Monday, September 10, 2007

Week in Review

Last week began with me taking two days off the bike. Monday and Tuesday I was off the bike with chest and head congestion. The Bug dragged something home from daycare on Friday. Those of you with kids know that there is no way around it - when your young child has something, you are certain to get it due to all of the close slobbery contact. Wednesday I rode the trainer for an hour and felt a bit better. Thursday I went out to the Thursday Crit and sat in for about 8 laps before having enough and pulling off the track. Friday I spent traveling to MI for the Priority Health Classic Crit.

I got to my hotel around 1pm and called Brian. We decided to go look at the course and have some lunch. The crit was on a 1km loop in the center of "Old" Grand Rapids. Two of the streets were completely brick, including the start/finish stretch. Some of the older brick was rough. I have a new respect for the pros who race on cobbles. I was in the second row at the start of a combined Cat 4/5 race. I would guess there were 40-50 riders in total. I didn't get a great start because I missed my pedal the first time. Once I got rolling I was about mid pack. The second time onto the back stretch of brick I heard a wreck right behind me. I heard someone hit the bricks hard, then slide, and then hit the metal barrier fence that surrounded the course. It had to hurt! I started to move up over the next few laps. The race continued for a bit and then there was a crash in front of me that took out about 5 riders. I was able to squeeze by and keep going. After a few more laps I was at "the pinnacle." I don't know if you all experience this in crits, but there is a point mid race when I feel absolutely awful. It is at that point in a race when the decision is made to either go or quit. I pushed through it and as expected over the next 5 laps I felt better and better. I found myself pretty tense at times and my right shoulder was killing me. I forced myself to relax and felt much better. Over the last 5 laps I moved up a bit more, but had trouble keeping passed riders behind me. On the last lap I had it matted on the last half of the course. I was able to get around a few more riders to finish 16th or 17th (estimated by Brian). They only listed the top 15. Over the last 150 meters I had blurry vision from the vibration of bricks and the exertion. I hit my season high max HR on that last 1/2 lap. I would have liked to finish better, but for a week with little training and riding doped up on decongestant and nasal spray, it was as good as I could do.

Brian was a great host and his wife and family are awesome. The dude has an awesome river front spread and a fantastic house. It was also great to meet Danielle and Bonnie and their husbands. Hopefully I will get to meet more of you soon.

13 Comments:

Blogger bluecolnago said...

cobbles are cool! oh yeah, you have to respect them. especially when wet. :)

sounds like you had a great time!

9/10/07, 8:18 PM  
Blogger bryan said...

ohhhh, that sounds like fun. 40 guys on a 1K course? Yikes.

9/10/07, 10:58 PM  
Blogger allan said...

Congrats-Sounds like it was a tough race.

9/11/07, 2:04 AM  
Blogger Mallie said...

We have a few brick streets left in Macon. I never really noticed them until I got the skinny tired bike! Sounds like an awesome weekend, despite the cold that preceded it.

9/11/07, 2:09 AM  
Blogger lauren said...

top 20! pretty good for a race with that many guys - and for a dad dealing with a cold.

yay!

9/11/07, 10:20 AM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

It was the biggest field of the day, so he had a lot of riders to contend with. I am sending him video that hopefully, he will post showing the Crit Monster in action!
The sketchiest part of the course was the bumpy crossing on asphalt just before the front brick straight; hit them too hard and your back tire was airborne! It looked like fun, but I was glad to be on the sidelines!

9/11/07, 12:35 PM  
Blogger Eclectchick said...

Wait - Old Grand Rapids? Where were you?

I'm so behind the Chris times.

9/11/07, 2:14 PM  
Blogger chatterbox said...

Cool! I bet you hit you highest heart rate due to all the stimulants you were taking for congestion.

Great job finishing in the top 20 in a big, combined field race. You should be proud.

9/11/07, 4:45 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

Good job racing!!!! Not to mention that you were the only one out of our group brave enough to do it :-)

It was nice meeting you!

9/11/07, 8:33 PM  
Blogger sydney_b said...

What, no video? Glad you kept the tire side down and finished so well. Great work! Now get your 'cross on. :D

9/11/07, 10:18 PM  
Blogger oldmanandhisbike said...

I could not post the video at YouTube, so visit my site if you want to see Chris in action.

9/12/07, 7:46 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Blue - they are cool til you wreck on them :)

Bryan - I am guessing closer to 50. It was crowded.

Allan - thanks.

Mallie - Grand Rapids, MI. Home of The Old Man

Lauren - yeah. I guess I should be happy.

Oldman- the video on your site came out good. Thanks.

Chatterbox - you are probably right. I wonder if I would have passed a drug test. :)

Danielle - good meeting you too! Kick ass this weekend.

Syd - Cross?? haha. I can barely cross the street.

9/12/07, 7:12 PM  
Blogger CyclistRick said...

50? That's not that big. See fields up to 100 in some of the local races. Now that's a big field!

Congrats on pushing through and doing the race after the roadblocks of illness and all. But most of all, congrats on doing top 20.

9/14/07, 4:25 PM  

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