Menomonie Criterium

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I am short of time already this morning, having to high tail it over to Stillwater to race up and down the hill.  It is a very hard race and I’m sort of looking forward to it for some reason.  I’m just riding okay, not really able to shake the care legs out, for some inexplicable reason, but I’m hoping for better today.

Yesterday I raced in Menomonie.  It is a cute town east of Minneapolis about an hour.  I got there early and did an hour ride out in the country.  It is beautiful there.  Big rolling hills and endless farmland.  But, I had a splitting headache all morning and it wasn’t going away with the easy ride as I was hoping.

I went back to the car and ate a handful of aspirin and then drank some coffee.  That didn’t really help, so then I drank abunch of water, thinking it was maybe dehydration.  Still there.

So I started the race with a bad headache.  Luckily for me, bike racing takes a ton of concentration and the headache got put on the back burner as soon as we started.

The race was a little harder than normal.  Short course up and down a slight hill.  It was okay fast.  Something over 27 mph at the end.  I felt alright but not stellar.

The last lap I tried to go early and got into the final corner in the lead, but the finish was kind of far away, maybe 250 meters.  Guys started passing me, we a couple did about 1/2 way to the line and then the race leader, Laszlo Alberti, got tangled up with another guy and  the other rider fell pretty hard.  I did a stutter coast, thinking I was going to hit him, and got passed by two more guys, so ended up 4th, just a few inches from 3rd.  That was a little depressing, but that is how it goes.

There weren’t as many guys racing, maybe 40-50 at the start.  And half of those guys got dropped.

Okay, I am late already, the race this morning is at 11:45 and I am 45 minutes away.  Today is Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.  Also, Nevada City is today.  Busy day all around. 

These guys were all gathered together, so I thought it might rain.  Luckily it didn't until later.

These guys were all gathered together, so I thought it might rain. Luckily it didn’t until later.

There are miles and miles of beautiful farmland around Menomonie.

There are miles and miles of beautiful farmland around Menomonie.

Results.  I'm in 2nd overall now, but am so far from first that 2nd is the best I could possibly finish.

Results. I’m in 2nd overall now, but am so far from first that 2nd is the best I could possibly finish.

1st day of summer. 

13 thoughts on “Menomonie Criterium

  1. Bill K

    Sounds like you’ve got your legs back, but your head is only at 95%.
    If you were 30 again, you would have ignored the crash, and either won it, or crashed out.

  2. Dave King

    Nevada City is one of my favorite races. It’s a real Northern California Classic along with the Copperopolis Road Rade and the Cat’s Hill Criterium. The crowds always come out to Nevada City and although the race doesn’t attract the same level of riders that it used to, it remains a challenging race to compete in and an exciting race to watch.

    1. Bee Ryan

      I’ve raced all three of those races in Northern California. I really like Nevada City. It’s a great course in a great place and it’s very challenging. The crowds and people are awesome. There’s a super tough climb and a very fast descent. It’s all up or down and only strong men or women win at Nevada City. There’s no fat guys sitting in and waiting for a sprint. A real classic.

      Cat’s Hill is also a classic California race. Maybe it doesn’t have the prestige of years past, but it’s a challenging course for sure. The course is a tough one to get a rythmn going if you’re not in good form. Like Nevada City, it’s not a course for poor bike handlers and lazy riders. You better bring your A game to Cat’s Hill. The climbs are short and punchy and will drop less than fit riders. There’s a big fight for position at the very short and sharp main climb before you plunge downhill on very sketchy pavement that is a bit off camber. It’s very fast and can be frightening for some. If you win here, you should be rightly proud.

      Copperopolis has been billed the race flyers as “California’s Paris-Roubaix”. I disagree with that because I was expecting a largely flat course. But I’m not complaining and the promoters were likely referring to the road surface in spots, which is very Roubaix-like. In reality there’s a fair bit of climbing and it’s a great road race on varied and challenging terrain. If the heat doesn’t get you, the climbs and the rough road will. To top it off, there’s a very fast, long descent on pavement that demands 100% concentration because some of those potholes will definitely ruin your day. Not only that, the last time I rode it there was oncoming car traffic as the race didn’t have full road closure. All in all, it’s a fantastic race and a prestigious win if you can get it even if the prize money is basically non existent.

      If you’re looking for some great racing in northern California, then these three races should definitely be on your racing bucket list. There’s also alot of great races in southern California, too.

  3. Sean YD

    A small correction:
    Today is not the longest day of the year. It still has 24 hours. We who live north of the equator will just have more hours of sunlight.

    1. Nigel Whitmarsh

      A correction to your correction: Today IS the longest day of the year. It is also the shortest day. Today has 24 hours, which is the same as every day. All 365 of them.

      Leap years excepted of course.

      Carry on.

      1. Jim

        Well, that isn’t correct either.
        As I learned in elementary school, every day is 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds.

  4. Nigel Whitmarsh

    Sorry to correct you old chap, but the day is actually 24 hours. Your teacher should have been summarily fired by the headmaster. Do carry on.

    1. Jim

      Kind of pompous for someone who is not correct, aren’t you “old chap”?
      As was pointed out below, the time I gave is correct.
      It has to be reconfigured to come up with 24 hours exactly, hence the “leap day” every four years.

      1. Nigel Whitmarsh

        Jim, I am neither pompous nor angry as you appear to be. I would say that your comment is typical of nutter colonials, but that would put me on your level. I will not do so.

  5. James

    I think all the “hours” posters are correct. Let’s do the math: One sidereal day is 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4 seconds, or 86164 seconds. Multiply this by 366.25 sidereal days in a year, and you get 31557565 seconds. Divide by 365.25 solar days, and we get that a solar day is…. 86,400 seconds. That’s 24 hours exactly!

    1. Nigel Whitmarsh

      Finally a voice of reason and of substance rings out. Thank you for clearing things up.

  6. Jeff D.

    gee I thought each 24hr period (or 23hr 56′ 04″) had a day and night, so it was the longest period of “day” and the shortest period of “night”

  7. JD

    For Nigel.. I will apologize for Jim’s comments because don’t think his ego will allow it. We in the US are not all “nutters”. There’s some 300 million of us here, so of course there’s a big number of loose cannons. Same as anywhere.


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