One last "way to go" to the Cat 4 team for yesterdays performance ( Dan you're part of that even though your license says Cat 5). As most of you know me and Mark have been struggling a bit lately. Actually that's not true; reality is we have REALLY SUCKED!!! I'm quite sure Mark's living out of a suitcase and flying (literally) around the country have sucked the life out of his legs. As for me, I think I'm feelin' the weight of (43) races and the weekly Greentrees starting to wear me down. And the Cat 4 and Masters races have been at peak speed.
So I called Mark last night on the way home and asked him if he wanted go up to Allentown for a 3/4 race today. Asking Mark if he wants to go to a race is like asking a mouse if he wants a peice of cheese. And we needed another race like a drownin' man needs a cup of water.But I figured WTF, I got all winter to recover. I figured I'd go hard one more time then take it easy for the State Crit.
I didn't bother to check the course profile until after I registered; what a shock! The promoter recommended a minimum 39 x 15. Now what kind of a crit requires the small ring? It just don't seem fair. I did the only smart thing I've done in a while, took off my 21 and put a 25 on the back. Turned out to be a good move. The course showed about 100' of climbing per lap (1 mille). For reference, Mt Nebo has 900' per every nine mile loop. About the same.
So, not one to be deterred by a spooky course or common sense, I picked up Mark and we headed North. By now you may ask why I'm writing such a long intro; I think the answer is obvious.
We manage to find the place, it's an industrial park on top of a hill. We drive to the top(I had to pop my ears twice), registered, and went out for a test run. What a great course! You leave the start/ finish and go straight downhill; I was in the 40's every lap with-out pedaling. And that's it for the fun. It's a 53 X 23 climb up the first hill, a short flat, then a steep 53 x 25 climb to the finish that becomes a 39 X ? by later laps. We had 48 starters and I was already recruiting riders for the "gruppetto".
These Pa races are like a slow water torture. These guys don't go balls to the wall up these climbs, they just grind you to death. Caleb and Dave would have loved this course. First lap I actually felt pretty good. Second lab, third lap, same thing. I started to think I might survive. Fourth lap, they turned the screws ever so slightly and I was diggin' deep to get over the first climb. Second climb I was off. Chased back and almost made contact on the downhill, but they were still tantalizingly close at 5 lengths. Mark went off at about the same time (did I mention that we suck?) and we got in another lap or two until we got the ax.
No group formed off the back, it was just the lead guys and everyone else who got shelled got pulled, probably about 25 guys finished. I'll be back next year to give it another try.
So now I think I'll take a week of rest and very light riding, I'm lookin' forward to flat and fast next Sunday. State Crit, here we come!
From your "blown and busted; gassed and gone" Captain.