I had been kind of waffling about what to do this weekend. Brian had too much work to take Thursday and Friday and I really didn’t feel like doing a triangle drive to Hillsboro – Iowa City – Topeka, so was sort at a standstill.
Then yesterday, Heath Blackgrove, out of the blue, called me and said he had an extra slot on his team for the Pro race at Joe Martin. So I emailed Bruce Dunn, the promoter of Joe Martin and made sure it was cool that I registered late. It was all good, so right now I’m driving the 6 hours to the start of the time trial at 1 pm. I’m gonna be a little stiff for the 2 mile hillclimb, but I never seem to have much of a stellar time, I’ve only broken 9 minutes a couple times, so it will be fine.
I need to do more stage racing to get to another level of form, so this is a good place to start. Heath and his guys race hard, very aggressively, I like it. When Heath is in good form, he’s very capable of winning any race he’s in.
I haven’t done Joe Martin for the past two years. 2 years ago, I fell at 47 mph, warming up for the time trial and destroyed my left shoulder. Then last year I had shoulder surgery from crashing at Cyclo-X Nationals, so couldn’t do it.
The first time I did the Joe Martin race was back in 1979. It wasn’t called the Joe Martin race then, Joe was racing it. I was a first year Elite and was 2nd to John Howard in the hillclimb. I was stoked. I’ve never won the race overall. I finished 2nd to Thurlow Rogers one year and 2nd to Jason McCarthy too, but I was racing MTB and was just using the race for training. Kind of wish I would have took it a little more seriously now.
Yesterday, Catherine came back into town for a day one stop, on the way to Florida. I rode to Lawrence with her on gravel. Not the best rest day before a 4 day stage race, but I hadn’t seen her for a while and would rather do a good ride with a friend that worry about being fresh for a race. At least that is what I’m telling myself right now.
Of course it is raining like crazy right now, before 6 am. I think it is going to be a shitty drive.
Today is only 2.5 miles uphill, so it is really a rest day, but very important for the race overall. I’m pretty light right now, but am not thinking I have enough in me to do a real time today. But, you never know until you do it.