Sunday, November 2, 2008

There's Always Next Year

Well, I certainly had grander plans for the Boulder Cup than 17th and DNF, but oh well, I had some "good problems" when you compare it to last year's 38th and 42nd.

Day One

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Magician.

I just didn't have good legs and the course beat me. I went down hard on the second lap; it was a non-turn solo crash, I was sprinting all out on some gravel and the wheels simply lost traction beneath me. I settled down alright but never could figure out a rhythm to the course. More warm-up laps may have helped. But when you think about it, last year I pinned it for 38th, this year I'm complaining about 17th ... cycling is all about improving as an individual, so it's hard to be too down about it.

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Magician.

Day Two

After the lackluster legs of Saturday, I went into full-on cycling-monk mode. I rubbed the legs down with Tiger Balm. I sat when I would have stood. I laid down when I would have sat. I hydrated like a champ. I ate a racer's breakfast of coffee, toast and oatmeal. The legs were there on Sunday! I started in about 8th and ceded a few spots to the guys who must blow their wads on the first lap. Then I went to work.

Photo courtesy of the Vercellator.

By the 20-minute mark I was sitting comfortable in 6th and ready to pounce my way onto the podium, when disaster struck. Around a bumpy off-camber turn, my chain dropped below the third-eye chain watcher, and my day was done. My quest for a top-notch result on the large-scale will have to be put on hold. Incidentally, if someone could explain how a chain can physically drop below a chain watcher, I'd love to know.

But after flogging the legs with 3 hours of tempo post-race, I know that right now I'm in a totally different place than 2007 when I sulked myself to 42nd on day two. I know that the legs are still there and I'm not in a November swoon like last year, and despite a poor showing this week I can still win the Cat3 BCR ... and if I win another race then it's finally time for the big time.


Unknown said...

My chain dropped behind the third eye watcher in Frisco. Frustrating. Made me want to switch to a single ring.

Isaac said...

The reality is that if you've got a double-ring with front derailleur, you don't really need the chain watcher. Frustrating thing is I put it on as an "insurance policy" and it burns me ... without the chain watcher I could've feathered the chain back in place and lost maybe a couple bike lengths.

Turkey Dave said...

Isaac! While I may mostly look up to you as "the dad of that kid that can poo accross the room", I have a few comments.

It IS about personal improvement!
I think you're having a TOP-NOTCH season.

I can still remember you asking "So what is this cross of which you speak?"
Now you rock it out....!

Look how far you've come!

I'm convinced that in cross there will always be "those days", and one can almost expect some sort of mechanical debauchery at some point in the season.