Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rock Lobster: Foreign Diplomat

I went to Canadia and all I won was a Canadian check for $53. oh, and $25 canadian cash.

So, my fellow teammates, I didn't get my UCI point. But I did get to go to an authentic Beer Store, to have my hands and feet freeze in the cool Ontario breeze, to race some seriously slick and intensely steep courses, and overall to rep for Rock Lobster with a smile and a "yeah, eh!"

Day 1 was a giant slip-n-slide, only I had a skinsuit on, not a swimsuit, and I was somehow supposed to keep a bicycle under me the whole time. I started from a crappy next-to-the-last-row position. In the first corner off the leadout, a rider slid out and caused the field to splinter. The next five or six corners were no better and by the midpoint of the lap the leaders already probably had over thirty seconds on me. The rest of the race really is a blur of trying to stay upright.

I would spend a long time trying to catch a rider, then catch them and then fall loosing all the ground I may have made up. The race was slow and there was quite a bit of running. I got lapped with one to go and that was the end. I am disappointed with 27th. I should have been way more aggresssive on the start and through the first lap, gotten in the next group and then created distance on the guys behind me. In reality, during the race, with people falling all over, my self included, and starting so far back, it is much easier said than done.

Day 2 was drier, faster, safer, and completely insane. If you took the world's smallest ski hill and tried to cram a UCI length course on the runs, this is what you'd get- up and down and up and up and down and around and up some more. The gun fired and I dug through the start group as best I could before the first turn. Kept it turned up to 11 and worked around riders though out the first lap. I rode up the hill cleanly, but not too hard and then kept the dirt caked rubber down on the downhill. Julie gave me a count and put me at 20th or so passing the pit.

And as the laps came down, I kept the pressure on. The slick corners made it so if you raced smart and conserved knowing too fast meant washing out, you had the energy to lay it down when it mattered. With two to go, I put in a hot lap, or whatever was left to make up a hot lap to try to separate myself from the couple of guys trailing me. Powered over the line and charged through the barriers. Rode through the uphill sections strong and took the downhills clean. It was the move to make. At this point, I had no idea of my placing, but felt really good. I was just racing for myself and a strong finish. And I turned out finishing in 18th, just three places out of the points.

So, that's My International Racing Adventure. The legs are coming around, I'm getting stronger while others are fading. And caving to our better judgement, I didn't respond to the boarder patrol when asked "Do you have anything to declare?" that "America is AWESOME!" Picture from here.

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