Tuesday, December 2, 2014


This race seems to have my number, every year, time and time again.  I wanted to will myself out of bed Wednesday mornings this past year to familiarize myself with the Bowl and conquer my demons but alas.  On race day, I arrived early to assist/cheer for the team in the 3’s and 3’s Masters race and plenty of time to recon the course after it had dried out substantially from the pre-riding the day before.
Third row, far right side call up – exactly the area I wanted.  Had a good start until my right foot pulled out of the pedal halfway down the starting chute – I have new pedals on order.  I made some good passes up the steep hill and around the 180 into the rutted downhill.  Made a few more into the chicanes, up the run up, and on the straight before the winding, ditch filled, south end of the course.  I think by this point I was sitting just outside the top ten and then quickly move up another 2 spots by taking the Certain Death route while some others took Mama’s Boy. BOD_Certain Death 1Things were going well and I was well within my goal of a top 15 finish, and then it happened.  Is a burp on a tubular even possible?  Well something to that effect happened as I came out of the final ditch with the pronounced four inch rut I felt all rim on the front – folding the front tire with each sideways movement.
Every flat, kitty litter corner I went around my front tire was folding.  I know low pressure is desirable but this was ridiculous and it forced me to take the Mama’s Boy line as I knew Certain Death would be just that with a folding front tire.  I lost a lot of spots during this half lap until I could pit and get Jon to fix my tire.  A piece of advice to everyone: check your tire pressure on your pit bike before you race; things were a little rough with that much pressure – I’m sure I lost some more spots to this as well.
BOD_Run Up
BOD_ChaseA lap later I had the pink bike back and things were starting to get fun again.  I now was in chase mode and used the course to work on my weaknesses – powering out of corners and staying loose.  I trotted up the run up per Alison’s instruction even though Jeremy and mini Jeremy were yelling at me to hurry up.  After the remount I was able to pick off people on the false-flat-headwind-laden-straightaway. I was riding smart and making strategic decisions to hang onto wheels during open sections and make the pass just before the technical sections.

My proudest moment of the whole race was hanging onto a master racer’s wheel on the uphill sidewalk section on the last lap.  He kicked out of the right-hander, I stuck like glue, he lost steam and I powered around him at the left-hander, ran the sand, and had a couple seconds of air between us at the remount.  I kicked up the last hill into the finishing straight and had about a 5 second gap at the line.  An inconsequential pass as it was two separate races – small victories and tactics played out feels good.
I ended up 20th in a stacked field with tire issues – an ok result considering it is the BOD and the pressure issues.  I had some horrible back pain and need to work on the core strength more so I don’t need to nurse soreness through the race.
The TP data.  (The big gap in the data is when I was on the pit bike.)
Thanks, as always, for reading – Andy.

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