Sunday, July 30, 2006

Climbin' and Ridin'

This was a good weekend. I went with a large group of good people to do some climbing in Birdsboro PA yesterday. It was awesome. The weather was perfect, the group was fun, the rock was challenging and fun. I started off the day leading a nice 5.8, then spent a while working on a tough 5.10 on toprope. I didn't get it the first time, but I got it the second time. When I'm good and ready to scare myself I'll try leading that s.o.b.

Rachel was smart enough to take some pictures.
click here for more.

Today was also fun, but somewhat frustrating. I met up with John (JF) in Sewell NJ for the Sewell Summer Sizzler mountian bike race. The course was a mostly flat 6 mile twist and turn fest with a handful of short steep climbs, a bunch of rooty sections, some flat-out sections, and a lot of switchbacks. It was hot.

I raced in the 33 man single speed class - 3 laps.

First lap: some dude crashes right as the mass start goes into the singletrack and holds up ten or so riders - including me. It's frigging hot and I feel like I'm going to barf everywhere. I can't settle into a rhythm as it's a clusterfuck of singlespeeders who want to slam up the short steeps and geared guys racing Sport class who just spin up the hills. Passing is hard because the singletrack is so tight, and 2/3rds of my field has a big gap in front of me from the guy crashing at the start line. I finish the first lap choking down water and seriously considering pulling the plug.

Second lap: I calm myself down, settle into a rhythm. Hold down as much water as possible. I decide to cyclocross-run-up the longer steeps. I'm trying to recover so I don't have to abandon. I end up getting stuck behind this asswipe on a geared squishy bike who won't let me pass. I am faster on the hills and flats, he just beats me when I spin out on the downhills. It's back and forth and he costs me a good amount of time - douchebag wasn't even competing with me.

Third lap: I feel recovered and the strategy changes to DO NOT GET OFF THE BIKE FOR ANYTHING. I slam up all the hills and I am riding strong and feeling good. About halfway through the lap I catch a guy on a SS 29er. I am feeling good so I plan on passing him after some log bridges. At the first log bridge he slows to a CRAWL. He makes it over but I have to cram my brakes so I don't rear end him. Without enough speed to clear the bridge I fall off the top and bite it hard. I never caught the fucker again and I think I f-ed up my King headset. I run out of water and start cramping, but with 2.5 miles to go I grit my teeth and finish.

31 / 34 is my finishing position in singlespeed. Not what I had hoped but after my above racer excuses I'll shut up now. I'll try to find some pictures later. Results posted here.

Here's a video of my finish.

No comments: