The Twin Rivers Classic. A bit rainier than last year (ok, so it didn't rain at all last year), some better placings, fewer people to hang out with. Thank you, and good night.
But wait, there must be more, you say. Fine, I will fill in some more details if I can remember back that far. For those of you waiting patiently for the Olympic diaries to be released, don't worry because I have actual written notes there.
Looks like I am driving to Lewiston by myself again, and staying by myself again. Woo hoo. Tom said he wanted to come over and visit, but his boss said she already had tickets to some Pac-10 track & field thing. So no Tom. Becky begged off as usual. Ronda has sold her road bike, and Anna is burned out. Fun, fun, fun. What made this race so fun last year was the socialization rather than the racing, because I didn't race all that well but I had a good time hanging with Anna and Ronda.
Of course it was raining as I began the drive into Montana. It rained more as I slept in my car overnight at my favorite campground at the base of Lolo Pass. Going up the pass, the river coming down next to the road was quite full, maybe even over full. I was puttering along to avoid Bambi-smashing in the morning, and it was still foggy/cloudy and rainy. Quite a bit of snow on the side of the road at the top of the pass, too. Driving down the Official Wild and Scenic Lochsa River, also very full, more rain and clouds. I was getting about sick of rain. Finally just as I got into Lewiston the sun broke through the clouds. I was at the race hotel early, and was probably the first one to pick up a packet. Then my hotel let me check in early and I took a little nap/cable-tv-watching snooze.
The weather was sunny and warm as time for the prologue approached. As a special treat, I have scanned in the profile from the race bible at http://www.srv.net/~hah/gallery/trc_pro.jpg - looks like fun, no? I had a better time and placing in the prologue, tied for 10th out of about 50 4/5s. Not being stuck behind a smelly car for the fast downhill part helped a lot, then I just hurt up the hill as fast as possible. By the way, results for the race are at http://syn477.chem.wsu.edu/~lawson/trcc.html or somewhere close.
Then, after cleaning up, and being alone, I went out to dinner by myself. That was fun.
In the morning, the weather was not so nice for the crit. Rainy, in fact. Not so good for a crit that featured about 16 brick crosswalks in 8 90-degree corners (two rectangles connected at a corner). At our start the ref offered the option of passing on the crit for a 20-second time penalty. Several guys took him up on it. Not me, I had something to prove. And I did prove that I know how to fasten a quick-release, not torquing out my wheel at the start like last year. Then I proceeded to not crash in the light rain, which resulted in my getting pulled some time past halfway. I was wearing my plastic rain jacket for some reason, and it was sucking water out of me despite the somewhat chilly ambient temperature, so I had already lost one contact to the corner of my eye when I got pulled, and immediately thereafter the other one headed in too. First time that has happened. But as it turned out the field was divided about in half: those who got pack time, and those who opted out or were pulled and pro-rated to 20 seconds down. Officially I was 31st in the crit, which dropped me down to 17th or so on GC.
But after lunch was my strength, the flat time trial. Heh heh. Still sprinkling lightly on the 10k out-and-back. My aero preparations were limited to clip-ons and a lowered stem - left the disk at home, it probably would have flatted on me in the rain or something just to be a tubular. I passed my 30-second man, but couldn't quite get my minute man, and ended up 7th in the TT which put me up at 9th GC, in the money! And the only thing left was a 50-mile road race with three major climbs! Oh, how many places might I move up on the climbs...
Basically wasted time watching tv until the spaghetti feed that night, then wasted more time until going to sleep. It's so fun to be alone.
It was still sprinkling lightly on the road race start, but the rain was not really a factor in the race. We rolled out and took it easy until the first climb, where I didn't even get dropped really hard. I caught back on and sat in until the next hill, where I got dropped more significantly and had to work a bit more to get back on. Which I did, then sat and watched everyone ride away on the final climb up the Old Spiral Highway. Wow, that was fun. The finish was moved down the hill about a mile because of a rockslide, which was nice, but then we had to ride back down the spiral way (slower! wahh!) instead of the new highway (faster! whee!).
Then I pretty much put the bike in the car and beat it for home, knowing I was not waiting around for anyone else or any prizes or anything like that. Why wait another three hours for results? Back up the twisties over Lolo Pass and back down the Montanabahn I went.