The lamest thing on the entire internet is people who make excuses for not blogging frequently/fast enough. So there's no paragraph here about why I didn't write this up yet, and if you see Jamner out on the road somewhere, tell him to shut up.
I won the Coyote Hill Short Track last year against a whopping sport field of 6 other riders. This year I was back for more, but unfortunately there's an "Expert" designation on my license now and wicked fast dudes on the start line. My expectations had been appropriately dialed back.
The course was the same as last year, a dirt climb for 70 seconds, 30 seconds descending, 30 seconds of flat-ish stuff through the start/finish area. No joke, lap times were barely over 2 minutes. I rode somewhere between 12 and 14 laps in about 28 minutes.
Maybe I'm not doing the sickness of this course justice. Just think about how hard you can push when you're only going for 25 minutes. Now think about how hard you can go when you get a 30 second break every 2 minutes. Super fast, right? Now think about the fact that everyone else is getting the same break so you will be at kill-me-now intensity every time up that stupid climb just to keep up.
I'm just saying, it kind of hurts when you've killed yourself up the climb for the 5th time, and then you check your watch and realize it's been 10 minutes. A flat short track would be so much easier -- but just like a 300k ride, after a while you rationalize with yourself and decide that you take pleasure in the perversity of the venture. I'll be back next year.
This year we had a big field, 25 or so on the line with a healthy 6-8 Semi-Pros mixed in for maximum beatdown. I lined up at the back, because that's how I like to do these things, and we were off. First time up the climb I stayed right at the back, because everyone else decided to win the first lap. It was bad enough that Linnea was able to mock me while racing because she was right next to me.
Of course things settled down after a lap, the heavy hitters checked out at the front and the rest of the field realized that they were about to throw up and slowed down. I was slightly less cooked than most people due to starting at "only" 200% of my race pace, so I picked up some places here.
Eventually I linked up with a junior in a Bliss kit and rode four or five laps with him. After a few attempts to pass on the climb I resigned myself to groveling on his wheel for the rest of the race, because he was f'in strong and I couldn't convince myself that dying a thousand deaths to get in front of him would do anything other than get me passed back the next time up the climb.
Apparently he was also walking that razor's edge between race pace and lactic death, because he blew sky-high with about five laps to go. In the span of a minute, it went like this:
- Kid sprints out the top of the climb to beat a guy we are catching into the downhill
- Kid pulls away a tad on the downhill while I'm blocked
- Kid goes up back up the climb at 75% of the pace we had be riding and gets passed back by both of us
- Kid is never seen again
- Colin is wicked relieved
That just left me with the dude we had overtaken to deal with. Should be no problem because I just caught him, right? Right. Sadly my legs were starting to transition from on-fire-but-going-fast mode to on-fire-and-not-functioning mode. I stopped pulling away from him as a flameout approached. With two to go, he passed me back. There wasn't even a question of raising the pace, I was just cooked. Then something awesome happened.
He crashed at the bottom of the downhill. I was past him before he could get moving again -- but hardly home free. Still had to hold him off for another lap with these smoldering husks I call legs...
But wait! Hot on my heels is Greg Carpenter. He's leading the race. He gets between us.. I cross the line, look back to see Greg do the victory salute, and my foe is forced to stop because everyone finishes on the lead lap.
Oh man, that was so lucky. On top of that, I get to call myself the last person on the lead lap... which sounds pretty legit huh?,
After that was the Hill Climb. I don't know why I thought this would be fun. It wasn't. 6 minutes of climbing, after a 30 minute break from the short track? No wonder so many people bailed on it. The only saving grace was that everybody was pretty burnt from the short track so I didn't get as embarrassed as I thought I would. I even beat Thom P, because you basically can't pick the right singlespeedin' gear for a 30% final incline unless you want to be spun out at 8 mph the rest of the time.
Short Track -- super painful but I think it was fun.
Hill Climb -- super painful and I'm sure it wasn't fun.
The cross country race was the next day. What variant of super painful will it be? Stay tuned!
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