There goes my July… I was thinking today, I needed the week off work, my fitness has slipped, I have barely been on the bike in a month (maybe 3 rides) This always happens in the summer, the class I teach takes 60 hours or so, plus this year, we have been working at 50% staff, so any free time for prep, grading, etc this summer has been lost. I need to get back on my therapy, plus cyclocross starts soon. But then I remembered how much time the Tour de France takes from my July. PS I did a short ride today…. in the rain.
This spot. Looks peaceful right? Nope. After dropping Steph off at RDU and finding all the trails in Raleigh closed due to rain, I headed to San Lee Park in Sanford to ride. I have had some bad days in this park, very rocky and technical, but they have done a lot of work in the 3 years I have skipped riding there, plus, I love the rest of the park (nature center, stream for kids to play in, fishing, camping, boating and hiking- all what a county park should be) so I started riding…. 7 minutes in, I cross this lovely stream when my front wheel catches something and I Superman off the front… $%*&@*! – I fix the bike, clean my cuts and ride even slower than normal. At the one hour mark, I catch a stick, it bends my derailleur and even more oddly, rip half the teeth from one of the pulleys, so each pedal stroke has a huge skipping, so I can’t apply any power. I ride (even slower than my earlier slower) till I hit a hiking trail and walk out. Not my best day ever in the woods, but it is still a wonderful park and I might go back and ride there in 3 more years.
I was really looking forward to riding today. I took my old Trek 930 and headed to Greensboro since I had other errands. Well, the trail was “snotty” frozen and a light melting meant I had the wrong tires, spinning out on the climbs, plus sliding everytime I leaned the bike into a turn. Above all that, the 26 inch wheels, low volume tires and low front end, all made a ride I didn’t enjoy.
My race was about the same as yesterday (they did change the course and added a trip through the woods and onto a cow pasture) I started a little closer towards the front, and marked a couple of riders I like racing (Chris, Wayne and David) I managed to stay with Chris, and we passed each other a couple of times. I drafted him to the final uphill sprint, but was cramping and couldn’t come around him…. I guess my pink socks didn’t bring me luck.
Sam and I headed to Asheville for the final weekend of the North Carolina Cyclosross series at the Biltmore Estate. We camped at a small family campground close by. I must of looked at the wrong weather report, because it was 19 degrees when I woke up, frost covered everything, bike and truck related.
the course was challenging with 4 sections where you were forced off the bike. I have not been training much, my injured calf and a busy couple of weeks at work, I think all I had in my legs was a couple 30 minute wind trainer rides in the basement. I felt fine in the race, but was in the back, just could not get going (as expected) but had fun. I finished 34th of the reported 60 plus starters.
After the hike we met friends at Lexington Ave. Brewery – just a quick note, I had the deep friend chicken BBQ sandwich on ranch bread, topped with carrot slaw and pickled okra – it was VERY GOOD!
I have been off the bike all week with a calf injury. I thought it was well enough for a quick trip to ride in Greensboro and do some shopping. I finished putting my 1995 Trek 930 back together and wanted to test it in the yard before driving up, as I “pushed” off to start, my calf tightened/locked and said nope…. rest of the day in compression sock, ice and rest. I hate being off the bike and on break!
Today was the Statesville stop in the North Carolina Cyclocross Series. It was held at a new venue and was a little tight.
Shawn Moore (from my old days of riding in Fayetteville) tries a new line around the same tree.
The Masters Cat. 4 race: I had a great start and entered the woods in the top 10! I stayed with the group through the first half and we developed a nice gap. I thought I was going to have a great day. I was wrong! I started to drop a few positions, but still in the top 20 when I had a crisis of faith…. in my tires/handling. It was muddy is some sections and slid off the course and into a spruce tree. It took a while to believe the bike would hold a line as I continued to drop like a rock…. I never felt “strong” – nothing was wrong, I just didn’t go? I finished 31st of the 50 starters. My friend from Boone, David, beat me badly, taking my 20th spot. I can’t have that – I was disappointed after 2 weeks ago and a 19th place and a great start today.
The Open Cat. 4 race: I lined up with the 80 starters – EIGHTY? I started in the far back (70s) and used it as a training race. The start was fun (see pictures above) and as we snaked through the trees, some smart ass 13 year old boy racing with us (behind me) is yelling “it’s not a charity race” and rides through several people…. literally THROUGH them. This kid was over his head, can not hold a line and chopped several riders at the start, including me. I decide no matter what I will beat him or bury myself trying. He got around me by chopping my line and rather than wreck him, I braked and let him go, he then proceeded to do the same thing to a girl in front of me (not sure why a female was in the Men’s Cat. 4, but I have seen her before) and the kid starts yelling at her… I was done with this kid and told him to calm down and then passed him ; )
Karma is a bitch and he crashed and I think mechanic-aled out soon after that…. good thing, my quads were killing me and would cramp on the climbs after the first lap…. I have no idea where I finished (read deep in the field) but Chris and Wayne beat me, two long time racing foes – and I can’t have that….