|Evidently, tubular tires don't like to be ridden without tread. I know!? What kinda crap are they trying to sell...|
Well last night there was another installment in the Twilight Crit series down in Eugene.
It was a lovely evening. Beautiful sky's with hardly any wind. A banner day really.
I went down in the Ol' Team Van with Thomas and Kenny.
The race started out normal enough with a flurry of attacks. But none of them were sticking.
I was fairly impressed with how well people were behaving with in the group. We still had some wiggy people. But nothing to crazy. Just the normal locked elbow over reactions from Cat 4/5 racers.
The laps clicked by and I was pretty happy with how I felt. I never felt out of my comfort zone. I mean sure I would be in a little distress when guys would chase a break down. But other than that I was feeling pretty good and looking for a potential move to go.
The prime lap was fairly late in the race. Like around lap 6 or 7 to go I believe. I wasn't in a very good position when we came across the finish line as everyone slowed down after chasing hard for the prime.
I watched a guy streak up the left side ( I was on the right.) of the group. He was moving with purpose. I watched as he reached the guy who won the prime lap and I could tell that they exchanged a few words.
Once they latched up and made their way around the corner I knew we were in trouble.
The duo had about a 1/3 of lap on us once we got around the corner and I had a desicion to make. Do I try to bridge up? Or do I fake an attempt to get the group to close it down for me? Well someone else did just that as I was still pondering it. And truth be told, I think that's the most irritating thing about the whole race for me. I hesitated, and you just can't do that and expect a great out come. It's just not going to happen.
Anyway, once the group was poked a little to try and get them to move I figured the gap would close back down and we would be in it for a sprint.
As soon as that guy pealed off the front of the peloton everyone looked at everybody else to do the work and I knew at that moment that I missed the winning break and I wasn't strong enough to bridge the gap on my own.
I kept hoping someone would try and who I would gladly work with to get up to them but it just didn't happen.
So around and around we went for the last couple laps. I was trying to move up into a decent postion with just one lap to go. Some others were trying to do the same in front of me. All of a sudden 4 or 5 guys went down. I think they got caught in the transition between the gutter and the asphalt. I had no time to react and grenaded my brakes trying to stop in time.
Those moments during a crash are always so interesting. There's the "Oh shit! I'm going down. Please don't let this hurt..." moment as you see what's about ready to happen. And then the, "Please don't hit me! Please don't hit me!" thought once you're on the ground (Getting T-boned in the back with someone else's bicycle does NOT feel good. Or getting run over for that matter.). All of that probably only takes a split second but it feels like minutes...
Once I was down on the floor I sat up and took a mental inventory of myself. Just to make sure that everything was still attached. It was...
So I got up and checked the bike. It seemed okay. Wheels still turned. Shifters still worked. Kenny, who was right behind me during the wreck but didn't go down (Lucky bugger.). I started to finish up the race and as soon as I made in around the corner my rear tire blew. As you can see from the picture above it had good reason to go. I smelled burning rubber when I wrecked. I guess that was my tire being added to the black top.
I was within 3/4 of a lap from finishing so I just fishtailed my was to the end. Riding on a flat kind of feels like riding a cross bike through sand. The ass end floats all over the place. But it was fine. It was a smooth road and I was taking it easy.
As I made my way around the corner I saw another wreck (!?) at the finish line. This one looked pretty bad. Two guys got tangled up on the left side of the road and one fella basically curb stomped himself. It was pretty bad. A lot of blood and moaning,
I rolled up to him and asked him his name, where he was, what time it was and if he lost consciousness. He seemed pretty lucid and about that time a real EMT came up to him and I just backed off.
Its pretty amazing how quickly that whole race went sideways. I guess that's just racing sometimes...
Thomas did great. He ended up 11th at the end and look like he was in control of his own destiny the whole night.
This was Kenny's first Twilight Crit and he did great. Finished with the group and never looked like he was in trouble. I'm sure with a couple more under his belt and he'll be a force to reconned with.
I finshed up in the same position as last week. Although with a lot less attacking and a lot more falling on my ass. Meh. That's just the way it is sometimes I guess. I shall live to fight another day.
As for my injuries, it really was just my butt that took a pounding (Wait...). I have a small patch of road rash on my left cheek and that's it. I'm sure I'll be a little sore but nothing serious.
Thanks for reading. You guys are swell. I dont care what they say....
Rubber side down,