Monday, November 10, 2008

Save Ferris Cross

Like all races I just didn't feel ready for this one. I can say that the family has been sick and I am sure I caught something. I can say I rode too hard on Saturday. I can say a lot of things, but in the end I just didn't have the legs yesterday.

I think the cheese invasion didn't help. Northbrook is kind of close to the border of Cheeselandia (Wizcohnsin for those of you new to the world according to psimet). I guess the racing up there was either non-existant, not preferred, or the cheesers just wanted to see how they stand up FIB'rs (again...F'n Illinois Bast***s).As a result - despite the crappy weather - we had 55 finish our race. More than that started.

The course....OK I kind of hated it. Sorry. I know a lot of people loved it. No barriers. I thought I would love that, but they really needed a few. Way too long. It could have been a little shorter and more aggressive. The ENTIRE thing was off-camber. For you runners that's when you ride your bike ACROSS the grade of the hill. Only in this case the hill is a soft combination of mud and torn up slide out and fall it you brake.

Then....we have the hill of death with the "widowmaker" corner. *shiver*

OK, when I first saw the schedule for this series with our race being the last of the day my first thought was, "I understand that people hate the low cats, but putting the least experienced on the courses after they have been torn up all day long is cruising for a lawsuit." I like that I can get there late, etc and that if we were first we would destroy the groove around the course and rip everything up for everyone else, but still....

Illustration was the widowmaker. some 30+ guys and 3's were telling me they rode it through the whole race, but by the time we got on it it was an ultra steep mass of mud. Nothing to grip even remotely.

Long story sucked. MJH2 and I rode it a ton in between races....until I totally bit it one time and messed up my front end on the bike badly. Bars, shifters, etc. It was a mess and ools were definitely needed. I would have run it, but then the next section would have had the bike on the wrong side to remount. Hard to explain without diagram...

So I went through there still on the bike with one foot out. Lost time, but usually not position.

I felt like barfing before the race. I don't need that kind of pressure. I'm just too competitive to let it go and relax. I wasn't feeling good. The course wasn't going to totally split up everyone before the widowmaker, and most of the guys had not even ridden a pre-ride lap to know what that corner was even like. It was going to be total carnage.

I followed last wek of getting a front line position behind the top 10 series call-ups. MJH2 got a front line position right on the end of the line. I should have gotten behind him, but I didn't. At the start the two guys I was in between boxed me and got poor starts. I was an easy mid pack before the first turn. Sucked.

I got through the interesting stuff before the hill without issue. i think I either passed supergirl here on the first or second lap...not sure.

The hill was OK. Big steps to run up. No problem. J-Dub was there taking pics and shouting encouragement to me. MJH2 was first to hit the stairs....FIRST. The man is an animal.

I foot dragged the widowmaker. After that I got stuck in slow traffic and passed as much as I could. The long open sections I ripped some legs off people, but I did let a lot of people by me. I had a few bobbles, wheelslides, etc. but all in all I kept it pretty clean.

I just didn't have that deep of a pain cave. I could take the pain, but going for more revealed just nothing there. No response. That doesn't happen to me so I was shocked. Never felt like I could get on top of my gears, just slowly crank them over. Low, slow power. That's all I had.

I put a 27t cog on for this race. I think it was a mistake. I went to it far too often and it was a crutch. I could have ridden the 25t through those sections with no problem. Lesson learned.

So....we're doing 4 laps. On lap 3 (I think) I hear a slide out of the bottom turn on the hill of death just as I am going into the stairs. I can see out of the corner of my eyes that the rider is totall off course and jumping up. It's MJH2. He yells, "It's all you now Rob!" He's such a drama queen. :D

Turns out he wrecked his bike on the widowmaker, destroyed his shifter, got back on thinking "I can put it in a gear and just hold the dangling shifter in my hand." Realized right after that this meant he had no rear brakes now. Proceeded to wipe out sliding off course and under the tape in one of the subsequent turns. Yelled at me, and then threw his bike - much to the crowd's pleasure. "Whoah!!!!!!" Destroyed his wheel, bent his derail hanger, broken shifter, probably bent bars, etc. He was in 7th place at the time. The rest of the day was punctuated with "I had a top 10 locked in!" out of nowhere.

The rest of my race consisted of passing one more guy, and then actually racing the 3rd lap - holding off 1 guy. I finally lost my position to him on the last lap on the big hill climb on the back side. He nailed it and just overpowered me. wouldn't have happened if I hadn't had that 27t on.

I then got nipped in one of the last turns to drop my second spot on the last lap. They placed me 22nd out of 55 who finished. Missing the top 20 by the 2 guys who passed me on the last lap.

All in all a cold day, the racing was stressful for some reason, and I just didn't have the legs. I hope for better next week.

Thanks J-Dub for the encouragement and look forward to seeing your shots on . I could always use the rights to a few to post on here with linkys....:D

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