Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fitchburg Longsjo Classic Day One
The Time Trial

“standing on the board
board is on the wheels
wheels are on the ground
zoomin round and round”

-The Go! Team

I’m not an early riser, I am genetically predisposed to suffer physical pain when forced to awake prior to 8AM so waking up at 6AM for a 9:30 start is not exactly my cup of tea. And I got lucky, I had one of the latest Cat 4 start times. My attitude leading up to what is probably my 5th road race was laid back…up until tuesday night when I watched the Tour De Suisse Time Trial, which appeared fairly technical, a few guys had to jam on the brakes to avoid slamming into curbs. The plan was not to pre-ride or even pre-look-at the TT course, after having nightmares about technical tt courses I chose to at least check it out after I picked up my race packet wednesday night. We drove it in the dark with a light rain coming down, I really don’t know how helpful this was but I got the idea and I knew I wouldn’t die on some hairpin turn into an alley way.

Didn’t feel too great in the AM, the nine day work week had bitten me in the ass and I never did get a chance to catch up on that elusive sleep, but we (Miriam and I) grabbed our ice coffees and bagels and started motoring out to Fitchburg. I was sweating the warm up so I had M drop me somewhere down on scenic Route 12 so I could ride the rest of the way in. It was already hot and balmy out, with the wind whipping (mostly in the right direction) and thunder storms looming. I spun up to the start ramp about a half hour before my time looking to get an idea of how one deals with the whole start ramp thing. Is it like a ski lift? The first time you try to get off you end up sliding on your ass or just riding the chair back down again? I hoped not. Here I ran into my old buddy Jerry Hughes, I asked him why no one was up on the ramp. He informed me that a guy had just ridden off the side and knocked himself out cold. Until they got whatever issues they were having sorted out they were going to start people just up the road a bit to compensate for the added momentum the ramp would have given them. Yikes. I was happy that I wouldn’t have to deal with the ramp on this day, leave that for a later date.

While warming up I ran into another mountain biker, Tim Halliday, a super fast youngin’, he asked me how it went, thinking I’d already gone, I told him I was merely warming up. “Oh, you just look so tired”. Thanks. That’s what happens when you’re in your near-mid-thirties and you sleep for five hours the night before a race…whippersnapper.
As per usual I arrived at the line when I was supposed to go not a second sooner, I went, middle ring to start, I was really taking all this talk I’d heard of taking it slow from the start seriously. I saw my 30 second man just ahead, but the grade was steep enough that he was not really so “just ahead” at all. I did reel him in pretty shortly then went to work on minute man, got him, and minute and a half man. I was almost made it up to my two minute man but we hit the downhill to the finish section and he and his proper TT bike were able to hold me off by a few seconds. I felt like I was able to drill it to the end but when I finished I didn’t feel like I worked the hill hard enough. By my count I came in under twenty minutes which I was surprised at, and given the estimates by folks that had preridden it I knew it wasn’t so bad.
Post race M and I headed down to South Natick to visit my niece and nephew, when I checked my messages I heard from my friend Greg that I’d ridden to 15th place, I guess I’m pretty happy with that. Now what? I really don’t know, try not to die navigating the circuit race with 139 other Cat 4s, hopefully they ride better than this guy right here.

“get all your loser heads up
try to pick up the junk


-The Go! Team

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