Sunday, May 2, 2010

ICUP 5-Mile Pass Report

I wasn't nervous prior to the start, primarily because my expectations were pretty low in that I just wanted to ride hard, finish (this was my first mb race) and have a good time  It certainly helped too that I got there early, leaving plenty of time to register, warm up and get to the starting line.

About 3 minutes before Tiffany took the above picture, I realized I left my co2 valve in my car.  I had the canister in my Awesome Strap but of course it's worthless if you don't have the valve.  I didn't think I'd have time to run and grab it before my group started, so I rolled the dice that I wouldn't flat (wrong choice, read on...).

I took the start fairly easily and ended up towards the back of the pack.  After a few minutes I was feeling good, so I picked up the pace and started working my way through the field.  After the first section of climbs, I looked up and realized I was on Miles' wheel and in fourth position.  I was confused for a second as I'm used to Miles on his single speed Superfly from the lunch rides, but today he was on his geared bike.  At this point, we were starting to descend, so it worked out perfectly for me to try and stay with Miles* and follow his line through the rocky trail. 

*Lately on our UC lunch rides, we typically have Miles lead on the descents as he is fast and often has time to pull out his camera and take pictures before we reach him.

A few minutes later, just before the steep hike a bike, I crested one of the rollers and then heard the unmistakable sound of my rear tire getting slashed by a rock.  Sure enough, it was cut and certainly too big for Stan's to seal it.  I was sort of in shock and debated for a second as to what I should do next.  I had a spare tube I could throw in, but I wasn't sure if anyone would even stop to loan me a pump or valve so that I could inflate the tube.  I considered hiking back, but concluded I might as well put the tube in and hope someone would offer to help.  As it turned out, a teenager in the beginner category stopped and gave me his pump (what an awesome gesture) and I was back on my way.

As you can see from the picture, the rock wreaked havoc on my tire.  I've been running Conti Race Kings and they may work well for some but since this is the 2nd one I've slashed in one week, I'm going to try a different tire, probably something more durable considering that I'm a "bigger" guy (definitely not 150 lbs.) and probably put too much stress on this kind of tire.

The Rest of the Race

After the flat, it was difficult mentally to get myself back in the race.  I knew there was no way of making back the lost time, but figured that if I gave it my best shot, I could at least NOT finish last in my category.  So, I went as hard as I could. Seeing Tiffany and my 3 boys cheering me on at the end of lap one was a big boost.

Lap 2 was uneventful until it started hailing for about 10 minutes while I descended Bob Sled.  I could barely see out of my glasses and had to stop and wipe them off, but that didn't help much and I ended up throwing them in my jersey pocket.

On the last section before the finish, it was fun to ride hard against another guy that I think was in my category.  I don't know if he just let me on by, but it was satisfying to at least make it feel like a race at the end.

At the finish, I was glad to hear Miles took 3rd and Justin 4th.  The final posted results showed me at 13th out of 18.  Not the best place and certainly worse than what I was hoping for, but after looking at my Garmin and how long it took me to fix my flat, I'm feeling optimistic and looking forward to racing in the rest of the ICUP series.

Here are a couple of pictures:

Finishing up lap 1

Chatting with Miles at the finish.  Notice he's already in his street clothes........


Darci said...

I see that you have adjusted your margins and made your pictures bigger. You are becoming quite the blogger, my brother. It looks good:)

Anonymous said...

Nice job out there. You were going strong. Bummer about the flat. Nice job on staying the course and still finishing mid pack despite the flat.

bjchild said...

Darci - Thanks for noticing, but I really don't know what I'm doing. I just followed the instructions verbatim on some internet article RE changing the margins and it turned out ok.

Justin - I'm learning the hard way that having equipment issues is just part of racing. You have to be prepared and be proficient to handle things when they come up. Some day I'll get to where I can throw a tube in and be on my way in a couple of minutes.