Tuesday, April 24, 2012

So this new NCC series that USA Cycling created has been my nemesis. I am a big fat 0-2 on them. Not only have I not been able to get a result I haven't been able to get through half a race.

This past weekend was the Sunny King Criterium. As in my previous post I had a bit of spill on Wednesday night while out training.

I may have been out there having one of my best training rides of the year. I did 3 hard efforts on Bunker Hill and then followed that quickly with 3 hard efforts up Goat Hollow. Then I added a bonus loop to climb up into Wilbur twice. Then I was headed to the last climb up Gold Creek and on a quick decent and right hand turn onto the road I encounter a bit of gravel and sand and quickly smashed onto the pavement. I bounced up quickly as it seems I'm at least lucky enough to always do and noticed blood everywhere. It was mostly from the gash on the palm of my hand. Then I inspected the bike. Brake levers where both bent inwards, shifting was basically gone along with the bar tape. I called the wife and asked if she could meet me as I started to roll home. She was just happy my collarbone had held up on the impact. After 12miles of painful riding I was able to meet up with her.

So I was planning on leaving for Sunny King on Friday and break up the 10hr drive. The only thing is that my bike had a few broken pieces. The team stepped up nicely though and had everything overnighted to me and it would arrive sometime Friday. So I had the car packed up Friday morning, went for a ride on the Merckx and sat and watched tv as I waited for the parts as my bike was in pieces on the work stand. By 4pm the parts had finally arrived and I started to build. Internal cable routing is clean, and nice looking but a pain to thread in a hurry. The only good thing to come of all this is I got to see the family one last time before finally leaving a few hours beyond what I wanted.

I had a hotel in Tennessee to stay at which worked out nicely and finished the drive on Saturday. Once arriving I had to go the bike shop and get my derailleur hanger replaced. Only problem is that they didn't have the right hanger or the right screws. Luckily the guy we stayed with for host housing showed up at the shop with another rider from our team who had a bad derailleur hanger and he was able to jimmy rig something up. Then I met the team and went for a ride. I felt like crap.

We drove to the night race later that evening. I started my warmup and felt much better. The relaxing and easy spin must have really help. Only problem is that my shifting went horrible wrong as the start time closely approached. I made a mad dash for neutral support as the riders were being called to the line. They were scrambling. Time was ticking, the music was blasting and nerves filled the air. Time to grab a neutral bike and jump on to the group as they started. Only problem is that the saddle height wasn't adjusted. It was like 6 inches to short. No way was I going to race 90minutes like this! So I quickly pulled over, grabbed my bike and headed to the car more pissed off then ever. I was pretty much ready to quit cycling much like after the Tampa Criterium mishaps. The nerves calmed down over the night and I knew I had a race the following day.

Early the next morning we started the Foothills Road Race. More on that later.

Breeze On

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