Saturday afternoon, Bill, Catherine and I drove down to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to race the Hell’s Kitchen Road Race on Sunday morning. I’m not sure how I heard of the race originally, but I’ve been going there for the past 4 years. I think I like the race is because it is what racing was when I started riding. It’s a bunch of guys that get together to put on a bike race for the riders. Everyone is very unassuming and very nice. They have tons of free stuff at registration. All the food you’d ever need to race. Water bottles, T-shirts. It is very well run. I can’t count how many times someone came up to me and thanked me for coming down to their event. I’d race a Hell’s Kitchen Road Race every weekend if I had the opportunity.
The course is great. The Pro 1-2 field rides 4 laps of a 20 mile course. Everyone else less. There is one “huge” climb per lap. The climb doesn’t seem huge the first couple times, but the last time it does for sure. It is spring in Arkansas. Everything is blooming. It was nearly 80 degrees at the finish.
There were only 40 guys in our field. But, it was high quality for here. We, Tradewind Energy had 4 guys. The Mercy Team had their team training camp in Arkansas this past week and all their guys were there, which was nearly 25% of the field. Plus, Brad Huff from Jelly Belly and a few other regional strong guys from the Tulsa Tough Team in Oklahoma.
I felt like shit. Close to the worst I have felt this season. And I’ve felt pretty bad a few times. I don’t have an explanation. Everyone was complaining of allergies and there was a ton of pollen on my windshield in the morning, but I don’t know. It was one of those days where I have to get up with an alarm. The first step out of bed, I knew something was up. Bill felt pretty much the same and we kind of mirror each other in that respect.