I doubled up again last weekend; Sun Prairie on Saturday and Doyne Park on Sunday. The Sun Prairie course is awesome and hard. It’s a combination of punchy hills and long straightaways. Unfortunately, it was a disappointing race for me. It wasn’t great from the start. You see, I’ve grown accustom to starting in the front row, especially when the hole shot is dicey. Sun Prairie had a dicey hole shot, and no call-ups. There were guys lined up 5 minutes early. Guys I was leery about be behind on the warm-up lap. I started second row on the outside, knowing that I was not going to be very aggressive at the start.
I was probably 15th at the hole and passed a few guys right after. And as I had figured, two guys went down in front of me within 200 meters. I got around those guys and passed a few more. Jake went around me with his freakish Jake speed and by the time we hit the hill I was 5th or 6th. After battling back and forth with a few guys for a couple of laps I was setting up for some speed around a 180 corner into a bunny-hop barrier and got too wide into some deep leaves. I got that icy slide feeling and knew I was going down. I hit the ground hard, got up, started going and realized my rear derailleur hanger was bent. I pulled off the course to check it out as about 10 more guys went by. I just about pulled the plug, but figured I could hobble to the pit and get my other bike.
After I got my pit bike and started at it again I realized that I had tweaked my wrist and my back when I went down. Thinking about how I had prepaid for Sunday’s race and my complete lack of power, I pulled out of the race. I wasn’t real happy about it, but it was the smart thing to do.
Sunday, there was a mix of sun and drizzle. The course was close to my house so I had plenty of time to get there after work. My wrist felt much better but my back wasn’t great. Even with that,I had a much better attitude than on Saturday. I was there to have fun, do the best I could, and actually hang around after the race this time.
The Doyne course was a lot of fun. Long straightaways, fast corners, and good use of a hill that we went up 3 separate times. Doyne also had call-ups. Looks like I was starting in the front row!
I had a decent start and Jake was on my wheel. I knew that he had to get around me and a few other guys to really contend with Joe and Tyson, so I slowed down and told him to pass me before we got into a 180 turn that headed into the hill. Jake took off and did his thing, but I also let Mike get about 5 seconds on me in the process.
I was trying to get back onto to Mike’s wheel. It even seemed like he was waiting for me. Then JW came around me. I couldn’t match him because I was already working to catch Mike. JW bridged to Mike and Mike was able to hang onto JW’s wheel and get pulled about 20 seconds ahead of me. And that is how it stayed for the rest of the race. I was out in no man’s land. No one catching me and occasionally I would come up on a guy who had a mechanical. I started to reel Mike in a bit, but it was lost cause.
I really had fun and my back was fine as long as I was in my drops. Thankfully, it was a great drop course. I rolled in 8th. Not great, but not bad considering the field. The biggest bonus is that I didn’t lay it down at all. Clean kit club, yeah!
As Chris N. was leaving and we were harassing each other about our less than stellar performances, I said that I come for the people and stay for the bike racing. And that's true, it's the people I come out see that makes it worth while, the racing is a bonus. When I get that order right my attitude about what happens on the course is where it should be. Although, now that I have accumulated all this race-into-shape fitness, I should probably taper to really peak. How does one taper from 3 hours a week of exercise? Just do nothing?
Clutch Corner only appeared on Sunday, but it was in a sweet spot. This week the CD is awarded to Mike C! Here is the playlist:
- Passive Restraints (Demo Version): Pitchfork & Lost Needles
- Hoodoo Operator: Slow Hole to China: Rare & Rereleased
- Rats: Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes & Undeniable Truths
- (In The Wake Of) The Swollen Goat: Blast Tyrant
- Minotaur: Strange Cousins From The West
- Mr Freedom: Earth Rocker
- Brazenhead: Pure Rock Fury
- 10,000 Witnesses: Robot Hive / Exodus
- The Bakerton Group - 1906 - Great Bakertons: Heard It All Before - Live At The Hifi Bar
- Worm Drink: Blast Tyrant
- Brazenhead: Live At The Googolplex
- Small Upsetters: Robot Hive / Exodus
- Big News I: Clutch
- Far Country: Pitchfork & Lost Needles
- Basket of Eggs: Jam Room
- Escape From The Prison Planet: Clutch
- Power Player: Heard It All Before - Live At The Hifi Bar
- King of Arizona: Slow Hole to China: Rare & Rereleased