I hate to sound like a whiney-B, but I’m tired from a whirl-wind weekend. I had to get up at 4:00 AM on Saturday and Sunday. There are still drunks passed out on the sidewalk near the Falconer at 4 in the morning.
WARNING: The following 4 paragraphs are about the Devil’s Punch Bowl. If you’re like me and you hate race reports, do not read. Or, you can just scroll down to my Haiku and read about it there.
Let be completely frank. When it comes to road racing in southern California, there are 3 words that make me cringe; criterium, Thurlow, and Rogers. Now let me explain. I don’t like crits because I’m a 140-ish pound mountain bike racer and my sprint is about as powerful as a watch battery. I don’t like the mention of Thurlow Rogers because people in these parts talk about him like he’s unstoppable. Granted, he’s an Olympian, won a Pan Am gold medal, won the NRC, won a Masters World Championship, etc., etc., but I don’t show up to a local road race like Punch Bowl hoping to finish second just because Thurlow Rogers is there. Besides, if he were really unstoppable he'd have his own Wikipedia page, but he doesn't.
Anyway, so here’s what happened at Punch Bowl. On the first of 3 hot and windy laps a 6 man break goes up the road. Okay, no big deal. It’s early. Be patient. A bit of a gamble, I know.
Shortly thereafter, on a downhill Thurlow and Mark Noble bridged to the break and there went the race. Because As soon as they made contact with the break, I knew my gamble had screwed me. Coincidentally, their move blew the field apart.
I spent the rest of the day in the first chase group with 9 other guys; 3 of which were sitting on because they had teammates in the break. That meant only 6 of us were chasing. On the last lap, the sitters-on used their fresh legs to drill it up the biggest climb and because of my chasing efforts; I had no matches left to burn. I ended the day in 14th. Noble won and Thurlow was second. So, what we’ve established here is that Rogers can be beat (just not by me) and I’m not much of a gambler.
Devil’s Punch Bowl Haiku
I missed the damn break
Rode hard, but to no avail
I finished fourteenth
Here’s something on Willie Stewart that Johnson sent. Speaking of Willie, I worked the PossAbilities Triathalon on Sunday with him and the rest of the team. Willie had the microphone all day. That guy really knows how to work a crowd.
I must be doing something right. Ryder had a meltdown because I wouldn’t let him ride his new bike before going to school this morning. I know how he feels...
Are you just going to sit on my wheel or are you going to pull through?
I might have to hit this up instead of going to bike practice this Thursday.