Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Pinecone Road Race

Whats up kids? I'm introducing a new feature on Leave The Fan On. We ( I ) will call it the Tuesday Top Ten. That's right, I'm gonna make some stupid list of ten things, and you're gonna realize how stupid my blog really is. With out further a do . . . .

Tuesday's Top Ten:

10 Reasons the Cat 5 Pinecone Road Race should have been called the Pinecone Crash Fest.

  1. The first lap! The first lap was like riding my trainer to a Coach Troy Jacobson DvD. Every fifteen seconds we would speed up then be all over our brakes to slow it down. Fortunately this behaviour stopped after first lap and the pace settled into something a little smoother.
  2. Despite a somewhat hard right hand turn on the course, there were no crashes during the turns of the Cat. 5 Road Race. That's right all the crashes took place during the straight wide open roads.
  3. It felt like riding in the worlds longest criterium. The pace was not really hard enough to put anyone into serious pain, so the group remained together the entire time. I felt like I was riding in a criterium for 42 miles.
  4. "thunk, thunk, thunk, thunk, pffft" There is very specific noise that is made when to wheels touch each other. During the second lap, I thought to myself to move up near the front of the pack. No sooner did I move up then I heard the specific noise of two wheels touching behind me. A fellow racer pulls up next to me and calmly states, "rider down." At that moment I thought luck was on my side.
  5. 43 of 75 racers officially finished the Cat. 5 Road Race. I would take a guess that 10% of the starters were out of shape and got pulled from the race. I am willing to say that the rest were DNF due to a crash.
  6. Seeing the carnage at the ambulance. I walked past the ambulance when I finished the race. One guy's hand was gushing blood. I looked closely to see if the all fingers were accounted for. I think they were. One guy had left his team kit on the pavement from his thigh to his shoulder. Another claimed that his shoulder hurt so bad that he could not remove his jersey to have the medic look at it. The medic told him he would have to cut open his jersey if that was the case.
  7. Really learning that riding in the front 15 is where I want to race my bike in the pack.
  8. Never say "Keep the rubber side down" during a race. You will crash, and deservingly so.
  9. The giant hole section on the course created chaos. On the back stretch of the loop, the course went on a back road that had lots of pot holes and water damage. It was rideable but no one wanted to risk the flat. Which meant that the entire field would squeeze onto about 1/3 of the road. After the first few laps, everyone got used to it.
  10. I was involved in my first crash of the season!!!

So the crash . . . . It was the second to last lap of 7 on a flat course. I was stoked because I was in the middle front of the pack and I figured I could hold on for the sprint finish. I felt good. Then all hell breaks loose . . . .

There is some screaming in the front of the pack. Hmmm. No one screams near the front? I see a rider sitting up. Why is a rider sitting up? He pulls over to the left side of the road. For a second I think that everything will be fine. I am on the right side and all the rider has to do is control himself because the yellow line rule was in effect. He has the room he needs to calm down and relax. But oh no, he couldn't do that. . . He goes flying to the right side of the road. Everyone slams on the brakes. One poor rider skids his bike 90 degrees to the pack. Now everyone is really screwed. The rider to my front left is pulling right. Bad idea?!?!

Before I know what happens I am air born. Luckily the last thing I did was pull to the right, which put my airborne trajectory torwards the grass!! I do a complete forward flip. At one point during my flight, I open my eye's only to have my handle bars hit me in the face. I land on my back in the grass. I stand up. The first thought in my head is . . . "Can I catch the group?" Luckily, no serious injuries we sustained by me. I don't think other's were so lucky. One fellow was laid on the pavement. Another rider is screaming at him that he should never be allowed to race again. I don't have time to deal with that B.S.

I look at my bike. Hmmm. It seems to have gotten the worst part of the crash. I put the chain back on only to see that both wheels are horribly out of true. The rear wheel travels about an inch left to right as it spins. I did the last lap and a half because I wanted to be an official finisher, but my race was over. Somehow I finished ahead of people? who knows?

The sprint finish must have been chaotic, because I say three riders at the side of road. None of them had smiles on their faces. Ahh, I guess this is how Cat. 5 races go.

Finally, I would like to make one thing very clear. I know that this post may come off very negative about the race, but this race was a lot of FUN! I had a great time (yes, despite crashing.) Hanging out with teammates and racing with them is great.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank! for this news it's a good infomation !