Saturday, March 13, 2010

Racing! And my spine.

Due to popular demand, i've decided to update my blog!

There are lots of things to talk about, but the most important is the road racing season has started! I've got 3 races under my belt already. The first one was the first race of the Spring Fling crit series in Lawrence. Props to the Lawrence crew for running such a smooth event. I ended up getting a point in the middle prime of the race. Meaning I crossed the line in 4th in the sprint. There was some confusion the lap before about whether THAT lap was the prime or not. Apparently some jerk in the crowd decided to ring a bell that souded EXACTLY like the prime bell, and 3 other riders and I ended up doing a pointless sprint the lap before the actuall prime. Awesome. The end of the race ended up sucking though, as I was shoved off the inside of a corner and into the mud in the very last turn before the finish line by an out of control rider. Fell way back and was able to sprint my way back to 9th across the line. But the cut off for point is 8th. Blah.

The 2nd race was the second race of the Spring Fling series. The race started off pretty fast paced like the last one, and I ended up being in bad position for the middle prime sprint, but managed to smash my way up to 3rd across the line, picking up 2 points. As we started the last lap I was feeling awesome, and knew I was going to be in contension at the finish line. As we rounded the last corner I tried to rocket my way through the outside and slingshot up to the front, and commence trying to tear my crank arms off. But, i'm not sure what happened between the riders, if they touched wheels or just decided to ride erratic and slower than dead turtles, but two slow movers swerved  right out in front of me and I was forced to take the ditch. In an attempt to get back on the pavement real fast I caught the edge of the road and crashed. The bike faired ok, but I mangled a finger on my left hand and was bleeding in a few other spots. Needless to say I didn't get any points on the finish line, but I still got up and finished. As I crossed the line by myself, I already had tomorrow in mind, which was the first of the Lake Perry Dam Races.

I showed up at Lake Perry and was feeling good. The weather was nice and warm. I got warmed up nicely on my trainer before the race started, and was feeling pretty good. The NOS I fueled up with also helped. They called Cat 5 and I headed to the line. They set us off right on time, and things were pretty fast paced to start, but settle down after about a mile. I just thought I'd stay towards the front, and if I felt like it, I'd make a move. On the first lap, there was a terrible wreck just behind me on the decent on the backside of the dam. I didn't look because I was going too fast to take my eyes off things in front of me, but the sliding bodies and grinding bikes didn't create a good picture in my mind. When we got around to that spot on the next lap, ambulences were in the road and we had to stop the race. One guy was knocked out and put on a stretcher and hauled off in an ambulence. Another was laying in the ditch, and looked to be in serious pain. Other were walking around holding injured limbs and mangled bikes. I tried to put all of it out of my mind. We got started again, and went on and hit the huge climb that was just before the finish line, where we would start our 3rd and final lap. It's 5 mile laps, and I was feeling pretty good/stupid, and decided to go for some sort of strange impossible solo win. When we hit that climb, I attacked. I quickly got a huge gap, and when I crested the climb I took a look back at the damage. I saw about 50 guys back behind me around 80 or 90 yards down the hill. I tried to keep my pace up on the big downhill that followed, and keep it rolling once I hit the big long windy straight away on the dam. But it was to no avail. I was ran down after about 2 miles of riding alone by the main group. As they caught me, a team quickly launched one on their own riders off the front. He got a pretty decent gap of about 50 yards, which he would hold all the way till the big climb, which has the finish line at the top. The group hit the turn to start the hill, and I was about 15 riders back from the front. It was time. I started hammering on the pedals and quickly passed a couple guys, when suddenly the guy in front of me just spun out and wrecked on some loose rock on the side of the road! I was pinned on both sides by another rider and the ditch, so, I only had once choice. Go right over the guy on the ground. And that's exactly what I did. I timed a little bunny hop and just ramped right off his rear wheel as his bike was laying down, and then glided right over his legs. Cleaned him, and never missed a beat! I continued my push up the long climb, overtaking even more riders. About 20 yards from the finish line, I let loose. I crushed on the pedals as hard as I could and blew away from everyone! The only person left in front of me was the solo rider that broke away right after I was caught on the dam. I gained on him and gained on him, but was running out of time. It ended up being just he and I at the finish line, and he ended up holding onto his lead by about a bike length. If i'd of just went on my attack about 5 seconds sooner..... But I took second! I was still extremely happy with this, especially after all the frustration that had built up during the criteriums earlier. I was also happy about not being involved in any bad crashes, and being able to roll right over the top of a crash!

That's the racing, but you're probably wondering why my spine is included in the title. Well, long story short I slipped a disc or pinched a nerve or something in my back yesterday, and I've basically become helpless. You may also notice it's 4:30 in the morning. That's because I'm unable to sleep because of my back. Racing today in Lawrence in the Spring Fling is probably a no-go now. I'm very upset and stressed because of this. I think i'm going to go to a chiropractor today. Also, i'm not sure about Sunday for the 2nd race of the Perry Dam series. I'd had hopes of winning the series, especially starting off with a 2nd place finish, but things are looking dim. I need to get my back figured out first. As of right now I can't even ride a bike.