Tuesday, July 24, 2012

State Line RR + The GEO + Cinema

State Line RR

My family vacation kicked off with a trip to KS to visit my folks and give the kids some grandparent time.  It doesn’t hurt that my parents have a few acres with a tractor, horses, cats, dogs, bees, and chickens.  It’s heaven on earth for my toddlers.  I just so happened to schedule the trip alongside one State Line RR, a 6.5 mi 9 lap affair that seemed like a circuit race more than a proper RR.  It was a well run event put on to benefit the local KCOI U20 Jrs team.

Lining up I had my eye on Andrew Coe (Mercy/Kuat), Andy Chocha (US Mil Cycling), and Brian West (Bikes to You).  There were 20 of us lined up in a 1/2/3 field.  I was an unknown to the others, which is always good.  Attacks started right away as Athletes Forward’s Josh Estes rolled off the front, discontent with an 18mph pace.  West was super active and Chocha seemed to enjoy chasing everything down.  Perhaps everybody was marking him as the big dog and therefore we just followed wheels?  About 3 laps in there was a promising break up the road so I bridged solo, kinda showing my cards to the field but I thought it was the break du jour.  It wasn’t.  We were caught by the top of the climb (there was a multitiered climb coming into the finish which didn’t tickle).  I was pretty pissed as I had burned a big match bridging.

Little groups kept forming off the front and nothing got too much time.  I followed wheels to the moves and took pulls but decisive moves didn’t come till lap 7 or 8.  I was in a break/field split rotating off the front. The field came back together and I sat up figuring it was “save it for the sprint” time.  Well, West and Andrew (Colavita) were not content with that arrangement and went again, gaining a solid 20 seconds on the field.  A group with 2 Athletes Forward, a United Healthcare (not PRO, a club), Spencer (Miami Velo?) got away and started working together.  Mercy chased a bit and I thought they would bring it back for a sprint for Coe.  I admit I was kind of sleeping at this point and I woke with a start when I saw Bowes (Mercy) next to me and the pace had slackened.  A quick glance up the road and Coe was in the 2nd group!  I asked Bowes if they pulled it back enough for Coe to bridge.  He confirmed.  I thanked him and then immediately burned a match to bridge.  I made it across clean and shared a little work.

At this point West had dropped Colavita and was out there solo while 5 or 6 of us were holding off the field.  Taking the hard right onto the finishing straight we hit the climb for the last time and I was poorly positioned at the back of the group and got gapped a bit.  Nice job Rookie!  Coe and an Athletes Forward racer also got dropped.  So I kept my head down and the pedals turning.  Fortunately for me the group started playing cat and mouse and I was able to catch back on.  Big mistake boys, you can't let this fat boy in sight of the cake!!  The finish was slightly uphill and I timed the sprint right to take second on the day.  West had enough time to post up and celebrate a little, which he certainly earned.  I was pleased with 2nd place as this was the first race in a month’s time.

State Line RR Part Deux

What’s cooler than hitting the podium of your race?  Seeing your little bro line up for his first RR!!

Homeboy hung tough and finished 7/20 in the Jr field running his 1x10 CX rig with road tires.  Not too shabby.  Considering he’s riding about once a week, and pumped about cycling, I’m excited as he begins to learn the sport.  We’ll see if this lasts, but in a few years time I wouldn’t mind racing with my bro!  I think the only thing better was what I witnessed in Mark and Hogan Sills racing as father and son a few years ago (till Hogan went off and got all swoll).  

The Great Egyptian Omnium

The GEO was a race I tried to get to last year and as one of my first cat 2 races the crit was going to be tough.  But a t-storm blew in and it was cancelled.  This year I added the RR but opted out on the TT.  With the family vacation coming to a close on the weekend, spending the entire day out in the heat with the toddlers was not going to happen.  Plus, I hate TTs.


The plan for the RR was to get BJ in a break.  Vandeven (Dogfish) was the big fish in the small pond of our 1/2/3 field.  Nick Chevalley (Gateway HD) attacked from the gun though in order to dispute that ranking.  Homeboy stayed away for the WIN!  So crazy.

Anyway, I felt like crap (maybe due to camping the night before?) and tried to keep the pace up at the front of the field and ensure BJ made the move du jour.  And when I say I felt like crap, I mean crap.  I believe the PROs say "blocked".  The legs just didn’t wake up during the first 2 laps.  But BJ did go up the road with Jim and then I could rest in the field as superman Jeremy Bock (Dogfish) (Oh btw, we’re distant relatives, so I think I get some cool points for that.) shepherded Ryan Wachter and kept the other cat 2’s in check.

Fast forward a bit and I take a wrong turn being stupid (Dan and Jeremy told the field to wait for me), and then Dan (Korte) gets away with Matt Pence (Gateway HD) and another 2 and I’m asleep in the field feeling sorry for myself.  Totally should have gone with Dan.  Anyway, I thought I should help my cat 3 teammates but they were cramping and I figured I would test my legs so I attacked a few k out and nobody chased, but I didn’t know that so I hurt myself a good bit and finished 10th.  Almost caught a guy who had been dropped from the 2nd or 3rd group on the road.  Oh well.  Happy that the legs felt better at the end of 80 hot miles than they did at the beginning!  BJ held tough and nabbed 6th place.


 It was hot, a little windy on the backside.  Nick Hand (my teammate!) got in a heroic early move which determined how the race would play out.  Gateway Harely-Davidson had to chase and I sat for the sprint.  I botched it and was bested by Dan Williams of Korte.  Just played my cards wrong.  Total bummer after BJ, Nick, and Mike did a bunch of work controlling the race and leading me out.  Not much is worse to the old sprinter ego than getting posted up on. 
Dan (Korte/Bike Surgeon) bested me in the sprint.
Photo cred: Rob Raguet-Schofield (who won the masters 4/5 like a boss).
So I think of the SoIL sprinters I’m at the bottom of the heap right now.  Grrrr.  Thanks Dust and DWill!!  Although, as my friends have pointed out, if you’re upset about finishing second in a crit you’ve got a pretty charmed life.  Indeed.

The GEO was a great weekend for our team, especially the cat 3 squad as they started the weekend with decent results in the RR and then just snowballed into greater success culminating in Keith "No Sweat"'s solo crit win clinching the omnium.  Super fun to watch.

The Artist + The Dark Knight Rises (Batman)

I watched these films with my wife in the past fortnight.  I recommend them both.  One of the two I found morally reprehensible, destructive to society, and encouraging vice.  The other I found thought provoking, well written, and while bordering on melodrama, completely apropos.  

Of course, the subtle evil was The Artist, and the better film for the soul was Batman.  What a world we live in.  The laziness and weakness of the titular artist was overlooked and his wife was made out to be a sort of villain, opposing his career and affair with Peppy.  Is not George responsible for driving his wife away by failing to love and care for her?  Ha!  The film praises the “easy” love of shirking one’s responsibility and falling in with a loose woman.  I’m sure that will last George.  Have fun with that.  What we need now more than ever is honorable men, not weak ones.  It was frustrating to watch and likely under the radar of most of its audience. At least he was a decent dancer.

Much could be said about the Dark Knight finale but there is too much to be said and this blog post has already gone on too long.  Besides, I think I need to see it again!