Thursday, June 3, 2010

Long Beach Grand Prix

***All pics of race removed. I used them without the photographer's permission and received an email to not do so.***

Ok...A little late. Got a couple emails
from people who had just found this
pathetic ragged peice of a blog; and actually asked me to continue it. My pleasure actually, since it was originally a way to inform me dear mum and sis of the race happenings hear in Socal. Thanks to a guy named Tony I have anew found enthusiasm to do so. I should be picking up the racing soon so there will be more to write about.

At the start of the race I began warming up around the city. The race was right in the middle of downtown Long Beach, near the aquarium and theatre. I hopped on the steed and gently rolled over the train tracks, breathing in the cool, salty ocean breeze. The air had a small hint of the oil rigs which reminded me of the many hours I spent on the Long Beach shoreline as a child; body surfing and watching sting rays swim while snorkeling. Yet here I was, about elbow it out with a bunch of other nimrods in a 6 corner crit race. **Sigh.**

See the first pic? I'm watching a Cat2 go up the road right from the gun. This being a Fire/Military/Police race, there were varied degrees of talent in the field. A Swami's team rider who happened to be from which service I still don't know, shot up the course and had a 15 second gap within two laps. I proceeded to chase. I then noticed I chasing alone. I repeatedly waived my Firefighter, Soldier, and Officer bretheren through with abosolutely no response.

Everytime I would pull off to let someone take the wind and pull the group, the pack would all sit up behind me. I then noticed that much of the pack was already hurting, which was not good since I had been pulling at MAYBE 25 per. It was about then that a second Cat2 rider attacked and bridged up to the leader. I had ignorantly been pulling into the wind and didn't have the real estate to respond. Now there were two very fast riders ahead and a pack full of fodder that I was still pulling along. I soon tired of this, and peeled off the front. I figured if I was going to do all the work, I was not going to cradle 45 other adults around the course.

I dropped one more cog and said goodbye to the field, now setting my sights on the two mutants up the road spanking themselves.

This sounded like a great idea until I realized what I was trying to do. A Cat3 chasing two very strong Cat2's who were working together flawlessly. The futility of this began to sink in as I slowly realized I was going into oxygen debt. I know my body enough to know my HR was prolly about 185 or so. This meant the fuel tank was slowly going down. I could hang on at this effort for the remainder of the crit, but any faster and it would have been a severe detonation.

About this time tall, lanky creature bridged up to me from the group. It happened to be a nice fellow from Irvine PD, and also happened to be the winner of this very event the previous year.

The gentleman was unable to help too much as he had burned most of his matches while making the bridge to myself, bless his heart.We worked together. Well, somewhat. I pulled into the headwinds everytime, and he the tailwinds. Which means he didn't do all that much work. Thats ok, though, he did his best.

One lap to go and we no longer can see the two leaders. The only positive thing about the situation now is we cannot see the field behind is either. So at least I am gauranteed a fourth place even if all goes wrong. I waive my partner through and he tells me "I'm done, go ahead you're going to win."

Now, translate this any way you want, but to most reasonable people this sounds like he just gave me the third place. His tone was anything but sneaky-like, so I figured him for as good samaritan and thought he was gifting me the podi, seeing as my face was in the wind for him about 90% of the time. As we come around the last turn my compatriot begins sprinting past me. WTF?!?! This guy sucks wheel the entire last lap and thinks he's going to zip on by without a hitch. Daddy don't think so, and I promptly spanked him for trying to do so, taking 3rd.

Normally I would be happy to be on the podium, a third spot in any bike race is good fortune. However, today was different. Had I simply made the move with the two up front I could have possibly taken home the Vee. Above you can see Eddy Van Guyse who played the villian cyclist in "American Flyers." Super nice guy. All I was trying to do was collect my gobs of cash for coming in 3rd, $80 to be exact. Next thing I know I was being interviewed. Scooping a big piece of humble pie in, you can visibly note the "aww shucks" look my face. "Really sir, it was nothing." Inside I was thinking of course how much my legs hurt after drilling across the pavement at 26 mph for 30 min. There's always next year.