I hate to sound like a broken record, but I’m riding like shit. It is way less enjoyable racing bikes when it’s a struggle. Usually, about NOW, I come out of the spring/allergy funk and start feeling great. But, alas not yet.
I was pretty wasted after Tulsa, so I decided to drive 1500 miles during the week to rest up. I went up to Minneapolis to do some PR stuff with the Dave LaPort, the promoter of Nature Valley Gran Prix, and then took Bromont, my dog, up to Cable, Wis. (his favorite place in the world) to run crazy in the woods for a few days. Then back Friday for the weekend races.
Anyway, a bunch of us went to St. Louis and raced the Winghaven Criterium on Sunday. Mike Weiss, Mr. Bigshark to you, put on this event in a new housing/commmercial area outside St. Louis. It is a great venue, a 2.75 mile closed circuit with the start/finish line at the top of a small hill, a couple hundred meters after a round about. It has a good prize list. Over 10K for the PRO 1-2’s.
The race was 20 laps. It rained most of the day until our race started at nearly 5pm. There were the usual regional guys around, plus a couple heavy hitter sprinters in the forms of Dan Schmatz and Hayden Godfrey. Plus, Crater and his guys from Milwaukee. I knew we might have some problems.
The plan was to keep the pressure on the whole race. It seemed to be going pretty well through the first half, but after an hour or so the wind calmed down and the course got abunch easier. It wasn’t hard enough to split the field. Or maybe, we weren’t riding well enough to split the field. We needed rain or heat or something. Whatever the reason, it was all together with a lap to go.
With one to go, Bill Stole, my team, took a flyer with one other guy. He sat out there a couple hundred meters and got caught about 400 meters from the line. I was trying to lead Brian out, but he lost my wheel somewhere approaching the last corner. I was on Hayden, 4 guys back heading into the traffic circle. I was jacked, so I decided to go for it and lead up the hill. But, when I commited to go into the traffic circle, Hayden did alittle “track swerve” to keep the masses (me) at bay. It worked perfectly for him. I was heavy on my brakes and floundered all the way to the finish line. Brian came from way back and passed me with about 50 meters to go to finish 5th. I was 8th. Dan Schmatz killed us and won easily. Josh Carter finish 2nd and Hayden 3rd. All three of them would probably beat me if I was riding good, so we kind of blew it letting it come down to a field sprint. I knew the course and conditions weren’t in our favor. But, that’s bike racing.
OK. T-minus 10 days until Nature Valley. A couple of us are going down to Tulsa to race on Thursday night. They hold a criterium during the Tour across Oklahoma. I’ve only done it once before, but it pretty fun. A night race with a bunch of tourists watching.
On Friday, I heard on NPR, they are unearthing a time capsule in Tulsa, buried in 1957. It has a ’57 Plymouth buried in it. I think I’ll stay down there Thursday night and check that out. Tulsa is a great town. I don’t need too many reasons to hang there some.
If I get feeling better, I’ll probably just keep going down to Austin for the downtown Pecan Street Criterium Saturday night. But, that seems to be a big if right now.