Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Elkhorn Day 2


 10:52:30......start time for an 11mile time trial.
Pretty straight forward out and back....tailwind out....headwind back...
Finishing downtown after snaking through a residential area...

Dumbo helmet heading for the finish in downton Baker

After taking 3rd at the NorCal state tt championships....and having two guys that whupped me in Cali line up next to me here at the Elkhorn.....I knew I was fighting for 3rd at best.

NorCal state championships 40k tt
Always foaming at the mouth ready to play the hungry rabid underdog.....I threw down my best effort and ended up a sort of disappointing 9th....Jesse Moore and Chris Lyman put about 24 and 44 seconds respectively into me. Two sleepers stole the show, and the rest of us in the top 10 were within seconds.
Going into the Crit I was down 50 seconds on GC and in 7th place.

After a quick catching up with my old Jackson Hole friends between stages, then a few wheel bearing adjustments and derailleur tweaks .....I was taking a short nap back at our rural mountain retreat..Actually somewhere in there I found time to eat a gel, a Hot dog, and Thai rice bowl..not necessarily in that order....
I awoke at 5pm.... just as I was starting to fall asleep......go figure.
I made a coffee...ate some banana bread...a few cookies, threw my feet up, then calmly watched as the sky darkened and puked gravel sized hail for 15 minutes....

View outside our lodging 1 hour before start time

It cleared 6 minutes later and stayed that way as I cruised into town for our 6:40 pm crit start.

Now, I'm not one to play it conservative...so as the whistle blew and the riders took off I jumped straight to the front of the group....at the start of the second lap a bunch of guys forgot how to ride their bikes and slid like slippery fish across the concrete. Tires blew, exploding like gun shots, and carbon snapped as it ground its way to a halt....Guess it was still a little wet in spots.  Riders were cowering in the unpredictable conditions.  Eighty Lycra clad timid racers were spread single file across the course trying to figure it out how to ride their bikes or catch up, or who knows what. They definitely were not paying close enough attention... I decided to take advantage and kick it up a notch. See what happened..stretched it out even more...maybe snap it and take a select group with me

Off the front with a sack-less group of wheel magnets

Nope...I stayed off alone while the only team of 8 (Team Exergy) massed at the front and brought me back....I managed to score two $20 gift certificates in the process...and then latched on to the counter attack for a few more rounds....but it eventually came back also.
The rest of the crit was pretty slow....almost to slow...sort of got fast the last 5 laps..I waited to long to get into position and ran out of road......came in 10th...super exciting...that would have been an easy one had I been 5 more spots up in the line.
Surprisingly there were time gaps and I came away with for the most part a 10 second time bonus...The main GC leader also managed to lose 5 min. This would put me at the start of the 102 mile Dooley Mt road race in 6 place...34 seconds down.
Put the gift certificate to good use on a mushroom BBQ burger and fries...
The double day over. It was time to head back to the pad and pack it up....No late check out...so everything has to go to the start line...8:20 am sharp..
Lucky for me I was in bed at 12:15 am....then up at 6:oo am......ready to hit it like an 85 year old porn star that ran out of Viagra 10 years ago.

"Jesse....you  should seriously consider getting yourself a pair of Assos bibs"

Monday, June 21, 2010

Back in Baker City OR, for the Elkhorn Classic.....for what must be my 5th year of attendance.
I love this little town, and the sweet little stage race that lies nestled between the Wallowa and Elkhorn mountain ranges,. Being here reminds me of my little house in Teton Valley....The mountains..I want to climb them all and run along the ridge lines from peak to peak bounding from boulder to boulder, free as the wind away from the gravity of life below....wait....did I say run....oops....this is a bike race...sorry....getting carried away.
Lots of snow in the mountains still....I could probably still go skiing....Ok...OK!

On with it.

If your curious about the profile check here www.elkhornclassic.com
The courses are challenging and beautiful...and the support from the people and business's of Baker are second to none.....I look forward to it every year. Over the last 5 years, mother earths cerebral weather station has thrown everything from brilliant blue to impending strike you dead lightning doom. Then for a complimentary garnish spewed a scorching dose of heat exhaustion and brain freezing snow for good measure. This year had a dash of everything including marble sized hail.

Stage one was under almost perfect conditions. Felt pretty rusty, this being my first road race in over a month...lets just say by the end I was happy to make it over the power climbs and super rollers and hold good position for the sprint....It was no surprise when I uncorked my fast twitch kick yourself in the balls drop dead sprint skills that my legs froze. First locked in the extended position and then ratcheted back, stuck in the compressed ready to pounce pose.
I was pounding on the pedals like a rusty tin man binding at one extreme of the pedal stoke and then lunging with all my might only to bind again at the other........It was a case of "Fast Twitch Miss Fire" not pretty but I managed to hang on for on for 7th...

Saturday would prove to be a fun day...with a time trial in the morning and criterium in the afternoon.

report to come.

view from outside our rural rental

Sort of have a lack of pictures from stage 1

try to post some tt and crit stuff soon.

I'll keep ya all waiting for the overall results.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Never Die

Waking up in the desert.....
A vintage bungalow retreat.

This is where you sleep..after a 5 hour race against some of the worlds baddest bad ass's and a 8 hour drive...pull over throw everything out the back...climb inside and sleep.

In the morning find the nearest starbucks...fill up and drive 10 more hours...home.


And keep your fingers crossed that the bearing doesn't go out in the transfer case....lie to yourself that its going to be just fine even though it leaked 2 quarts of gear oil...in the past week.

more sweet..

Its been a month and I'm still driving it..

just can't let go.