Thursday, June 6, 2013

What a Ride

       Well, I've had a lousy past couple of races.  A midnight trip down the stairs left me with a back injury for the McKeesport Grand Prix and the Green County Road Race.
       At the Wisp XC Challenge, my bike's brakes became completely useless after the first two miles, kind of disappointing, but there were many other racers suffering the same kind of fate.
     
       The Tour of Tucker County was next, this was my race.  I knew that if I could make it down the descents with the pack, I would have a shot at making the podium.
       The race began on a nice descent, there was a crash about 20 seconds in, but I wasn't involved!  I stuck with the lead group, but I stayed toward the middle, trying to conserve energy for the infamous Sugar Land Climb at the end.  Jerry set the pace for almost the entire first climb, and dropped many competitors, I think he had the group down to 10 or so by the time we reached the top.
New (top) vs. Old (bottom)
       As I crested the hill, I shifted my bike into the big ring, you can probably imagine my dismay when my bike emitted a crunching noise, and the cranks ceased to turn.  I tried messing with the front shifter, but I still couldn't pedal.  As I watched the pack quickly exit my field of vision, I decided to stop and try to fix my bike.  Well, it turned out that the front derailleur cage was really bent up, and my chain was pinched between the derailleur, crank arm, and chainring.  I used a stick to liberate my chain and partially bent back my derailleur cage, they are way stronger than you'd think!
Don't I look happy?
     
       I hopped back on the bike, and tried to catch up, but I still wasn't able to shift into the big ring without my chain jamming, and had to stop once more to un-jam it.  I came to love the 39x12 gear though.
       I eventually gave up my chase, and decided to enjoy the very scenic route, something I wouldn't have been able to do if I was racing.  I did speed up a little bit when going up Sugar Land though, the faster you go, the sooner it'll be over!
       Jerry ended up in 7th place, and to think, he was considering not racing!  I didn't actually do that bad in the results (22nd, I think) and I definitely enjoyed the scenery, the new course was top notch, and as fun as it was to ride, next year I hope to be able to race Tucker County.
       The day after the race, I stopped into Pathfinder, to get a new derailleur, they didn't have any in stock, but they ordered it for me, and it was in by the next day.


       The Fort Classic isn't really my race (I don't sprint so well), but I had a lot of fun there last year, so I was looking forward to it.  Unfortunately I lack the brain power to properly operate an alarm clock (and differentiate between AM and PM, apparently...).  I awoke a half hour before my start time with no hope of getting to Washington, PA for the start.

       I still need to get my MTB cleaned up, but it shouldn't be much of a problem with all the wonderful ProGold stuff, I'll have to post a before and after...  Then I'll race in one of ABRA's new Short Track races, I hear they are loads of fun!