Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wendy Park 09/13/09 buzz in my throat.

Robert Sroka
Robert Sroka
First I want to thank the Team Lake Effect Crew for again starting off the cyclocross season with a bang. I really like this course. Its harder than it looks and its got relentless power sections, short climbs, technical turns and a sand pit.

I find myself sitting at home all carbed back up and no ones here. My wife is at work and my daughters hanging with her Aunt (who spoils her rotten btw, but thats OK cause she loves her too).

I was definitely rusty today. I was a mess in the dismount area and almost stacked it up one lap because I dismounted close to the RR ties and didnt have time to grab (or forgot) to grab the top tube. I ended up hoisting the bike as high as I could with both hands on the handlebars. How smooth I bet I looked.

I was also too tentative in the downhill corners and around the trees. Its funny because its no different than last year. I have got to practice those more or history will continue to repeat itself.

What was better was a stronger start. I was top 12 or at least packed in with the favorites but my buddy whom shall go nameless tapped a pedal and fell on the narrow off camber hill and I had to stop and wait for him to get up. SO it was onto my usual cross race where I am about 10 spots further back and have to claw my way up. And I am in no way upset with him if you care to know.

I start to get it together and work my way up and then my race becomes chasing Brad Wilhelm (BW) on a mountain bike and Rudy (RS). We go back and forth near the end and my corner speed is getting better, but is still an issue. I am also having good sections and bad sections. Meaning sometimes I am shifting up and maximizing the grassy sections and hills and other times spinning an easier gear. For most of the race I pass the lead group on the asphalt section that forms the pier, but eventually they are going up the hill before I reach that section. But thats not bad for me.

BW and RS and I are battling with 3 to go back and forth. I mistake the bell lap for 2 to go and realize I can catch BW, but before that Rudy comes ripping by me. I follow him for a long time then come around on the asphalt and with encouragement from Rudy I take off and catch Brad.

On the bell lap BW passes me up the hill after the asphalt because I brake too much (and he did a great job drafting me all the way out and back on the asphalt) for the corner. I decide to sit on him till we get back to the section after the sand pit that is my best section. I will try to attack there and hope I can get a few seconds. Following him hes flying through the twisty section before the wheel pit and I am trying to stay close when a leaf gets caught between the fork crown and tire and it sounds Exactly like I blew out my front tire (fishhhh, fishhh, fisshhhh) so I hit the wheel pit, jump off and find the tires fine then I get back in the race just before Rudy comes up and I try and chase BW again.

But hes too far away to catch now and can control the gap. Then as if a false flat tire isnt enough a bug flies in my mouth and right down my throat! I hack and spit out most of it immediately, but I think it broke in two pieces and its guts scorched my throat. Maybe it was an Alien bug with acid for blood. At least it didnt sting!!

But anyways, 10th spot and I am happy with that. There were a lot of talented folk out for the first race and I was thinking top 15 alone would be tough. I think Brad and I deserved to get to race it out. A little tactics and attacks would have been fun, but not today. But it was still a great race in so many ways. Battling my own shortcomings in skills, racing hard, great battles chasing those in front and being caught from behind kept me on my toes all race long. Beginning to get that buzz about cross again. But can do without it in my throat.

Thanks Robert for the pics. Lots of phtogs on course yesterday

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