Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Today is the Gastown crit up in BC. I took the day off from work to travel up there & compete. Last weekend, was the Tour De White Rock which Michele & I went up and raced. It was a bugger of a race with a super steep hill climb, crit (with a hill), & hilly RR (not rolling hills like I thought they would be - meters can be deceiving in a profile). The road race was a 10K circuit with two super steep 2K climbs. The TDW is part of the BC Superweek, so there were a lot of Canadian pro's there & all of the races were fast. With the steep hilly stuff, I was not really in contention. I thought I might do well in the crit, but my legs & stomach had a different thought. I had a great start though & was doing well railing it in the corners, but I had the wrong strategy with trying to just spin up the hill rather than going all out & dangled off the back & was finally dropped. During the RR on the last lap, a girl riding next to me in a group of 6 riders tapped the wheel in front of her & then lost control of her bike & crashed into me. With the steamroller maneuver, I kept my bike upright by keeping the legs turning over while she slammed into my elbow & hip. I have a pretty nasty bruise on my elbow where her helmet met the bone, but I can't complain too much since I did not go down. After that, I broke away from my little group on the last climb & TT'd it into the finish.
I have to mention Michele's hill climb bike that her husband built up for her to ride when we thought the average grade of the hill climb was going to be 16% (it was 16% towards the top, but the overall average was closer to 9%). The hill climb machine was a single speed with a 24 chain ring & 25 cog in the rear built on Michele's old TT frame with bull horn bars. It was sweet! But M did not ride it since it was a little too small of a gear.
So it has been warm & sunny for many days in a row, but for the past couple of days there have been rain showers at night & yesterday there were some sprinkles in the morning. Today, there is definite rain coming down. I have never done the Gastown crit, but I hear it has cobbles, a 165 degree corner, a fast downhill section & a hill to the finish. Not exactly the type of race you want to do in the rain. I am going to try & find some good rain race tires before heading up to BC & hopefully I'll be able to hang in the race.
This weekend is the Boise Wells Fargo Twilight crit & I am so excited for it! That is one of my most favorite races. Wide open, 4 corners with thousands of crazy fans screaming all the way around the course. It is like racing in a stadium with all of the downtown buildings around & the people going nuts. Last year, Kristen Armstrong rode away from the field. I'm not sure if she'll be there again this year, but no matter what it should be a great race. It is guaranteed to be dry there.