Tuesday, June 23, 2009

VA State Championship and the backwoods

Saturday - 6 AM

Alarm clock rings and I could still use a few more hours. We get up and get packed and head out for Richmond. After a “quick” stop at Wick’s house we get on the road.

I sit in the back seat and am asleep before we get on the road to Richmond. After an hour or so I wake up and put my seatbelt on. For some reason I have this sense of impending doom. I look up, sure enough we’re going 90.

We arrive 30 minutes before the race. Fortunately it’s 90 out and super humid so I’m already warm, ha! Wick and I get kitted up and ride around. I notice my bike isn’t shifting right. I ask Wick to take a look. Sure enough, I missed a spacer when I was putting the cassette on the night before. Reminds me of something my old boss used to say, “Trust, but verify.” I put my other rear wheel on and we head to the start.

The pace isn’t too bad at first and I’m hanging alright. There’s a climb each lap so I’m able to make up time on it. The heat is incredible though.

I’m able to hang through most of the crit, trying to stay in the top 10 wheels. I’m not diligent enough about it though.

I’m hurting toward the end and happy that there aren’t many laps yet. The finish line comes into sight on the last lap and the pack surges. I don’t have anything left for a sprint so I roll slowly across the line.

Post race


Here's Kyle on the front!

(Okay so it didn't really feel like a state championship but apparently that's what it was called.)

Now time for excuses: I think the heat is what did me in. I was happy to finish that race. I also hadn’t done a crit in more than a month. The good news is I got some good fitness and am ready for the Working Man’s Crits on Tues, Wed, and Thurs!

We drive back to Richmond, get some grub, then head to the apartment where we’re staying. We watch “Old School” and then “Ali G”. Then we go grub again.

Richmond is a really nice little city. I take a little ride at night and it’s got a comfortable feel to it. There are lots of people out on their porches at night. I wouldn’t mind spending some time there.

I head back to the apartment and fall asleep.


I wake up on the floor, cool from the AC but hurting from the floor. We get around and watch some more “Ali G”. Then we head to breakfast. Kyle and Wick decide we should just ride in Williamsburg instead of driving all the way to West Virginia. I agree. Kyle says he wants to take it easy, no pissing contests.

We drive to Williamsburg and start riding. I’m tired and not looking forward to being on the bike but the shady country roads lure me in. We ride out to the back woods and within 15 minutes we’re pissing.

I suck wheels for a while pissed off that we’re going so hard. Blah, blah, blah. “Oh, but my coach, and my training, and I’m not supposed to be going this hard…” all that crap goes through my head. Eventually I put my head down and just ride...and then go back to whining.

Wick and I sprint for the KOMs (pronounced “com” out here). On one, we sprint and he takes the outside into oncoming traffic. We crest the hill and there’s a car coming. Wick swerves and Kyle and I crack up.

The scenery is really incredible. After living in the bay area the last few years I forget how beautiful the sky is without the smog. The skies are completely clear and the clouds are beautiful. The roads are lined by farms and trees. I see a branch from a mesquite tree in the road and it reminds me of Oklahoma, only not as humid.

56 miles later the ride is over and we’re all beat. I buy some Sour Patch Kids at the gas station, I earned them. And yes, they’re as tasty as I imagined. At least until I see that the little package had 540 calories.

We finally make it back to the house and get in the pool. I last all of two minutes then go take a shower. It’s lights out for me at 730, no joke. I slept a full 12 hours!

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