John, Jason and I headed to Malabar this morning. Jason raced the 5 field finishing somewhere in the pack. John and I raced with the old dudes. 30 miles, 3 laps, 4 times up the hill, the finish line at the top.
About mile 7 it was obvious John was riding hard and the rest were sucking wheel. John says "let's break this thing up". I thought "are you nuts? we have 25 miles to go"! Wednesdays debacle of riding the single speed on the training ride left my legs dead. The last thing I wanted to do was attack in the head winds and get stuck out there by myself.
2nd time up the hill at mile 10 John and some other skinny dude slowly weeded my donut munching butt out the back. On the downhill I caught back on as we reached the base of a small climb. I had so much momentum I just rode around them hoping to draw out someone to race with. I looked back and no one flinched, %&#!
Up front Bob Grimm was hanging out the sun roof of his car snapping pictures and Turra was hanging out the side screaming and blowing a train whistle. Great, 19 miles to go and I'll have an audience when I blow up with digital evidence!
When I hit the Vally floor I looked back and didn't see anyone so off into the headwinds I went trying to maintain a steady pace hoping it was equal to or faster than the packs. The Grimm mobile had paused a while to take pics of the field then caught back up. Bob kept yelling numbers in my ear but I was breathing so hard, I couldn't hear exactly what he was yelling so I just kept pedaling. I caught and passed a few cat1-3 stragglers but no one wanted to play so I left them behind. My friend Pete couldn't either as his rear wheel was failing and dragging him down. At the base of the hill I was still clear and started up trying not to implode.
I've had bad luck at a race like this when I took a flyer and won. The guy at the finish didn't believe me that I had won. Luckily Tym Tyler knew I had taken the solo route and gave me my cash. At the top I made sure the score keeper knew I was in the masters so he wouldn't do the same thing.
I cleared the top with about 40 seconds on the pack but I still had 10 miles and no legs. Luckily Bob and Turra pulled off the course and decided to take pictures from the road side meaning there'd be no video of my impending implosion.
With about 7 miles to go I spotted a bunch of riders up ahead. One guy was as big as me, sweet!! a draft! I caught them on the Valley Floor and when I reached them, I kept going so that my rythm would stay afloat and they'd jump on. They didn't, %&#! A few moments later 2 of them passed by to give me a moments rest. That was all I got because as soon as they passed, they slowed forcing me to come back around. %&#! I kept my tempo and dropped them.
I hit the bottom of the hill and the only 2 I saw were those I had just left. Half way up the hill Chris Riccadi from the 1-3 field caught back up and re-passed me on the hill. I didn't care though, he was dropped and riding his own race. With the finish in sight there was no one behind me so I pulled my victory wheelie then pulled off the road and choked up half a lung!! I was so tired I was shaking and coughing until it hurt.
In the middle of my convulsive gagging for air, I heard everyone screaming. I looked up and saw John destroying what was left of the field. That was so cool for Orrville to take a 1-2 in our 1st attempt for 2010. Once again I go to a road race
We headed down to a Country Kitchen for a nice recovery meal of fried chicken and fish then headed home.
Thanks Bob and Ricky for the photos and chearing. Thanks Turra for the screaming and motivation.