Thursday, July 5, 2007

What a Week

Bike Haiku

Racing bikes is fun.
I have done it for so long.
Love the rush each time.

Ok - so Saturday was Oly crit which was also the State championship crit. I usually love this course & rock it, but it felt way frigging fast at the start & I had a poor position from the get go (hmmm, I detect a theme - it's called Carrie gets an ass whupping for not learning her lesson). I ended up OTB with Allison (AB - what are we doing here???). To her credit, Allison had just shown up from having to take her dog to the vet. Me, I had no excuse. Well, we caught a small group who was also OTB with Liz, then we were lapped by 3 people off the front . Then things really got confusing. We tagged onto the back of the leaders (legal maneuver) & they towed us up to what was left of the main field. I forgot that we were only 1 lap down from the 3 leaders, but then there were people in our group who were 2 laps down, but I was on the same lap as the main field & eligible to sprint for 4th. At 2 laps to go, they were trying to have the people who were 2 laps down sprint for their finish, but that was nuts. Then with 1 lap to go, I thought I was going to give a big ol' leadout, but I guess I came by too fast & Annette could not get on my wheel. Karen A was able to come by though & she managed to sprint & take 4th. I didn't think it mattered too much for some reason & did not really go for it & ended up 12th. Yikes! Josh raced this day too. He was dropped. With both of our poor showings we were all fired up to do better at Sunday's race in Des Moines.

Well, we both ended up better at the Des Moines crit. It was 4 corners with 2 long straight aways & 2 short. The finish was on a long hill, the back side was down hill. All of the corners were safe & pretty fun to rail. Josh hung in really well in his race & was riding towards the front the whole time. He had a really good start, but at the end his teammate ended up pinching him in a corner & he finished pretty far down in his group. He was stoked with his race though!

Before my race Josh forcefully told me to Get a Good Start. This was good. I focused on getting a good start & did so. Through out the race I was chasing things down & being active. It was a hard race, but I focused on expending energy smartly, like trying to sit & spin up the hill rather than getting out of the saddle to crank up it. I had good position at the finish. I was totally in a zone to get up there & go with the flow of wheels. I ended up 4th. A pretty good result in a crit with a lot of good riders there.

THEN on Wednesday, the 4th of July, there was a race down in Burien near Sea Tac airport. Josh almost could not race because his cleat broke just before his race. Someone overheard him telling his teammates that he wouldn't be able to race & let him borrow his super nice bike & shoes just so he could race. What a nice thing to do! Josh spent a good part of the race getting used to the SRAM shifting, but at least he got to race. He finished with the pack.

I felt like I had a pretty good start here, but it was really hard to move up at the start. I was sitting around 10th for the first few laps of the race, then started moving up & was able to chase some things down. In the first few laps there was a pretty bad crash in corner 1, which was not good. It was a combined 1-4 field, so I think some of the inexperienced riders had a little trouble with that corner. I had 1 attack & I also took a prime by sitting 3rd wheel & then taking a flyer before the last corner & then sitting & cranking on the tailwind down hill to the finish. I got a huge gap - it was cool. Now I need to work on being consistent at the finish of crits or in all sprints in general. I let my position go in the last 2 laps when people were coming up the sides. I had poor position on the last lap & finished 10th. Annette was 3rd, Liz was 7th & Heidi was 9th. We were all in the top 10 at least.

After the women's race we had a team pow-wow & then I rolled around a bit before starting the men's cat 3 race. I had a great start there, too. At least I am learning. It was fun to ride in the men's field on that course & rail the corners at speed 3 & 4 wide. I stayed in 30 minutes & then pulled out, because I didn't want to dig too hard since I'd been doing a bunch of racing lately & just wanted the speed workout. Josh said a ton of guys were getting shelled before I popped out. Sweet.

Oh yeah - I did my first track race on Monday too! Wicked fun. The races were so condensed & the sprints were so short you have only instants to maneuver & act. This should be good practice for crit sprints.

Here are some pics from Des Moines crit. My mom says I always "smile" when I race, just like my dad used to "smile" when he raced stock cars. Really, I am not smiling - this is my suffer face.

Hailee did the 4th of July kids race in Burien again this year. This picture is from last year when we weren't sure she would make it all the way around, so I ran with her. Not the easiest thing to do around a 1K crit course in sandals, but she had a blast. She rocked it again this year.

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