Saturday.

One final note that I'm particularly proud of:

While sitting in front of The Simmering Cup, drinking coffee and tea in downtown Salida, Jen and I noticed someone taking photos of my car. For those of you who don't know me, I drive a 1991 Honda Accord with a cracked windshield. I could get the windshield fixed, but I consider it more of an accent than a flaw. We were outfitted with 2 Giant Anthem X2's and my road bike on the roof rack.

As the guy walked by Jen asked if he was taking photos of our car.

He said, "That's your car? That's sweet how any of those bikes, let alone all of them, are worth so much more than your car is. Awesome man!"

I take this as a huge compliment and a sign that I've grown to be the kind of person I always wanted to be. My priorities are in line as far as I'm concerned. Wait till I get that carbon frame road bike upgrade!! That'll make the Honda look even more antique. :-)


Eric Scroger said...

Good times in Salida. It was great to run into familiar faces like you and Jen on Friday.

I'll also add that the weather was stellar with sunny skies each day. It was a little warm, but I'll take sun over wet and dangerous anytime.

The road race was tough as usual, but what can you expect with so much climbing. I was able to hang with the top riders through the first lap, but some big goon put the hammer down after the first descent, and split us up for good.

I dragged my tired legs out to the 35+/4 crit at 7:30am(!) the next day. I finished in the bunch sprint, grabbed some breakfast, and headed back home.

Already thinking about next year!

Aharmon said...

Truly impressive to hang in the crit the day after that road race. That's tough man.

Marty said...

Nice work, you guys. And the hard days are just toughening you up for the next round.

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