I didn’t crash this time!

Monday, July 9, 2007 at 11:55 pm Leave a comment

Hey all-

So yeah, this past sunday I did a criterium at the Greentree business park. I actually have some people yearning for these race reports, it seems! I feel all bad, because lately I’ve only been talking about racing… I’m sorry. This is not a race report; it’s more of a day-report. My Sunday, July 8th was really fun.

7am: Woke up. I had 45 minutes to prepare for my race. That included: putting my kit on, packing my ‘race-day bag’, making sure the bike had what it needed, eating a muffin, filling water bottles for before, during, and after the race, and packing up the car.

9am: Arrived at Greentree. When I am at any course I will be racing, I sorta freak out because I wanna make sure I get everything on my checklist completed! Checklist includes: sign-in, put race number(s) on, check tire air pressure, warm-up, stretching, and finally, lining up. In really strong races, getting the right position at the front of the field at the start line is kinda a good idea. For that race, I was very very lax about it. Regardless, I ended up in the front 1/3 of the field.

~10am: Start. The race was 18 laps on a 1-mile course. There were just 2 real 90-degree turns, and the rest were just curvy. I think in the description they hinted at some sort of incline/decline in it, but I’ll be darned if I felt it! Staying with the field helps that so much. The Greentree course is the site of the Thursday night practice races, which a number of the Drexel riders go out to. Steve and Tim, racing for Team Independence, were also racing in my race, the cat 4/5. Okay, and what do I have to say about the race? This is the part that is wackiest… I am not a great criterium racer. I have great stamina and endurance, but not so much sprinting ability! It always manages to shine through at the end of races. However, this race, it showed through much quicker. By the time 9 laps remained, I was feeling some fatigue. Also, this race helped me realize another important thing about my racing skill: I only race well in one position in the peloton. Not good. Not good at all. I can go on and blame my most recent crash on it, but that will never really be proven. At any rate, I kinda experimented with being in the middle of the field during the middle portion of the race. Through doing so, I realized that I am not entirely familiar with the techniques required to advance from such a tight position in the field! I felt very locked. That’s why I like being one place in the field. So after a little bit of worrying that I’d never escape that position, I was able to move to the outside of the pack. However, it still wasn’t my side of choice! What’d I do to correct for that problem? What any strong rider would do! I accelerated to the front of the pack, and led it! Don’t get all excited now; it was just for about half a lap. I gave it a shot, surely. However, I really only had one goal in mind: to get to my favorite spot in the pack. So, I slowed down, and let the strong guys pass me to my left. There, I was back where I wanted to be! Following that bout, I just stuck in there. When the field sped up slowly, I found myself unable to keep up. Fortunately, the very last turn of the race slowed them down enough to allow me to stay in there. I was very lucky to have finished where I did: 43rd of 48 finishers. I will admit I’m a little disappointed in how I raced. I will stick to more hilly races from this point forward, I think. I also think it’d be a good idea to go to some of the practice races in the area, to make my skills more diverse. I can be happy that at least I know how to race, I just need to have the strength and confidence, sometimes.

~Noon: Teresa and I arrived at Campbell’s Stadium in Camden, NJ! There, a community band that she plays for (The Marple-Newtown Community Band) was performing the Star-Spangled Banner for the opening of the Minor League game. When we met up with the rest of the band at the entrance, I was introduced, and then handed a pair of drumsticks. WHaa? hehe. Their snare drum player is somewhat M.I.A. and as a result, they really needed my help! I was glad to do so, quite honestly. I really missed playing in front of an audience. So, I was asked to do a roll (drumroll) throughout the song, which was very simple. It did take me some time to remember the best way to do it. Most people are not aware that in 6th grade I played snare drum in the school band. Didn’t like it, but hey, perhaps it was useful for something! Funny enough, I found myself treating the snare like a djembe while I waited to walk onto the field! That reminds me of another request I have for all of you: Do any of you have (or know someone who does) a need for a percussionist? I would love to get back into music stuff. I have done some percussion before, and as it has been some time since, I often forget that it’s on my music ‘resume’. Music is just so great. Following the opening, most of the band stayed and watched the baseball game at hand. It was so great to just sit and relax after all that I’d been through that day. I was a little tired. I hardly paid any attn to the game, merely because I was either chomping down on my lunch, talking with Teresa and her mom, or drinking my large mountain dew! We left before the game ended, which on any other day, I’d have a problem with. That day, I was just like, ‘sure, whatever you want..’.

As the day wound down, time was less and less important, for sure. Teresa, her mom, and I went back to her house and eventually had some great pizza for dinner. The pizza reminded me very much of Guiseppe’s pizza, which will for the rest of my days be remembered as that good pizza place that I spent so much time at in my early years. Also watched some movies, then I had to get going home. I love trains…. Not!

So keep your eyes out for groups I could play percussion for, okay?

If you’re interested, here are the results for the day’s race. It should be visible, I hope. It also says the name of the day’s race. I refuse to remember it. We all call it Greentree. I will sooner or later link you all to the race stats from motionbased.com. I am a bit curious of what they tell me, I must say. I hope my heart rate was unusally high the second half of the race, because that’s how it felt!

In other news, today I rode into the city and started to get stuff done for school-related stuff! I’m working on being totally ready for this coming fall. It’s coming, soon! I still need to really begin stressing about all of it… Another request: Do any of you happen to know of a cheap apartment that I can check out? It’s getting close to the wire, maybe…

Alright, this post is over! I’ve given all of you enough to read, I know it! Have a good one.

~Doug

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Entry filed under: cycling, music, summer.

Brownstown Road Race report Sorry to have made you wait!

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