Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Indianapolis Double Wknd - Part 1

The season finale, it sounds so... I don't know, all ending?  Almost sad really!

The plan:
Drive to Indy on Saturday morning, race at Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park to benefit St Mary's Children's hospital and then find refuge at the Hampton for the night with Farmer.  Eat pizza, drink beer, sleep plenty and make the short trek to Brookside Park, a staple in the OVCX series that I had not yet seen, then hang out for awards and drive home.  The end.  Yes, the plan ended there for at least a couple of weeks... Sunday was the start to the "off-season" whatever that means.
Snowy roads en route.
Ft Harrison:
Course was snowy, roads were slick and flakes were still falling with temps hovering just below freezing.  I got a warm-up lap in after the Cat 4 race and got heckled by the announcer for going "backside down" on the muddy turns along a hillside.  Changed into a dry kit and set up on the trainer under canopy to warm up with an extra layer of clothes to keep the whole body warm.  This was my first stab at a trainer warm up, but quickly became a fan, at least for cold days!  Coach loaned me a set of Dugast Rhinos and I tested them quickly before heading to the start line finding them rather sturdy on off cambers and cornering.  I'd heard all great things about the tire and it was all true, but more on that later.

Front tire from the drive up.
Call-ups were messed up -- I got called like tenth, but was quick to the line and took the last front row spot.  Then the mayor wanted to speak, but he wasn't there.  I'm all for having the mayor involved and appreciate all the great things he's doing for Indy, but it was 20 something degrees, I just shed my layers and you want me to stand here while you find the mayor??!!  Whatever, no one froze, the official forgot to give us a "30 seconds" and we were off!  The first half lap was a bit of a blur, but I remember taking the lead with Jason and Ryan close in tow for a bit and then trading with Jason to follow his lead (this is where the lesson at John Bryan comes in handy.)  By the end of lap 1, Jason and I were off the front with Ryan dangling just a few bike lengths back.  I felt like power was good, but there were so few places on the course to let it go.  Every time I'd attack, I'd wash in the next turn and we'd be back together and vic versa.  Then as we approached the finish line to start the fourth and final lap, I hear John heckling me for having my water bottle in 20 degree temps, so what do I do?  Take a sip, since anything more was frozen, and launch the bottle.  All the while, John is commentating and says, "...and he attacks!"  So I did...

Post race with clean wheels
Then the race got interesting and a hell of a lot of fun!  I threw all I could into the pavement section and held on for dear life through the first turn.  Through the first third of the lap I opened handful of bike lengths and started backing off in the turns and pushing the straights.  "Upright the rest of the lap and it's mine!" I thought.  And it would have been, but I managed to lay it down in a 180 before the wooded section.  Jason caught me and attacked the next straight, but I managed to get back on his wheel within a few turns and passed him crossing the pavement before the hillside, the last real technical part of the course.  I'd been tripoding a turn that he ran every lap and thought it faster, but not this time.  I did the splits with my bike still under me and Jason ran past, I hopped off, ran the turn and remounted with two bike lengths to close.  Neither of us could clip in at this point with all the hillside mud gummed up in our cleats and I knew I had to relax and get both feet in to sprint.  So calmly, I let the gap remain until the last turn when I felt both pedals click.  He landed on pavement and I followed shortly and we both stood to sprint and away I went.  I was later told that he sat up about halfway down the pavement, but it was a battle and the most fun I'd had in a race to date!

The Rhinos were amazing, honestly I think they made my race.  The improved traction allowed me to relax around a few turns that Jason was skating through.  To put it frankly, I'd pay retail for a pair of them before next season if I had to!
Dillman chasing hard for 2nd in Elites!
The rest of the plan for Saturday went smoothly, only without the beer and with added "warm up on seat heater" time.  Due to cold, pictures were limited, BUT... I made the press!!!  You'll have to read part 2, coming soon to see!
Cat 3 results

No comments:

Post a Comment