“I am a goddamn monster.” Upon a Burning Body.
I love bike racing. Not enough to train for it; but enough to jump into it for some ass kickings among my swim and run training. I also love mma and fear this lack of survival instincts may cause me some broken bones in the future. Hahahah.
Over the years I worked my way up to a Category 3 card from USA Cycling. It’s like “good” non pro. The 1/2 are basically pro and AAA pros. I am also now old enough for ” masters” which has a lot of 1/2 athletes looking to beat the crap out of the rest of us. It would be like seeing a pro drop down into your age group then telling you if you can’t draft him the whole way your race is over good fun!
The first race was Coxsackie. Pronounced Cock-Sack-E, the jokes are endless. “It’s so long and hard ppl just want to ride it.” “When it’s cold, it shrinks.” “cocksackie exploded at the head.”
Anyways, the race itself is long, 50-60 miles and early, late march/early April. Racing that long that early is just sick training. It’s basically the perfect prep for a half IM. The wind splits the field like a knife and you need to be on the ride side of the divides that occur. So staying near the front is critical. That is WAY easier said that done however! After doing that for 40 miles I went off the front a few times in feeble attempts at glory and got barely a gap between being caught and spit out the back at mile 45 giving yourself 5 miles solo to sing the “you got dropped song.” Which doesn’t exists but with 5 miles of solo riding you can write it because of the wind and bravery a group of 4-5 hard men got away early and won. I love to see that kind of racing.
The next weekend is the Might Tour of the Battenkill. Battenkill is the largest participatory bike race in the USA and for good reason; it’s sick. Modeled after Paris-Roubiux the race that goes over cobbles, they North Eastern classic uses 8 dirt roads and climbs over it’s 70 mile route. The dirt adds some crazy hard riding as road bikes don’t exactly love dirt making the 70 miles feel like 80-90. Add the fact that the gentleman you are racing are trying at every moment to break you and you get THE classic of the year.
My race started out with a flurry of early attacks and counter attacks by Fin-Kraft a well organized team. Cycling is a team sport and it’s great to see it unfold as one. I was less appreciative at the time when I was full on sprinting 3 miles into a 70 mile race with all the hard parts yet to come.
We hit the first serious climb and 1/3 of the field was gone. We hit some dirt and people popped. People at the front driving the pace and each selector: dirt road or steep climb people got dropped. At mile 22 I got dropped but not by much and with a group of ambitious fellas that didn’t want their race to end and we worked together in a rotating pace line and chased for what felt like forever and tagged back on. Miles 22-50 are the easiest with the selectors being early and late.we had some time to try to recover and I needed it as the chase back on was; um, good training and had me seeing stars.
I made it over the next climb or two but then got dropped again. Amazingly I got dropped with one of the strong men from the prior chase back on 20 miles earlier and again we worked back into the field. Again this was sick effort; the type I can’t duplicate in training. Somewhere there was a third climb maybe with 10k to go and I get dropped and then road hard and caught others that got dropped. Our working group of about 6 road tempo and pretty hard until the end and even battled it out among us in the last 2k dirt climb for fun and pride, I took 35th over all and was smashed from it all. Good stuff! My teammate was top 5! Go him!
The next weekend was Quabbin. Obviously it’s throbbin’. The comment section if my blog is for your convenience should you want to put together a throbbin Quabbin and cocksackie joke. They pretty much write themselves
CCB strong man Kirin when on a solo break and then several men joined him. He road solo for 50 miles or so. Then we caught him. He took another flier after that. His suffer meter goes to 11. I watched a few splits in the field happened and did a few all out efforts to make the gap. A few more to not pop off the back as this race as 1200m of climbing over 100k. The end is a 5k uphill finish and I had nothing for it and took 35th or something leaving the pros, former pros and bad asses to duke it out for glory as I was just happy for the work and not to get blown off the back and as I road up the 5k climb my legs were trashed and I was pedal squares.
The last race of this 4 races in 4 weeks was the State Fair Grounds crit. The other events are pretty big, this is super small. Just a bunch of freaks trashing each other with effort on a Tuesday night for 60 minutes on a 2k crit loop.
From the gun the attacks started. I tried to not be foolish but also knew that breaks are serious and if you miss the right one you find yourself racing for best-of-the-rest. At 10 minutes the first prime went up, a race within the race, the winner if the next lap gets some swag. A guy launched and then I went. Sadly I wasn’t quick to go and them paused once I bridged up to him. We had a 100m gap but two pauses meant that we got swallowed up before the finish. 5 minutes later and the next prime went up and again we he attacked and this time I jumped without pausing and when I caught him passed him and together we stayed away. Sadly we had a third dude who was on another level with the sprinting thing and as we neared the line he dropped both of us. The next 15 minutes was more attacks and chases then At the 30 minute mark a guy attacked and I went too with a 3rd guy. We stayed away for a while a group of four bridged up to is and the 7 of us had a BIG gap. Sadly we didn’t work well together but we did work hard enough to build on the lead and it became clear this was the winning move. With a lap to go (2k) I went off the front. Someone joined me and we worked hard to stay away and for a moment I thought we had it but with 500m a
To go we got caught. I tried to rally for the sprint but then the reality of my triathlonness came crashing down and I sprinted like a triathlete taking 7th of 7. still too 10! Woot! Was stoked for the result and to be a player in a pro-1-2-3 race.