Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Race Reportage -- Better Late than Never

[Had a bidness meetin' today -- needed to prepare -- had to refrain from the post-race-weekend-Monday-banter-celebratin'-exaggeratin'-excuse-makin' fest, which typically consumes 4-6 hours minimum. In the couple of days that passed, I may have forgotten some details. But don't worry, where there are memory gaps I'll simply make stuff up.]

Bully-Very-Hard, AKA Boulevard RR

Friday night Ron, Jason, Cookie, and I point the vehicles South and press the go pedal. Three hours later we pull off the 805 in North SD and blow past the Toyota-United team truck in a race to the hotel. They were slummin at the Holiday Inn while we were next door in a 3-star I snagged on Priceline for $60/night, normally $140.

So we get to bed by midnight which is no problem for three of us as our races don't start until afternoon. But not for Jason--his race starts early. But we don't care because he's the new guy, kind of like the Freshman who has to carry the Senior's bags and make their coffee. Something tells me the roles may be reversed soon!

In the morning Cookie goes for java and sees the Toyota-United mechanic cleaning bikes and figures, what the hell, and asks him to clean his bike too. The mechanic spits on it and says "there ya go!" Cookie put's his tail between his cheeks (right where he likes it) and slinks back to the room.

On to the race venue... Boulevard is way out east of San Diego, somewhere south of the last immigration check but north of Mexico. There's not much green around. It's so dry that when you spit, you see a scorpion, a rattler, and a desert rat go for the loogie like a jump ball in an NBA finals overtime. Then they fight to the death for the precious water molecules.

And it was windy. Choose-your-pee-vector-with-the-utmost-care windy. I nearly crashed riding to the start because of the wind.

Now 'round about this time is when I decided that I'd only do one lap of the 4-lap, 90-mile p/1/2 race. Yes I know, very wussy. But there was method to this wussiness, and it goes like this: I was sick with a cold and sinus clogginess and was shooting green gelatinous bullets from my nostrils which are as slippery as a lubed up banana slug. Now this race had around 50 top US pros riding, and I'll be damned if I was going to be the guy who caused a crash by one of them slipping on one of my snot splats. Therefore I took some sudafed. Now I really had a dilemma. What if I won the race? [hey, shut up, it could happen!!!] And what if they had doping controls?!? That would be embarrassing. So I decided, one lap would be it. [ed: this seemed more interesting than my real excuse, which was it hurt to breath and I didn't want to get worse.]

After sitting at the start line for 15 minutes absorbing the mandatory abuse from Doc about number placement, number folding, center lines, and the price of cheetos, we began. As soon as we hit the downhill stretch, I'm spinning out my 11, and because of this I'm quite confused how a bunch of Pro'ish guys pinched off a break with representation of nearly all the teams. Hmmm... talent? But that was very good news because it meant a relaxed pace for the rest of us.

So relaxed that most of the Pro'ish guys decided to pee. A few pee off the bike--very Pro--but most just pull off to the side of the road and firehose out a pint or so, and then quickly rejoin the pack.

Sigh... Oh the sorry state of an older racer. Were I to try that, it'd be like:

pull over....dig it out from the chamois.....squirt an ounce or two........squirt another.....squirt...squirt.....dribble, dribble, dribble....tuck it away, clamber back on bike, chase like a mofo, but never catch back up. Like I said, sigh...

Can you spot the dork who's about to bail, even though he is still comfortably in the group?

(picture lifted from Aram Dellalian's blog.)

As a final gesture to justify my presence in the field, I gave Cookie my bottle, bid him adieu, and hopped off in the feed zone.

I cleaned up and sat with Lea Adams and the other nice ladies who were feeding my arch enemies on the Sonance team (just kiddin). I had a full bag of bottles and would help any friendly who needed support. Soon enough Cookie comes pedalin up, still with the big boys, and we have a clean bottle hand-off. Only he yelps out that he wants another one...oh sh!t...I scramble and snag one and take off running up the hill like OJ Simpson in the airport, 'cept I'm leaping over bottles and coolers and chairs and bodies and I almost make it up to the parched Cookie when... crash, I snagged a foot and tumbled across Toyota-United's feed camp. Damn, they got us again! Sorry Cookie. But I did manage to feed a few desperate guys who rode through the feed zone begging for sustenance. I tried to offer a bottle to Walker, but he refused it. Turns out he used only two small bottles with nothing but water. Crazy.

Anyway, the race would explode early on lap 3 and most of the original field of 100 would DNF and the others were spread all over the desert in about twenty different little packlets.

Here's the sprint for the win:

Here's CW finishing a strong 14th as the highest placed amateur. BTW, Mr. Toyota-United back there, welcome to our world!

Here's Ken Hanson of SLO making the top 20.

And here's our hero Cookie, lookin' like a Morton salt factory after finishing the last lap solo.

Some other categories and stuff...

Teammate Jason rode the 4's and was a good bet to win. He battled a 100-man field with no teammates and had to do some serious chasin' and such but still had the legs to sprint from the front. I caught the sequence coming up to the finish:

Looking good here...

Guys coming up on both sides...

...but Coats Cyclery pulls it out for the win. Jason gets a nice 2nd.

45+ race

Was there ever a doubt? Not in my mind. I should have headed over to that nearby casino and plonked down $100K on Lindsay for the win. I mean, how could he lose? His daughter hung in the feed zone for three hours to feed him...

So naturally he didn't disappoint. Digging deep for the win, even though he's multiple minutes clear of the next guy. That's the way Lindsay, don't look back!

A nice sprint for 2nd between Larry Shannon and Malcolm Hill. Larry takes it as Malcolm cramps.

Teammate Ron was having a nice race until his heart's electrical system went crazy on the last lap. Once that happens, he has to pop it into the 23 and soft-pedal. When he pulled up to me at the end, I saw his HRM read 198. After riding at 5 mph for the last 30 minutes. Dang!

I caught this sprint for 2nd in the Collegiate Men's A race. I don't know the guys, but can't we all relate to that effort of a side-by-side sprint up a hill. Love the facial expressions!

And here's Nick from UCSB finishing strong. Gauchos! Gauchos! Gauchos!

That's about it from Boulevard. The drive back to SB was uneventful, except for a little incident in Camarillo. Cookie had a few too many lemonades at dinner and he couldn't hold it so we pulled off and found a dark corner of a seemingly deserted parking lot. He promptly relieved himself and, as we began to pull away, a projectile flew from the bushes and hit the car. WTF? It seems that Cookie inadvertently peed on a homeless dude's camp, pissing him off (so to speak) in the process.

Well, this got too long so I'll report on Mothballs (with tons of pictures) another day.

1 comment:

TnA said...

Great writeup! When the team site gets up and running, I think there'll need to be a big link to your blog.

Cookie pee'd on a homeless camp? That could only happen to Cookie...