On with the frucking reprot.
This weekend was the occasion for the festival that was the First Security Games (aka Idaho State Games), or at least the cycling portion thereof. (http://www.fsg.org/fsg - supposed to have the results online there, but they look a little out of date)
First event, the road race. 5 4s and 11 5s show up, woo hoo. The "promoter" failed to get the promised USCF permit, meaning this race does not count towards my eventual upgrade. On the other hand, we don't have to follow all those steenking USCF rules, right?
The River City Racers had a fine representation, 25% of the 4/5s field: there was me(5), goonyer Tom(4), Super Dave(5), and Terry(4) who-just-happens-to-also-work-at-Argonne. The course is rolling hills, with only one good climb, according to goonyer Tom who-won-the-5s-race-last-year. The course is also only 40 miles, down from 66 last year for this category - not as much out in the out-n-back. The promoter throws the one junior and one licensed woman in with our group, just for giggles.
We roll off. The pace is so slow that I get bored and go to the front. Sit there for the first eight miles. I'm not getting tired, I'm not even working at all. Tom attacks right before the climb, and boom, everybody (I think) goes right by me. Ooops. Turns out we had dropped a few people, so I was not really last at this time, but I thought I was. I was pretty pissed. Two other guys got dropped on the hill in front of me, so I caught them and tried to work with them, but they weren't going fast enough. I could see the pack ahead, but never seemed to gain any time back because of the little rolling hills.
Time passes. I am hating life. After a nice long downhill I pass a guy. Going up the next hill I catch a teammate. Look, it's Tom. He says after his attack someone else attacked on each hill until he got dropped. We roll along together, and pick up another guy we know. We are about 30 seconds down on the pack. Roll, roll, roll. Work, work, work. Well, this is not quite as bad as chasing by myself, though Tom has figured out that my wheel is the place to be when he's not pulling, leaving me with Tony's wheel. Tony is a bit smaller than me. Nice draft. Not.
Up the final climb to the finish false-flat. Tom and I max out with me half-wheeling him, and Tony comes around. Here's something amusing: Tom thought Tony was a 5, turns out Tony is a 4. Since this race has places by category, Tom thought the race in our group was between Tony and I; turns out it was between Tom and Tony. And it turns out that the pack ahead of us had only 3 5s and 2 4s plus the junior. So Tony gets a bronze medal (medals to three places). Terry was in the pack, and led out everyone. So he gets a silver medal, as the 5s beat up on the 4s. Tom and I get fourth place, each, and the satisfaction of a job well done.
Much later, we head in to Pocatello. Where the crit is to be held not downtown like last year, but in the Holt Arena/Minidome parking lot. Wow, parking lot crit. Big fun. The course is about 0.4 miles, and has three stacked 180's with another 180 around the outside. Everyone bitches and moans. We do it anyway. At the start, where for once I am in the front row, I not only am in the small ring but have 5 seconds' worth of trouble clipping in. So everyone is in front of me.
Not to worry, it seems that I can outcorner everyone. Whee! Soon I start passing people. Too bad my legs are so tired from chasing the last 3/4 of the road race. By the last few laps (this is a _20 minute_ crit) I have again reached fourth place - overall this time, but the three guys ahead of me are the same three 5s who won the road race. No medal for me, but I do win $5 in a "chase pack prime" which happened right after I passed Tom, so he gets the other $5. Woo hoo. He was also right behind me at the finish, lapping Terry in the process. I am not clear on what happened to the other 4 from the RR, but supposedly Tom was in first place overall after the crit. So he must show up at the TT Sunday morning to try for the overall medal. There are three medals in each category of each event, and also one medal to the best GC in each category.
I took off after receiving my $5, and learned the next day that the 3s refused to use the course we did, instead going around the outside of the whole barrier-taped triple-s enclosure. And they had a crash, while the 4/5s did not.
Terry told me this the next day, as he, Super Dave, and I drove to Driggs in order to ride from Driggs to Ashton and back. Which will be the road course of the Driggs stage race next weekend. Other stages are a prologue (flat) and a hillclimb TT - no crit, apparently.
It should be a good road race. I liked the rolling hills; of course I was not chasing a pack over them, but I only had to use the small ring about 4-5 times. We averaged a little under 20, with some screwing around in Ashton. The race distance it supposedly 72 miles, but by going all the way into Ashton we collected 78 miles on the day.
As we started back to Driggs, I suggested that since we are all about the same height and happened to all have Look pedals, we might swap bikes. Terry has a Litespeed Ultimate; he and I swapped first. He has a shorter inseam than I do, though both bikes are 62cm. It was not as flexible as I had been led to believe titanium was, possibly because of the taper-butt-oval-bent tubing. He also has a longer stem, and Ultegra STI which is _way_ looser than DA. Only an aluminum fork, but a nice bike. Terry said my bike is much stiffer than the random SLX frame he used to have. Then I swapped with Super Dave, for a ride on his CreakinDale 2.8 - the Can-o-snails as he calls it. He has an even shorter inseam, also a long stem, and his (narrow) bars are tilted up about 15 degrees from normal. Very strange riding that bike. Dave liked my STI, but complained that my saddle was way up his butt because of his shorter legs. Then Dave and Terry switched, and very shortly Dave un-switched before he started reaching for the checkbook.
So after a couple of easy miles we were back on our own bikes and headed over the rollers the other way. It was a beautiful day, and on this day we saw more people on bikes on the road than I have ever seen in Idaho outside of a race. Like 15-20 in all. Mostly groups of two or three just tootling along. A couple biker babes, even - too bad they were going the other way. We really should have turned around.
That's all for now, stay tuned for YAFR(TM) after the race this weekend. Like I needed to say that.