race! i actually did a while back, up at winter park. i was on a roll after doing the boulder short track.
i got there kind of late, which seems to be my signature move these days. good thing i registered early so i didn’t have to do anything but tell them my name. i got my packet and rode back to the car. as i rode back it started to rain just a bit… then a bit more, then it became a torrential downpour and to be in it, was no fun.
i quickly put on my rain jacket and tried to warm up the best i could. there wasn’t a whole lot of time so i just grabbed the stuff i needed from the car and rode off to the lift. the race actually took place high up on the mountain atop the mary jane ski run. i threw my bike on the lift and hopped on the next chair as the lift circled around. i forgot to take off my camel bak and it was under my rain jacket and full of water…. a little too full. so full i couldn’t sit all the way back in the chair. i tried to sit a little sideways but the seat was soaking wet and swinging back and forth because i was one person all the way on the left of a 5 seater. i decided that just sitting still would be the best thing.
cold and freezing i sat there holding on to the back of the seat. the rain was still coming down hard and any warmth i had from my “warm up” was quickly fading. the ride to the top took forever, and i was so glad to be at the top. it actually felt warmer at the top than it did at the bottom. i got on my bike and quickly rode to the starting line. this got me a little warm but no where near what i needed.
within a few minutes some guy started the race and we were off. i raced with the young experts and the single speeders…. believe me, all these guys were good. i used to be a good climber but these days with all my slow rides filled with picture taking and beer drinking…. i had nothing on anybody. i labored up these hills as everyone around me passed like i was 93 years old. the course consisted of three 6 mile laps of a really long steep hill followed by fast twisty down hill single track.
as i got to the top of the hill tired and beaten, i would accelerate as i dropped down into the single track. i’m still a pretty good technical rider and i could get some places back as i wound through the trees. each up hill i would loose about five or six places… and each down hill i would gain two or three. a net loss, but at least i found something i was good at.
i finished the race tired and sore, with eyes full of mud, and my tail between my legs. not quite the cinderella story i had hoped for, but it wasn’t bad for an ex-cyclist.
i have so many things to do around the house. they used to be just part of my honey-do list, but because i have failed to do them in a decent amount of time, things have grown into my get-rid-of-this-so-i-can-walk-through-my-house list. anyway, today was the day when i was going to do it all. heh…
i woke up pretty early and took ziggy [my puppy] for a big 6 mile trail run. he did a great job. i used to take him when he was younger, and he used to complain a bunch, but no that he’s almost 9 months old he’s a lot tougher. we were done by 11 and i was feeling pretty good. still plenty of time in the day to get some work done.
after a quick shower and some mindless time wasting, i started out in the garage with big plans and boundless energy. just as i was starting, my son came by and asked if i ever fixed his road bike wheel. i said “no, is it pretty bad?” i spun it and found that it couldn’t even spin without rubbing the break. so i took it off and put it in the truing stand and gave it my best shot. i am not that good at wheel truing, but if i take my time i can usually get it done. i gave it two pretty good shots and finally i had something that would turn. just as i was putting it in, my son came back out and asked if we could get him some handle bar tape.
“uh..yeah”, i said
before i knew it we were in the car heading to ft collins to the bike shop. in the bike shop we quickly found the bar tape…then browsed around. hmmm.. . found some sweet wheels that were unbelievably cheap. oooo… and some brake cables, rim tape. 200 hundred dollars later we were heading home.
i tried to get my son to put everything together, but he didn’t have any experience in some of this stuff. i gave him some smaller tasks like putting the rim tape on and the tires and tube. anyway, by 5pm we were done and it was time to test ride the “new” bike.
by 5pm i was ready to start my projects. needless to say, i got tired and accomplished hardly anything i set out to…. but we got a pretty sweet bike in the mean time.
last night on the ride home I noticed that ther was a big accident on the interstate. The bike path I ride is right next to the interstate but seperated by I very tall fence with tight pickets. There seemed to be a bunch of activity on the path itself. the weird thing was people were just rushing over toward the inter. Families, kids on bikes, dogs come one come all…
turns out that there was a wrong way driver and he wiped out 10 cars. He wa the only one killed, but lots were injured.
i felt the need to race so badly after i missed the race in aspen. the only thing going on was the boulder short track on wednesday. no early registration so i just drove down early and signed up. if you’ve never done the boulder short track make sure you do it sometime before you get too old and die. i started doing them about 7 years ago and they haven’t changed one bit. always some young people at the registration table, 10 dollar entry fee, super casual. the race itself is something special as well. the categories are fast faster, and fastest. i used to race the faster category a few years ago, but this day i chose the “fast”.
i was a little caution and under-confident when i started, so i sat in the back at the start. since this is basically the beginners/sport category most of the guys are not particularly strong with the technical skills. because i was on a single speed i had two concerns; one, i needed momentum for the little hills, and two i would really have to spin to pass anyone on the flats. i was getting kind of frustrated at first because these guys in front of me were braking all the time and putting me further and further in back of the race. this course was like a roller coaster single track, short steep descents followed by short climbs. if you went all out on the descents you could make it to the top of the other side with hardly even pedaling. unfortunately the guys in front of me were always breaking on the descent and killing everyone’s momentum.
i eventually learned how to race and soon found myself passing at will. not exactly at will, but good enough that i could slowly move up in the race. i learned to back off just a bit on the descent so i didn’t have to break on the way down, and once or twice i timed it so well i passed right at the top of the climb. i passed a couple of guys on the flats, while spinning about 150 rpms (that was tough to recover from). i ended up about 10th out of 22, which is not horrible. i felt great and not one person passed me.
why is the ex-cyclist racing?
i started following lance armstrong’s tweets this year mostly because he was going to race the tour and i wanted the have the heads up on everything that was going on before and after the stages. i was not disappointed. lance is one of the most prolific tweeters around. he tweets first thing in the morning… right before bed, he retweets articles, pictures, videos. i’m never bored. anyway right after the tour he went on vacation in the bahamas, then returned to aspen colorado to train for the leadville 100.
he had been doing the usual posts telling what ride he did, who he’s having beers with, then on a thursday [not remember the date] he posted that he was going to do a mountain states cup race at snowmass in aspen! i thought about it for a little bit, then decided that i would take the family and drive up to aspen race in the same race as lance armstrong, and have my family take a bunch of pictures of lance while i was at the back of the race making sure there was no one behind me. the family was on board and agreed to the 3and a half hour drive to aspen on saturday morning.
to make a long story short it took almost 4 and a half hours to get there. i was 30 minutes late for the start of the race, and wasn’t about to try to jump in. it’s kind of funny, because that morning i was really nervous about racing. i hadn’t raced for years and i wasn’t in shape…yadda yadda, yadda. as we got closer and closer to aspen i started to realize that i was not going to make it. when it became official that i was not going to make it, i started to really want to race. i started to think in my mind that i was ready and i was going to do well…danm it! when i got the race, 30 minutes late, and got to take a look at the area between laps. it was really long steep uphill fire road that went right through the base of the skii area. there was no place to hide no where to back out, and no where for me to look good. i was so happy i didn’t race. my whole attitude changed, i went from grumpy asshole, to mr. sunshine in a blink of an eye.
so i got some pictures of lance:
lance after the first lap
lance finishing or winning.
lance's people escorting him somewhere.
so it was an awesome day for me. i didn’t even mind driving 4+ hours each way to stay for 2hours in aspen.
note: this is an older post i just reposted it because it was in the wrong spot.
spent friday and saturday in breckenridge. not the best place for a single speed.