After not gaining entry into Leadville I got the itch to race some road events. Perfect opportunity presented itself with the ChesCo Grand Prix. Based on my schedule, motivation and interest I chose four of the eight events and capped it off with the Iron Hill Twilight. *Teammate Karl came down for these too.
Oxford Criterium: The townspeople were really into it! Course was just over 1km in length with seven turns (one of them was a sweeper). This was the hardest night for me. Total system shock to go from endurance mountain bike events to the repeat repeat and repeat threshold efforts of criterium racing. Did not get dropped did not get lapped and turned in a rather invisible 12th place.
Malvern Criterium: Shorter course and six turns. I was a bit impatient and went waaaay too fast into a turn. Front tire pushed out and onto the pavement I went. I get up, check bike. Put chain back on. Ride to pit to use the free lap rule. There are six other riders there!!! What!?!?! Nobody crashed but me and it was my own fault. Ahh, par for the course with these short courses. Annoying? Yes! Usually these guys don’t last much longer anyhow.
I hang in there, do not get dropped, do not get lapped and turned in another mediocre finish of 11th.
Phoenixville: TOUGH but AWESOME course! 1.3 mile lap with a climb (little ring almost every lap climb)! Best Criterium of the ChesCo series that I participated in. My teammates JLo and Margarite rode superb and represented the early break and shut down ones we were not in. When the winning move went it was my turn to go and hesitated. I felt bad (still do). I hang in there, do not get dropped do not get lapped and another 11th place.
ChesCo Road Race/PA State championships: Course was a beautiful rolling loop in Chester Country horse country. Many of the roads are part of the Saturday morning Willowdale ride.
JLo and Margarite are here for this one too. No hesitation on this day, it was my turn to go and I make the early break. Starting out with 16 dudes and it whittled down to seven. I straight up get beaten on the climb and false flat drag before the line. I end up sixth and 2nd PA rider. I was content with this result.
HUGE props to my buddy Wild Wester and Tothinator for the feeds all day. Bottles and ice!
AXA Sponsor Ride: I enjoy these rides a lot. I like meeting fellow cyclists, hearing about their riding. Listening to their “I used to race… or I’m not fast enough to race…” stories. No matter what our goals we have a common thread in turning the pedals and letting the wind refresh us as we smile, laugh and share our lives. Many of these guys came out to cheers us on later that night. It’s so appreciated!!
I’m not in the picture cause I took the picture.
Iron Hill Twilight: I’ve always liked this race. The course suits my abilities. Short, 1KM, four turns with a slight rise to the finish. My team Stan’s NoTubes has a full squad of six registered and I’m chosen to start. I’m pumped!
Race starts, I’m moving through the field, I have a mechanical, am out the back, fix mechanical, chase back on and subsequently work (again) through the field and then it happens. I blew up. I could not recover. I could not mentally suffer. I got dropped. I was pulled before I was lapped. No excuses ample humble pie force fed into my mouth.
Humble pie (HP) never tastes good but I do believe it’s necessary to eat every once in a while. It’s fuel for evaluation and direction.
So after Iron Hill Twilight’s serving of HP will I being doing more road events this season? Nah…after an evening of evaluation I’ve determined my road itch has been sufficiently scratched. Time to return to other cycling adventures.
Things I’ve learned this week (there’s always something to learn):
1. The ChesCo series has real potential.
2. I have awesome teammates. Always positive and understanding. You guys rock!
3. I HAVE GREAT FRIENDS IN THE CYCLING COMMUNITY. Giving up your time, energies and sometimes your own ambitions to cheer for and/or help me in my races. Y’all rock!
3. “One bad day does not equal suck.” – Jeff Appletans This is a real gem. Gotta remember this one.
See y’all out there. Keep on keeping on.
*Karl “Genghis” Rahn suffered from wicked allergies all week and was not himself. He’ll be back.