Monday, February 7, 2011

In the Pic: Doin Hard Labor

Oh yeh baby, I haven't been in the WBL picture at the end of the ride since I cut off 10 miles on the windy day from hell. Last Saturday, however....
Antelope Athens 5th from the left!
Now you may be thinking, my god what happened? Did an antelope actually stay with the big boys close enough through the final sprint zone to come home with the pack? Who hooked that boy up with the performance enhancers?

I best start from the beginning. Like all great Saturday stories in Winter, this one began at Sunshine Cycles in downtown around 10:15. It was cloudy and wet as we pulled out heading towards Watkinsville for the Hard Labor ride. It was a well controlled pace and I had no trouble staying with the bunch. As we headed West into the wind, the sun finally poked through and we had a mostly beautiful day. Really the only thing that could cast a shadow on a great ride after the sun came out was 5 miles through Monroe, the armpit of Georgia. The people are nice enough when we rode through, though, it's a rough looking little town.  Monroe is so ugly they had to photoshop together 3 buldings, a water tower, and a monument in the city web page to make it look livable. Seriously, here it is:

Come visit Monroe! We have 3 buildings that aren't dilapidated, really.
After Monroe there was a long road called Gratis to a little town I had never heard of called, "Gratis." Gratis isn't actually a town but a "community." Not to be confused with the Georgia Registration and Title Information System (GRATIS), the REAL Gratis is in Walton County and is known to wikipedia:

In fact the wikipedia page had been updated in Jan 11 so we know someone in Gratis has a computer. The clerk at the store was a lovely young lady, who exclaimed, "I've never seen so many bicyclists before." She was probably a little younger than my son, so having no shame I immediately began flirting with her.

No I don't want to go for a ride with you old man, woof
I have fond memories of the gatorade I drank last Saturday and so plan to make sure I hit visit Gratis again this summer. Saving up my 5 bucks for the big show.

And so the first 50 or 60 miles passed without incident. An amazing thing has happened to me from the WBL rides. I can now ride 60 miles on less than 2 bottles of gatorade. I do have to carry a urine recycler but I haven't dehydrated yet.

After the store stop we were 10 miles or so from the intermediate sprint over the Beaverdam reservoir. Again I managed to be in completely the wrong place for this non pro sprint--just behind three guys who weren't interested and let a gap open up with the front. I felt good and so wanted to be in the action. I yelled "coming through" and went by on the right in full sprint trying to cross the gap. I realize that I am the only cyclist in that group who yells "coming through." Real racers just suddenly occupy space including whatever space someone else is occupying that they want. I haven't figured out how to do that yet so I have to yell. I'm fairly proficient at using my voice to occupy space, actually.

I tried to get to the sprint group but it was too late. I am determined, the next time there is a non pro  sprint to make sure I am near the front and can give it a go.

We regrouped and cruised into town heading for the real reason I was in the picture last Saturday---the final attack zone was a circuit. It started just before the pink church and I was summarily dropped on the hill climbing toward the pink church from the east and straggled into the pink church parking lot with about 10 others to wait 20 minutes for group to go around the 7 miles circuit. Two guys sprinted for the line and this guy, named Thomas Brown won by a wheel over J Rosskpf.

 :I'm not sure who T Brown rides for now but he was a Jittery Joes U25 pro and the other guy is Team Type 1 Developmental Pro. These are some seriously fast dudes. The cheetah Jefe came in first among the non pros about 8th place back. Pretty amazing for a guy almost 50. Even when they go gray, these old cheetahs are fierce.

First I am on your wheel, then I am on your throat!

So I ended the ride with 83 miles instead of 90 and with so few miles in my legs was even able to stay awake until 9pm that night.

With only 2 WBLs left, through sheer determination, showing up, and a unique ability to sign my name to a sheet of paper, I am tied for 17th place with 5 other rides, a mere 39 points off the leader.

Next Saturday, I won't be adding to the total, however. I am taking my long winter miles to the trail to contest the 6 hour solo endurance race at Heritage Park. I think this is really going to hurt.

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