Patterson Pass RR and Esparto TT

It seemed like a nice day for a bike race.  A nice sunny day on the east bay, medications  with a nice breeze coming off the golden gate full of fresh cool pacific air to make it a nice temperature.  Arriving at the line, seek  it looked like the ingredients for some action packed criterium racing.  Not any one teams colors dominating the field, pilule and enough of the local crit gents to make for a tactically interesting race.  The first few laps were fun, and a few moves were made.  It wasnt long until there was a break up the road.  Two guys in the pack were making attempts at bridging up, but neither of them could get a gap on the field and they gradually started to bring back the break.  It got down to a distance that a bridge up to them was possible.  I decided to attack on the flat stretch before the 2nd turn, at the base of the slight uphill and to use my momentum from railin’it through the turn to help catch the group.  Going into the stretch where I decided to attack, I was about 5th wheel, and made my move after coming out of turn 1.  I bolted for the right side of the road to help establish a gap and….I was on the ground, starting to feel some pain that wasnt there .08 seconds ago, then I was then run over by another guy(sorry to be laying in the road, didnt mean to make anyone crash)  I picked up my bike but the back wheel was no where to be found, I couldnt see it anywhere.  Apparently, I didnt have the Quick release clamped down hard enough.  I pulled the back wheel off during my attack and preceeded to crash.  The wheel rolled to a stop about 30 feet up the road after hopping over the curb. 

The tally: cracked helmet, really sore thumb, road rash, cracked frame, bent dropout/derailer hanger and a brake lever ground to a point.  The good news: No concussion!  So, the moral of the story is: make sure your quick releases are tight and in good condition, or that great day for a bike race wont be so great…

P.S. if the guy who said “gnarly crash!” to me as I walked up to find some ice is reading, sorry if my reply seemed rude, I wasnt totally there at the time. 
Since Im not a masters rider yet (got a good number of years before then, pharmacist
but I hear they go by fast) there was no racing for me last week, so it was a good time to train hard.  Racked up some big miles and had a trip to Santa Cruz topping it all off with 8 hrs in the saddle on that day.  Made it onto a lot of unridden roads for me, so it was nice to get a little veriety in the week without having to leave the area.  Stopped by the Pen Velo Sunday morning ride for some company during part of a long ride, and some fun hammering at the front of a pack for a little while.  It was nice not to race last week since the crash gremlins were still in my head, and doing climb repeats up Kings, or descent repeats down it, got my confidence in the bike back after my little spill.  I also swapped my components to the new frame, nothing like a new bike to make you feel faster…even if it looks and rides exactly like the old one.
Sunday was Tympani criterium, cardiologist
forever known as the bush of doom crit to me since the first year I raced.  Got bumped in a corner=brushed a bush that is against the corner=my bars then got caught in the branches=preceded to crash and get run over.  We(the Lombardi guys) kept working to get a break going, but nothing lasted more than a lap or two-except for Chads 3 lap solo mission to stay away.  The race drew a lot of attacks and tactical efforts, but no real strategy un-rolled.  The pack stayed amass whole time, despite the wind urging a strong man group to get away and blow up the field.  I went into pansy mode when a side stitch started after bridging to a break.  When we were caught I floated to the last position in the pack.  The cramp went away with about 7 laps to go, but at that point, it was too late to move up from 80th to top 20.  I became pretty useless as a team mate for our sprinters in the field, but chad managed to pull out a 4th place finish after a little elbowing and bumping in the corner.
Patterson Pass was a course that threw everything at you except for really bad pavement. The climbs were challenging, there and the wind handed out a whole new element. I swapt my casset to an 11-23 thinking it would be a good idea for the tail wind before the race, there
and it was, view
since i was spinning out a 53-11 when the pack was speeding along with a tailwind. I have to say, that 23 tooth cog added a little extra hurt on the steep portions of the climb. Things shattered apart to say the least between the climbing and the crosswinds, and anyone who didnt have an 11 tooth cog struggled to stay on durring the tailwind stretches. All in all, it was a hard day to say the least and a lot of DNFs occured, and my 16th put me in the end of the finishing order with only about 18 finishing out of a 60+ rider field. Of htos 16 finishing, there werent any groups much larger than 5 riders coming in together.

Esparto was quite the opposite of Patterson as far as its conditions. Flat except for one roller and an overpass, and no wind to speak of. I started behind Michael Hutcinson, I figured if I could keep his stars and stripes National champ jersey in sight, I would end up with a pretty good time. Unfortunatly, that jersey he had was hard earned, and I could only keep him in sight for half the TT. He went on to win with a blazing fast time, sub 39 minutes for the 18.something-or-other mile course, and posted the fastest time of the day. I finished about 3 minutes back, and 30 seconds slower than my time last year. Not too terrible for not really training my TT this year. The best part was, the TT was early in the day. I was back home on the penninsula by 11. Enough time to work at the shop to make some moola and then go mountain biking for 3 hours. All in all, I would say that was a good on the bike weekend; a hard road race, an all out time trial, and then 3 hours of off road action to switch it up a little…and scrape me up a little…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *