Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Fort Lewis College Race

We had a great time in Durango even though the trip was super short. We left on Friday, got in late Friday night, hit the sack, got up and raced the team time trial, then the crit, then drove home. It was a lot of fun though, and although I didn't race super well, we had some big mile marks with the car... First off, we passed the 111,111 mile mark on the odometer.

Next up was that we broke 50 MPG average for the whole trip - 53.1 MPG to be exact, which works out to 803.3 miles on one tank! Aren't TDI's amazing. We went from SLC to Durango and back to SLC on one tank of diesel fuel.

Next up was that it was a really fun race, although the TTT was longer than normal at about 20 miles. Later that day was the crit, and lucky enough for me, it rained and even started snowing during my group's race! Needless to say, I got a bit dirty. I finished with the pack, but count that a good finish because there was a short little hill on the course that was an all out sprint up on every lap (every 0.5 miles) for 45 minutes straight. That kicked my butt, but I hung in there. The break away group of 3 got away about half way through and stayed away the rest of the time. They ended up nearly lapping the rest of us. It was a great time though, and we (the U of U team) will probably have a pretty good chance at going to the National Finals race in a couple of weeks. We'll see how we do at Conference Championships though, it's this coming weekend.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Late post from the CSU race

Well, it's been too long since I posted, so here goes.

For those of you that don't know, I race for the U of U road cycling team. Every weekend in the spring we go somewhere (usually Colorado) to race against other schools in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC). Some of the schools include Colorado State University, Denver University, Mesa State College, University of New Mexico, Utah State University, BYU, Air Force Academy, etc. Anyway, one race that we went to was the race at CSU in Fort Collins, Colorado. The weather was pretty crazy for the events on Saturday, but then Sunday was beautiful for the oval criterium on the CSU campus.

Here's a shot of some of the U of U team bikes in our pit area for the team time trial (TTT) and road race (RR).

It was 40 degrees and rainy during the TTT and the RR so we were freezing when we were done! Of course, after we finished those two events, the clouds cleared and the sun came out and it turned to a nice evening. Between the TTT and the RR, we were all freezing and everything we had was soaked, so we had to remedy that somehow or the RR would have been quite uncomfortable to say the least! So what did we do? We headed into town to find the nearest laundromat to dry all of our stuff. We didn't care about washing it, but we wanted it dry.

Our team and a bunch of other teams stormed
the local laundromat to use the dryers.
After we finally got all the clothes dry, we headed back to our pit area to get ready for the road race. We have three groups that race, the A's, B's, and C's. A's are the fast guys, B's a little slower, and C's a little slower than the B's. I race with the B's and we ended up doing about 45 miles (they shortened it because of the weather which was a welcomed decision!).

Here is a pic of the start of the TTT. From left to right there's me, Brian, and Russell.

Here's a pic of the road race and I'm the one on the far right with the yellow sleeve wearing a red and gray helmet.

And one last pic of the RR, this is the B peloton coming up a short climb to turn around the corner and head up the next hill. Notice our support vehicles following us. It was a well organized race.

And of course, after the road race, it was time to hit the town of Fort Collins for some good, warm food and fun. We ate at Coopersmith's Pub and Brewery which had some darn good food! Here's Jin chowing down on a big buffalo burger. And another pic of Me, Gina, and Brian waiting for our food to get there.

The next day was Sunday and the crit was scheduled to start at 8:00 am for the C group. The B group went off later sometime around 9:30am. It was a beautiful day with temps in the 60's in the morning and rising to around 70 in the afternoon.... just perfect for a bike race. In the B group, I ended up placing 5th in the oval crit and was pretty pleased with that!

Here's the start of the B group at the oval crit, I'm in there somewhere in the middle just a few guys back.

There I am, with Russ, waiting for the starting whistle.

In the B crit, there were about 3 bad wrecks. Two were caused by a wheel touch and one was caused by a guy cutting a corner too sharp and the peloton not giving him enough room. All 3 were pretty bad, but a wheel touch on a prim lap right near the start/finish line was the worst. I saw the wheel touch a little in front and to the left of me a couple of guys over. I saw the guy start to go down and I veered right to try and avoid it. As he fell into the other guys, they fell towards me and I was pinched up near the curb. Luckily, as the guy next to me went down, I was able to move to the right far enough so that as he went down, his helmet just barely hit my left foot. It wobbled me a bit, but I kept the rubber side down luckily. Here's a picture of him after the race.

Another guy that went down got his finger caught in the spokes of a wheel and the spokes took the tip of his finger right off, ouch!

more pics can be found here