Monday, August 30, 2010

Too Much Fun

Diagram 1

Last weekend's tag team race set the bar high for this years CX season. xXx designed a fun course with a good mix to get us ready for the fall - multiple surface transitions, a few loomy spots, a never ending spiral, good power sections, some high speed bob and weave corners, and an off cambered section that felt like a pump track on its side. The day was sweltering, beg-for-mercy hot. And the tag team element set the perfect tone for letting everyone go full tilt but not taking anything too seriously. Lucky me, my girls were there too to cheer me on too.

I raced in the 30+ Master with Mike as my partner, all COURAGE all the time. We went off in a combined race with the 40+ guys too. This meant I was sharing the race course with most of the fastest racers around Chicago. Fortunately, I was partnered with one of them. For all my Cat 4 brethren, let it be know these fast men put down the kind of power that makes you feel like you're in reverse when they pass you. Awesome and embarrassing in one short moment.

The start was chaos, see diagram 1 above. The racers taking the first lap lined up Le Mans style, sans bike, about 50 meters away on the start/finish line. The partners stood in the hand off zone holding their partners bike to prevent $30k with of carbon fiber catastrophes as the stampede came through.

Mike Hemme is fast, bullet train fast, and tall, basketball player tall. So when he came charging through the bikes at me I felt like I was the idiot who decided to run with the bulls in Pamplona on a dare. Of course after Mike there were 40 or 50 other guys too. Chaos, pure chaos, and fun!

So Mike puts down the kind of opening lap I needed him to. With two other guys he opens a huge gap, maybe 20 seconds. I jump on and give it my all. I hold off all but one guy. Make it back to him and nearly take myself out in the hand off zone trying to sprint to Mike. When you race with someone like Mike you do anything you can to respect the time he puts into the competition.

The race goes on and on, 75 minutes in total. There were many hand offs, a lot of super fast laps from Mike, a lot of sweat, a lot of laps where I tried my best, and in the end we pulled out a 4th place.

By the time I made it home Mike was lining up for the 1/2/3 (he took 2nd with Scott McLaughlin of SRAM!). In that crazy heat I cannot believe all those guys raced again, and for 90 minutes. Insane.

Click here to check out a set of a pics of what the hand offs looked like.

Thanks again to xXx for starting things off right!

1 comment:

Michelle Alexander said...

75 minutes of minutes of racing? That's adorable! :-) Can't wait to recap all!