Friday, August 26, 2011

Master says Faster

And just like that its over. The Tour of the Unattended was incredible. What a fantastic event. Its been a journey to say the least. It came together so fast. Huge thanks to Zac Daab, Rob Vandermark, The whole Ride Studio staff, Patria, Michele Smith and all the riders. We had so much fun. It was soo cool to see how people came together on this. The Ride Studio served as the HQ/Hub for this. The leaderboard was such a great idea. Being able to go into the Studio check the standings, get a macchiato , a couple of gu packs and talk about the stage was so cool. So much gamesmanship went into this. The midnight texts to see when people were riding. The constant checking and guessing about peoples times. Bike doping. Recovery doping. I swear I put more prep into this than any race I have ever done. I also got sooo much great advice from so many people. Congrats to my good friend Matt Simpson! It was sooo much fun riding with him and hanging out together all week. Friends like Matt are a gift. Seriously. He pushed me and inspired me all week. I have yet to see the official results but Matt won it. No doubt in my mind. He got some stiff competition from The Wilcox and Billy Campbell. They both fought so hard to stay close to him. But Matt smashed it. Seeing David and Matt in action has given me pause. Not sure what it will translate to for this cx season but I have a whole new perspective on the bike game. And like war when you go into the trenches with good friends you and your bond comes out stronger. So congrats to everyone who rode all week. Or who took a crack at it and missed some stages etc. It was soo challenging getting all the rides in and managing the toll it took on body and mind.

I came so close to sleeping through Stage 5. My babymomma punched my in the stomach at about 5:45 and told me to get out of bed! The alarm never went off but Pam sensed it. Thank god. I love that woman so much its ridiculous. And the fact that she is willing to punch me in my stomach of anger to get me to complete what I set out makes me love her even more. So I grabbed my kit and tore out the door. The sensation were less than good to say the least. My biggest fear on this one was getting lost. Lexington was/is my Kryptonite in this. I am not fast perse but on home ice I did ok. I studied the cue sheet the night before. I even took a page out of the classics and taped the actual turns onto my tt. But I missed a pretty big detail. In Bedford there was a confusing interchange. I should have put the mileage down at that point so I would know just where it occurred. But back to the stage. David and Matt and I met up. We bumped into Cort Cramer commuting to work on his cx bike. No big right? Wrong Cort is a P.I.M.P. He was on deep section carbon wheels and tubies. On his way to work. Yeah try and top that. He coined me "Black Ice" Love it. That matched my sensations pretty much to the t.

We pounded cofeets, talked shop with Patria and David at the Studio and then tightened up our sidis and went to do one last sick effort. My plan was to try as best as I could to get up the leaderboard. I wanted so bad to get my name back on that chalkboard. But I knew I had to be fast and ride the course clean. We shot out of the start house and hit a detour. We got around it pretty smoothly. I saw both David and Matt up the road go off course. OMG. I couldn't even believe it. Not two miles in and they took a wrong turn. I put it out of my head and got back to the business of smashing my pedals as hard and fast as I could. They caught me on rt 2 and flew by me like they had jets. I got a slap on the ass and a low five. I kept driving and trying to mentally picture the course in my head. Being able to look down at my tt and see the turns really helped. I was going pretty good. Averaging about 21 mph. I came across a Ride Studio rider on the side of the road fixing a flat. I said bummer and just kept driving. I felt bad for him but the rules are pretty good in this case. Your time is based on moving time not stopped so getting a flat or held up at a light doesn't kill your chances. I had the course dialed. I got onto 225 with no problem. But I was getting mentally punchy. I saw some arrows on the road that corresponded with what I thought was the route. They had an upside down w or an m not sure which. So my mind drifted. I got lazy and thought I could follow those. The tricky section was coming up but I wasn't sure where.
I got through Bedford center and saw the w with an arrow pointing left. And took it. Alarms went off in my brain but it looked familiar. I have ridden here so many times before but never been on my own and have always been with someone who knows the area. So I tracked it on memory. But what I am noticing about Lexington is that they don't like street signs. Maybe they don't have enough money in Lexi to buy signs for all the streets or maybe they want to confuse thieves who want to steal all their fancy stuff. I don't know but it makes it real hard to stay on course I will say that. So I am flying. Then I see the VA....oh no I think this can't be right. Then I see Middlesex college. And I stop. I check my superphone to see where Page road is. Its of course two miles behind me. Ok so I turn around and start hauling. I get on Page and am now pretty much just riding as close to the limit as I can. I come flying by the Ride Studio guy who had a flat earlier. I get up and over the Col de Lex and just keep digging even though I am so bummed I missed the turn and blew any chance at getting that number 5 spot and a place in that chalk board in the Studio. In all honesty I probably couldn't have made it up anyway. The riders ahead of me are in a whole other class. I am a cross racer not a road racer.

But you know what? Getting lost is half the adventure. I am learning to be a better rider. This week is going to pay off huge dividends in October. I got to spend the week riding with friends on some amazing loops and learned how to go fast. The real epiphany is I don't go this hard in a cross race. When I was talking to a friend about the week she told me a story about some advice Georgia Goulds dad gave Georgia after he saw her at a cx race for the first time. He said to get better all Gerogia had to do was to pedal harder and faster. Hahahaha that is awesome. Only a dad could say that to one of America's best cross racers. But you know what he is spot on. Other than getting in touch with my inner Black Ice that will be my mantra all cx season "Harder and Faster"

Again I can't say enough how much I enjoyed all the energy everyone had all week. Patria and Michele were so great. They did so much to make sure everything ran smoothly. Their stories from the week were awesome. And the fact that Michele wore a Boston Cross kit on the final stage makes her even more of a hero in my mind than before. Thanks to Matt and David for pushing me so hard and being such good partners in crime! Billy damn fine effort my friend. I am so up for doing this again.

Congrats to all of you! What a great week. Hopefully see everyone at the party at the Ride Studio this Saturday night. I can't to see the podium presentations. I hear they have a really special night planned

1 comment:

  1. Next year, I am going to load the course files onto your Garmin myself. :)