Friday, July 28, 2006


photo by gary ryan - see more here and here

finally made it to a wakefield race this week... short story is 11th of 49 in sport but the long story has a few unusual things going on it. instead of a long-winded recap that would take long than the race to write i'll stick to the highlights.

arrived with plenty of time to spare, got registered and suited up, then went out for a pre-ride only to realize that the new chain i put on the night before (to replace the broken-and-trailside-fixed one from fairhill) isn't getting along with my old cassette. a rookie mistake, but i've been so rushed recently that i'm not surprised it happened.

jay - who was manning the bike lane tent/van - was able to hook me up with a new cassette, but all he had was a 12-25 cassette. oh well, i thought, it's wakefield it'll do. quick spin around the bowl and the gearing is working fine.

i tried to keep riding as long as i could before lining up for the start so i ended up in the middle of a fairly motley and very large group. passed a few riders on the start, but even then i could tell i was in trouble with the traffic. spent the first lap passing riders when i could - not easy on this course and passing is one of my weaknesses - but a lot of times i was just cruising so i didn't hit the wheel in front of me.

half way around the first lap i caught a bug inside my mouth. i managed to spit it out pretty quickly but i was left with a strange stinging sensation on my tongue. never saw what it was but it must have been a bee. my tongue was sore for the rest of the night and still a bit swollen the next day.

by the start of the 2nd lap it was apparent that my middle chainring was also not getting along with my new chain and so i spent the 2nd & 3rd laps of the race in my 42. as it turns out a 42 paired with a 12-25 is a pretty good combo for wakefield. at the finish i was still having problems with traffic and was with a group of 4 riders all within 5 seconds of each other but the new finish with a loose downhill turn right before the finishing straight left no room for a sprint.

my gap to 1st was a little over 2 minutes and my first lap took 17:30. the 2nd & 3rd were right around 15:20. next week i'm pushing my way up front at the start.

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