Friday, May 29, 2009

Quad Cities Crit 2009

It was worth the trip.

The day actually started the night before. My family and I were in bed by 8 pm. Why you might ask? Well I have two children, Lola 5 years old and Giuseppe 2 years old traveling to quad cites for a 930 am race. This required a 5 am departure time. After listening to their complaints and protest, they finally gave in and went to bed. The alarm clock woke us up at 430 am and by 515 am we were on the road after a quick pit stop at Duncan donuts(kids). There really was no traffic to speak of and we arrived around 830 am. I went to registration and quickly got ready to race.
After a quick warm up, I waited by the course to get my warm-up lap. The course was a figure 8 flat 1.5 mile course, which I knew would make for a very fast 14 lap race. As we got started the peloton was really pouring it on probably to weed out the wannabes. It did not start to settle down until maybe the 5th-6th laps. Riders were constantly moving trying to find their optimal position in the race. I tried to stay close to the front which proved to be the right choice. As the peloton reached the final 3 laps the pace greatly increased and many riders were overly anxious to move up causing some near misses. As we were clearing the first left of the last laps a rider in front of me lost his line and was leaning on another rider trying to recompose himself. It looked like he had it under control but I was not taking any chances and I quickly veered left to avoid an incident. A few seconds later his front wheel caught the other rider’s rear wheel and he went down. I quickly looked back and saw carnage and thanked the cycling gods I avoided that mess. I latter found out that rider broke his callor bone. The pack that survived sensed this was a perfect time to attack and quickly accelerated. This was a make or break for me. I quickly dug deep and caught on. This proved to be the decisive moment for me. With 1 lap to go attacks were every where. I made sure I kept close to all the action. The second to last lap it was time to move up and get into position. On the final turn I could see Mike Seguin on the inside, I was on the outside with a few riders in front of me and I thought for a second to crossover and jump on his wheel. I did not know if anyone was on my wheel but I could not risk causing a crash and ruining my race or others. The finish was not far from the turn so there was not much time for the sprint. I was making time but the finish came too soon and I came in 5th place. Good job to everyone!!!
I would like to thank my family for supporting me and putting up with the traveling arrangement.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Ramblings of a Mad Man

Matteson started up this week. It's nice to see old and familiar faces again. What a great training ground! I started going there 3 years ago now. After getting dropped for the first 3 weaks straight I got the hang of what to expect in race conditions. Last year I moved to the "A" group. Wow, can they ride fast!
Today me, Bob and Elvis went for a 35 mile ride in Indiana . The lite rain turned into just plan old rain about 5 miles in to the ride. Too late to turn back now. I always like the fealing of your feet getting progressively wetter until they are just drenched appendages on the bottom of your legs to further decrease your pedal stroke. Glasses were useless until me and Bob got either oil or gas in our eyes. Man, did that burn! The only thing good was there was little traffic, so you really didn't have to see where you were going anyways. Then half way into the ride, Bob decides to out power me. As I pulled around him and look back, POW, there goes my rear wheel. Even with a quick tire change, trying to warm up again when you are soaking wet takes a while. It's always a little hairy when you are going over holes in the ground that are filled with water that you really don't know how deep that hole is. With that being said, I blew out the rear tire again. What a great ride with a couple of other nuts! It's always nice to know you're not the only one around. Tony

Registration for the 2nd Annual Chicago Criterium held on July 26th in beautiful downtown Chicago is now open. Registration is here. Racing starts at 7:00 am with the Juniors and the day wraps up with the PRO 1/2's heading out for 80 kilometers. I would suggest signing up today, or you just might end up being a spectator this year.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ride Smart ... Stupid

The first part is what I heard with 4 to go in the cat 4 race at Vernon Hills. I told the pack, if I was smart that wouldn't be a problem. Everybody had a good laugh on me. Just to let everybody know, I am a Chicago firefighter. That equates to what we call as a 'jag off." So all that jaw jacking in the pack means nothing. Just keep on pedalling and go for the win! - Tony