Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cannonball Century

The intrepid trio headed to Hartwood for one of our favorite centuries, The Cannonball. I think we've done all of the ones in the last 5 or so years except for the year they didnt have it as there was no race director. This is a really well run event. New for this year, no mass start, which I loved. Starting at the same time with everyone just seems to bring out the squirrely behavior that sets my nerves on edge.

The day started early with me rolling out of bed at 5 to say good bye to my Dad who would be heading back to Misery, um, Missouri. Then Cliff and I piled into his van to meet Julie who had reserved us a parking space in a premo spot. After changing,two people were waiving wildly at us, and neither of us could figure out who it was... then the man flashed us and we suddenly recognized the Scheels. Funny, they were the second bunch of Fat Froggers that I ran into this weekend as I ran into Genie in the bathroom at the Potomac Mills rest stop on Saturday. You just cant get away from that team, they're everywhere!

It was cold starting, about 45 and people went out waaay overdressed. I finally got some arm warmers, but they were off by mile 30. I felt bad for all the people in tights and jackets. Well... not that bad.

I felt worse for all the people who still "race" centuries. The route was great, the roads were not. This year it was pot hole city. Everywhere we went, the guys who had Zipp or other race wheels were using the sag trucks. A guy who latched onto us ended up with 4 flats. 4. That has to be a record. I swear, you really cant go fast if you are constantly changing tires. Ride fast, we do. We just do it on winter wheels and tires.

That guy who was with us was great. Nice, well mannered, and a strong puller. Being a tall guy, we really loved him when he went to the front as it was just like being behind a semi. The constant flats though, they had to go.

What was really funny was that after we got the last flat fixed, we were passed by two guys. We were about 12 miles or so from the end where everyone who was moving was working together. So, Cliff got behind them, and then they swerved to the left side of the road. Ok, fine, we get the picture, you dont want us with you! So Julie went to the front and put the hammer down. So what do the two guys do? Yep, latch onto the train! They sat on the back except for on the hills where they would swarm up, breaking up the pace line, and then would die before the top of the hill and latch back onto the back. They never worked. In the final mile they started to go to the front where our semi was pulling and I was behind him, Julie shut that down and the second of the two told the first to stop, that they couldn't win since they hadn't done any work. Rats. I was ready for them!

In the end it was about 3200' of climbing. I cant remember the number from my Garmin, or the time, or the average. Except for flat time, it was fast, but fun. Getting to see Susan and George over and over during the day was a blast, and I wish all the Froggies a great time with their "Biggest Looser" contest. I'm jealous as it sounds pretty competitive and I have a few to loose!

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