Monday, August 13, 2007

371 Miles on I-81

Blitz weekend with Advil to race the North Carolina crits in Charlotte and Winston-Salem. Lots of time in the van with my smelly feet. Saturday we were riding for ace sprinter Jen McCrae. I covered one break on lap one and it was downhill from there: pretty soon I was just hanging on for dear life at the back, getting gapped and clawing my way back on. It was ugly, rather un-fun after actually racing in the Altoona Crit. It was also 100 degrees which didn't help. But Charlotte is an interesting town, completely revamped in the last ten years by Bank of America, the sponsor of the crit that's headquartered there. The city seems walkable and vibrant, lots of restaurants and museums and libraries and city life. An astute perspective was provided by our host Laura: a Charlotte native who loved her city, knew its history, and also recognized the ways its Southern culture could be surprising even off-putting to newcomers, as in the common question "Where do you go to church?" McCrae 4th after crash (oh to be a sprinter who just delivers), Heather and Laura right in there, Kirsten battered by a crash. Sunday we raced bull-headedly for a break that did not happen. Again, this thinking on the fly thing... Driving back we encountered droves of Amish young people on bikes at 1am in Kutztown - rather surreal.

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