Cycle-Smart Invitiational Day 1 Race Report

Alex took this wicked picture of me.

After living out of a suitcase for two weeks and barely riding outside races for two months, I was chock full of excuses for why Northampton was going to be ugly. And yet, one minute into the race I was leading the damn thing, panting frantically, and thinking "I guess I really don't understand how fitness and training work... no wonder people pay for coaching."

Actually, I was thinking "ohshitohshitohshit" but in retrospect... I don't understand fitness!

My Vermont result continued to pay off and despite a DNF at Gloucester Day 2 I was still 6th in the series and still on the front row. The whistle blew and I nailed the clip-in, it was hot, but apparently it wasn't perfect because Hunter crushed it off the line and took the lead into the first corner with me on his wheel.

I immediately remembered that Hunter and I are two guys who can't work together at all, because he blows me away on straightaways and holds me up in turns. The course starts twisty and I was terrified of getting swarmed by the 100 maniacs behind me, so I sprinted around him as soon as I could.

I led until the lower pavement and then predictably Hunter came back past me with a train of guys in his wake. I fought my way into second spot in line on the runup and stayed there for most of the first lap. Over the barriers I swung out to get a clean line and whoops, now I'm in front again. Yikes.

Back on the pavement after one lap I gave the lead back up and got back into racing smart. I hung out without major incident in the lead train of 8 or so guys until hitting the deck on the roots before the descent. It was a stupid thing where I slipped, put a foot down, thought "whew that was close" and then promptly smashed into the ground a second later.

Something was immediately not right with my right shifter. It was squishy and not changing gears, which meant getting over the rideup in a sweet 46x19 or something. I started sliding backwards. My shifting kept getting worse.

Passing by Linnea a few minutes later I brilliantly yelled "I might need your bike," so she was like "might??" and then I yelled "MAYBE" really loud, because saying something straightforward like "I NEED A DAMN PIT BIKE" would have been too easy.

Seconds later my shifting went completely down the tubes and I became a 46x19 single speeder for the rest of the lap. I come up near the pit and Linnea yells "the bike is in there" to me, all I can think is "why the hell aren't you holding it?" and of course the reason is because I said "maybe I need your bike" like the wishy-washy moron I am.

Sigh. Anyway, a quick changeover and I'm back in action, with a slightly higher seat and sloping top tube. This was immediately cause for excitement going over the barriers as I very nearly whiffed on the the tube grab and just barely avoided the bike-barrier-slam. I followed up this pro move by almost stuffing the remount by hitting the back of the (higher) saddle with my leg. I was a mess.

Luckily we had a good four laps left and there was plenty of traffic to hang out with while I figured out how to ride her bike. Cort pulled through and said something encouraging (typical), it seems like he always comes by me on lap 3 or 4 when I'm having my worst lap and he always something like "come on, get on my wheel." So I did. We rolled around in gruppo el Corto for a while, Toby the best bike handling triathlete evar was there too, along with Pat Goguen and probably some more chaps. We were moderately cooperative, I guess, although I'm not really the kind of guy who is very useful to a group like that since I don't pull very fast. At some point Toby tried to ride away and then immediately stacked it in the sand, which gave me the brilliant idea to try to ride it, which of course failed utterly and led to the first successful drive-side remount of my life (score?).

Then with one to go Toby attacked again through the start finish, I barely got his wheel and no one else made it. We went rocketing into the dirt corners and that's when I realized he can really ride a bike (see above). Luckily I can too, when I'm not snapping shifters in half, so I hung tight and waited for the big sprint at the end. We were pulling back Hunter and someone else, too, so there was definitely no cat-n-mouse.

Up the rideup I made the poor decision to follow his wheel, and when he hiccup'ed over the top I hit him and had to put a foot down. Arghhhh bad decision, three hops later I'm over the top but a quick four seconds down. He was going after Hunter hard so that was the end of that, I rolled through four seconds down on Toby and two seconds down on Hunter for 8th place.

After getting that nonsense out of the way it was time to scream at Linnea in the Elite race, and she did my cheers of "daddy needs a new shifter" proud by scoring a 10th place, 80 bucks, and the last UCI point.

Wait a minute, 80 bucks?? Jeez, I'm not even sure that will buy me a 105 "brifter," and Yash told me that stuff's for peons. WIN MORE MONEY NEXT TIME PLEASE.

Just another boxcar in the pain train

Northampton Day 1 2/3 Men Seat Cam from colin reuter on Vimeo.


Ryan said…
I have lots of sweet photos of you.

Give me some time and they will see the light of the internet.
Yash Katsumi said…
So what I forgot to tell you in our little conversation is that I feel that in the Shimano line anything but Dura Ace is for peasants and I would not want to ride anything below it. While on the Sram line I am very very happy with Rival. Not sure why I feel this way. On the Campy line I think the ULTIMATE groupo is the Centaur group in terms of value for the money.

Also, how did you get so fast?
Unknown said…
yash, he got so fast by racing...twice a week, 52 weeks a year.
Colin R said…
Yeah, I'd be burned out, if cross wasn't the funnest sport on the planet.
Todd Rowell said…
The "I might need a new pit bike" ... "Maybe!" scene was one of the funniest moments of the day. Almost all the other ones were on the runup; there's a lot of time to heckle someone who's clambering up a sheer wall of roots and rocks.
G-ride said…
"It was a stupid thing where I slipped, put a foot down, thought "whew that was close" and then promptly smashed into the ground a second later."

Should have stayed clipped hem...
G-ride said…
1. Is H-Prov running, um, TUFOs??? If that is the case, that would explain his lack of turnability. Yes, its a word.

2. Is that him gunslinging the bike up in the air one handed thru the sand? WTF is up widdat?

3. What is with the GUNS on Tosca? Does he pedal with his damn ARMS? Yikes.

I guess that is all.
Big Bikes said…
How did Colin Get so fast?

The IBC Team alternative doping plan, that's how.

We have the kid so hopped up on a cocktail of PCP, Acid, and E, he doesn't know whether he's coming or going, but he knows there's no sense in coming or going slow.

He has the strength of a man living in his subconscious, the heightened senses of a Space Ninja, and a propensity for licking his bar wrap on the start line and telling people that it tastes "Shiny".

That and something about Mountain Biking all summer.
Colin R said…
oh jerry. so many things to address.

1) I put a foot *down*, not "hung a foot out." I know we talked about this earlier, but trust me, if I didn't take that foot out I was hitting the ground.

2) See, while you were perfecting your bike carry to shave 0.1 seconds off your trip through the sandpit each lap, Hunter was training. So he puts out like 500 watts and gets to carry his bike however he wants, while you can only make tire-snob comments on the interweb.

3) You're right about Tosca's biceps, those things are only hurting the power-to-weight ratio. I knew there was a reason I don't lift.
G-ride said…
well, he may train alot, but if he is riding shitty tires and looking foolish while doing it, who is the real winner?
Colin R said…
Jamie Driscoll?
G-ride said…
JD is the fastest Vermonter I know. He is from my neck of the north woods you know.

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