Eva took her first trip to California and I bet she was not to impressed. I think Fontana is the trucking center of CA, on the 20 min bike ride from out hotel to the venue you pass at least 20 big rig dealers, Peterbuilt, Mack, they were all represented. We arrived Thursday afternoon and burned a couple laps of the course. It was fun with short steep punchy climbs and rutted out downhills, to be perfectly honest I was afraid of some of the descents, you don't have much control when your wheel is deep in a 12 inch rut, once racing it was not an issue. Rog unfortunately left some skin on a concrete culvert while preriding, not just leg and arm skin but the precious face variety, he rebounded quickly to score a impressive 3rd place. By now you have heard all the results and play by plays so I will not bore you with that, here is a bullet list of how things went down for me on race day.
-Legs felt good warming up, but was a little sleepy from early mornings with Eva.
-Started on the 3rd row and had a good start moving into the teens by the first reel climb
-Tried to keep the pace steady with seated high cadence climbing, hoping to save something for later
- First 2 laps bounced around in 15th-16th place, struggled on the flat windy section when not with other riders
-3rd lap started to feel the heat, it was only in the upper 70's but I have yet to ride in any warm weather
-End of the 3rd lap I was in 20th place trying to hold of Jay Henry, we were 8 min down on the leaders by now.
-On the 4th and last lap Jay passed me as well as Jeff Hall, I passed Jeff back on a steep climb and was reeling in Brian Miller when my rear tire was cut on a rock, I was sprayed with stans and could not get it to seal, I was forced to change it and watched as 10 guys flew by, the only one I was happy to see was Eric.
-My morale was broken and I limped in for 32nd place, the flat cost me 4 minutes and 10 spots.
-My only complaint is they race the pro men and women at the same time on a short loop, before I flated I had passed the entire women's field except the top 14 and Kabush had to pass them all on a mostly single track course, I guess I am just bitter because my flat occurred while passing one of the women.
-Lessons learned 1. I am climbing well but need work on flat power sections or better timing to secure a draft, 2. Anticipate sharp rocks near my rear tire while passing others, 3. It's just a bike race.
- Again legs felt good, did a 45 minute ride in the am
- Late race at 3pm, again started on the 3rd row. Lined up on the outside anticipating a bog on the inside of the first turn, I am always right.
- Start was fast as usual and I quickly tried to establish position
-Missed the front group as only the guys in the first row or so have a chance at it.
-Dangled of the back of the 2nd group for the next 25 minutes, catching them on the climb and scrambling to get on after all the wheel checking on the descent and through the sandy flat corners.
- Ended up 17th but worked a lot harder than I should have for it. At one point I was on Travis Browns wheel moving up to the group and feeling good but bobbled through the sand and was unable to get back on. This cost me big as I rode alone for a few laps.
-Lessons learned 1. Again need more power on rough flat sections, 2. stay awake and suck wheels, 3. It's just a bike race, a fun one.
-Jumped in the car after the race and drove to mesquite and then home, had a nice black cherry ice cream cone at the Rite Aide across the street from the race, not many venues have a pharmacy on site.
Props to Sager
Best part about the whole trip was I got spend a lot of time with Rosie, Rog, and Jane, and best of all Eva.
Flew to San Antonio today for a amputee workshop, left the house this morning it was 34 F, arrived in SA to 97 F with high humidity.