01 July, 2011

Mid-summer update

Officially only a week and a half into summer, but well past the halfway point between the start of racing for the year and the start of cross season so... we'll call it mid-summer since it makes me feel better to think summer is over soon.

Lots of happenings since the TO crit, starting with my first hack at a 40 (actually 43.xx) km TT on the Nationals course to see how I'd handle the distance. Of course it had to be during a crazy thunderstorm, but despite this the course was super fast that day due to a tailwind on the climb and into the finish. I am happy with my time though I think I can do better with more practice pacing that distance. Somewhere in there I strained something in my quad because as soon as I got off the bike I could barely stand up. I (foolishly) rode the next day thinking I could work through it, but after a visit to the RMT on the following Monday and easing myself back into training I was good to go a week later.

Next I thought I'd see if I still remember how to ride my mtb by RACING AN O-Cup. Yeah, this should go really well. Actually, it was, until my frame broke. I was having a decent race on par or better than any last season when after the start climb on lap 3 my chainstay broke and I rode around confused about why my rear end was tracking really funny, but only intermittently and my wheel was still true. Then I figured out the problem and packed it in.

Now stoked about mountain biking, I dropped my frame off to be repaired by the master (he's going to add an EBB and that frame will be reborn as a singlespeed) and met up with Oggie to buy his Superfly frame. Just like that, I had a mtb again! Mid week I got word that a local team for the Summer Solstice 24h was short a bunch of riders. Having already planned on racing the crit in Georgetown Sunday, and to feed a friend in the National RR Saturday evening (not to mention wanting to spectate) I offered to do a few laps Saturday afternoon. I ripped one off and was feeling good about heading out for a couple more before taking off. 10 minutes into my next lap I clipped a tree or something and THIS was the result. Blerg.

Off I went to the Nats RR where Brandon who I was supposed to be feeding had already abandoned (shitty luck, but so it goes!) so I settled in to watch the Spidertech show. Yeah let's put 3 guys in the 4 man break and then put our other 12 riders at the front of the chase group making everyone else's ride futile! Britton fought hard nonetheless until they worked him over, dropped him all the while Svein was bridging from the chase. Good show with the boys going 1-2-3 and gifting Svein the title.

The next day was the National crit in Georgetown where they also had a Senior 3/Master 3 race that apparently only 12 people wanted to do. It was very poorly publicized I guess. Early on, three of us went clear and proceeded to lap everyone. With about 5 to go, Michael Aston checked out on the climb and decided he wanted to win with a 30 second cushion, not just outsprinting us. David Grose and I did the cat/mouse thing a bit, I put a dig in on the last lap and couldn't quite hold the gap, then he outsprinted me. Good times.

Watching the elite men/women in their POINTS RACE crits was fun. What a crazy course to do that on, but it made for a good show. Hopefully all those who crashed are healing well.

Today (Canada Day) was the annual CHIN Picnic Crit - but unlike normal this was the venue for Masters and Junior National crits, and there were a few races going on the side including the 3/4 race that I was a part of. I was having a really good ride for the first 20 minutes until I figured my rear tire must be going flat or something as it was all over the place in the corners. I rolled into the pit only to have the commissaire and myself determine that my rear tire was indeed not flat at all. No free lap! Given the options of quitting, hopping on the group and finishing a lap down or chasing like hell, I went with the latter. I rode a 10 minute TT, holding off the group pretty well until they decided with 2 to go that I was possibly going to be in the way so they pulled me. Though STILL extremely frustrated with my rookie mistake (note to self, make sure the damn thing is flat next time before pitting) the consolation is that I was able to go nearly as fast solo as the charging pack, and could/should try to replicate this effort off the front next time I have the opportunity.

Not too much left for the summer before it's ALL CROSS ALL THE TIME. Probably just another crit and TT Provincials for me, along with some mountain biking and such. Cyclocross! It is coming!

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