Its strange that the cycling season is over! Criminy, its only mid-August, and just as I'm starting to come back from the hip surgery and get strong again, whammo, and the season is over. It just makes me all teary eyed to think about it. Darn it.
Saturday was a good day, great weather and a beautiful course. Julie and I hooked up and did a nice pre-ride of the course, talked strategy and the never ending monologue about having her stay off the front. Julie is one of the most talented women I know, but even she can't do a break away while she is pulling the entire field with her! We talked to cool Maria about some strategies, and agreed that Julie would work with her if it all worked out. We love Maria. Heck, we love her husband, Ben as well. Us Cycor girls are just plain on a love fest. Unless of course, we hate you. Then we really hate you. Lucky for the rest of the world we dont hate many people, just the meanies who intentionally crash out J. And if that meanie does it again, I'm getting in the Queen Cab and running over her bike.
The race was supposed to be 40 minutes, but the lolly gagging start got our lap average time way down, so when they put up the lap board, those first 2 laps cut our race to 25 minutes. Right after the first two laps, the speed when thru the roof. Julie tried to get in on the breaks, but just couldn't quite get with the right one. Even Maria, speed demon that she is was having a rough day and couldnt get in the right break and stay there. Then the rest of the field took turns telling Julie to "GET OFF THE FRONT". God love her, she cant help it. As one of the top runners in the state, she has trouble believing that she just cant ride away from everyone else. She does it running sure enough! Ann Hardy and I got a chuckle out of the fact that it wouldnt be a race with J in it if you didnt hear someone telling her to get behind someone.
Of course, J won the Langley crit as a cat 4, by going on a flier with Maria and lapping the field.
Well, anyway, we never caught the break, and our nice little pack was on the last lap, which would normally fit in just peachy fine for me, and we got thru the last turn and when I went to sprint, the legs reminded me that I had no sprint type work in this year. I'm not sure, but I think J was 2nd cat 4, I was in the pack, but got a silver medal for the state crit age division. But, I didn't get dropped, didnt get lapped, and while the hip cramped a bit, it wasn't like before I took a break where my whole leg was going numb. There are silver linings everywhere if you look for them.
On to Sunday and yet another before 4 am wake up to meet Bill and his big red box SUV to come all the way back for the last PLT time trial. This is my favorite course, its not straight, its kind of shaped like a lollypop. It is almost dead flat, and I know it better than the roads at home. Unfortunately there are some defects in the road that dispite the fact that I know that course so well I always seem to find!
Bill and I had a good ride down, and he remembered to put in the Queen disc so that I could have the proper mental preparation. I even remembered to bring my water bottles this time! I got out on the road, and got a great warm up, had time to pee one last time and made it to the start where unfortunately I was only going to have one rider in front of me, my friend Glenda Craddock. Glenda has made incredible improvements in her performance and I think she is not only one of the most sexy riders out there, has a cool family, but is just plain a cool person to hang with. (she also did a wonderful portrait for me of one of my boys that I'll treasure, always.)
Glenda's hubby was giving her the psych job at the line and I knew it was going to be tough to catch her. Then it was my turn to wait a minute. My psych job, I talked to Gerald at the start about how come his corn fields looked so damn good. Corn near me is brown and should be cut now for silage. I think he is sacraficing lippy riders to appease the rain gods...
5,4, 3, 2, GO! And I was off. I could just make Glenda out in the distance and had to keep that chase tendency at bay. Blowing up at the begining of a tt is a bad thing. So, I pretty much rode by effort, keeping the numbers right, and started to feel great!
At about the 3 mile area, there is a gully, swale or something on the road. It goes clear across the road. Its always been there, I know its there. And I just flat ass nailed it. Hands came off the bars, and trust me, the Scott does not stear by itself. I got a hand on the top tube where it was just sure to do me a world of good, and the other on my aero bottle, and somehow, did not go splat and loose all my teeth. I have no idea how I pulled that one out, but it took a wee bit to get the heeby geebies calmed down again and get going.
Made the right turn and started in on the running Dirk Demol commentary, "Come on Levi, I know you can do it!" I mean, Karen. On the next turn by the swamp, I could make Glenda out in the distance. This is usually a bad section of road for me, as the Dismal Swamp comes right up to the road. Good thing I slathered myself in VICKS! I never smelled the ever present mold!
Got to the next turn to the back side of the course, and could really see Glenda now, maybe a 1/3 of a mile ahead, maybe less! And then as I was accelerating, I saw these orange arrows on the road, and my blotto mind put the bike right on them, and of course they lead me directly to the big hole that was also nicely marked with orange paint. Nailed that sucker. Bobbing, weaving and fishtailing all over the road, I could be the poster child for why aero bars are way bad. And my Mother I think pulled me out of this crash, for it took an act of an angel to have me not face first on the pavement. No splat!
I kept making up time on Glenda, and didnt hear the whomp, whomp of Biker BJ running me over, so I knew there was hope. On the turn coming back in, I could again see Glenda, and passed her in the trees. Then it was out into the sun, and the head wind! I was about blotto again when I made the line, and looked at the Garmin to see that I did EXACTLY the same time as the last tt there. Sheesh, to the second! Imagine if I hadnt tried to show the world how not to handle a a tt bike what I would have done!
Poor Bill was having the ride of his life. He is also rapidly coming into shape just in time for the season to end. He told me that he couldnt believe how great he felt, how he was just flying and passing the guys in front of him. Bill is one of the smartest people I know. He is a huge techno-geek. One would have thought that as many times as Bill has ridden the course that he would also know the exact measurements of each segment out there like I do. Nope. Cop wasnt on the back side at the turn, so Bill and another guy kept going. Hey, they were hammering, feeling good, and didnt bother to think about anything else until they hit another town, 7 MILES AWAY! So 14 miles off course, on a pretty day, sounds like a nice long ride to me. That will be yet another one that we dont let him down. I forsee Energizer Bunny stuff appearing on Bill's pimp mobile at races in the future. You know, for the guy who just keeps going, and going, and going!
Now I get to decide if I'm going to do the Turn left, go fast race on Saturday. I hate blowing a day for an 8 mile race. But its a great work out. I borrowed Felix's track bike, and if I have time to figure out how to ride the darn thing, maybe I'll do the track races. Cliff is suggesting that the promoter have lots and lots of band aids on hand. Stopping a bike with no brakes, while riding with the guys? Yeah, its an adventure!