Saturday, November 15, 2008

USGP 1 - Slogging Through Muck

After a steady rain last night, today's forecast of a deluge with lightning did not pan out, unfortunately, so we raced through a maze of drying, bike-sucking Portland-esque mud under a cloudy sky at close to 70 degrees with barely a puddle to clean the bikes or offer a single fast line. I was not so good off the start and was quickly constrained in a mess of riders veering unpredictably sideways as they got caught in mud ruts. Found my way through this traffic, but that was it - I certainly was not moving forward. Had some battles mid way, including one with Rebecca, who noted "ah the Tom Stevens line!" during the race - and it was exactly that - the twice-as-far but dry line that traversed back and forth across the muddy rut. Then I tried to ride a swampy ditch and toppled over, still clipped in. Probably safe to say 50% of the time in the race, and really maybe even more, was spent running. It just seemed ugly - either I was heaving my way riding through mud with my upper body rocking violently, or I was gasping for air pushing my bike for minutes on end. Bike changes twice a lap. We raced 3 laps- maybe 10k? Or less? Average speed was maybe 5mph? The epically-long sandpit turned out the be the easiest part of the course. Apply power on pavement? That was the single opportunity to recover! Mo Bruno rocked the race, dancing her way to 3rd place! Teammates not too shabby either. I was 16th not bad since I did what I could but those +1 places, especially just out of the money, are always a bit irksome.

No comments: