Sunday, March 14, 2010

107.2 @ 18.3

4:30 wake up had me questioning sanity, even too early for Marty Stouffer's Wild America reruns. 43° with 15 from NE gusting to 20 .... just have to make it out the door and I'll be fine.
In my usual style I arrive early due to crappy reverse engineering and proceed to freeze my ass off at 5:58 for a 6:15ish meeting, by myself, in the dark, next to a really creepy elevator. I was ready to pack it in when Jay and Nick arrived but decided to wait to dump the ride until the east side of Urbana.

I wamed up and got settled in to the familiar diesel cadence and was in for the long haul. In a never before performed feat of logistical excellence (read: cluster of crappy cell communications) we pulled off a 2 person rondezvous, collecting Alexi along the way.
While waiting for Alexi, I was head down on the bars dreaming of my pillow and anywhere warm, I see bubbles coming from a hole in my front tire: flat 1. Spending a bit of time with my flat and collecting Alexi as he roamed the countryside, the notion that we were late got in someone's head and the hammer was dropped, into the wind.

I liked how the perspective lined up nicely on both the front and rear wheels:

Many an hour spent right here, in fact my entire training program is to hang onto this and pretty much any other fast guy's wheel that I can:
Arrived to Kickapoo feeling pretty fresh, think I took maybe one pull on the way out. I wanted to be there for the end of a long day and tried to save myself. Larry took the big sign sprint and Sean behind him was an absolute ox. These are fast guys and one can get in over their head very fast trying to hang around. I need every trick in my book to stay on and came up short later in the day trying to bridge a gap to the sign sprint group.
Shortly after this I flatted for the second time, this time a rock shot itself through the rear gatorskin leaving a nice big hole.
Wildcard St. Louis was present and unable to resist the urge to clown when the no-look rearward facing camera shots happened: Lowest watt output until he's all of a sudden gone, off the front and takes the sprint battle:
Thunder Hammer rolls:
Alexi drillin it:
I forget if it was Jay or Sean droppin' me off the back at 40 on a flat section, I managed to climb back on but geesh:

Eventually the pace settled down some, the 10mph tailwind helped:

Luke broke a shifter cable after we were away and spent the last half of his ride in the 11 tooth cog. He was trying to drop off and I wouldnt let him, pushing him back on, effectively sealing the deal on him getting lost with us. He did get us back to the start so a huge thanks for that bit of navigational brilliance. Arriving well after the main group had gone home, I eagerly accepted a ride home.
March of the worms was still on, I started today with a squeaky clean rig:

Solid ride for me today, I took flack for not pulling much but more importantly I had enough gas in the tank at the end of the day to battle up the last hill. Eventually, if the motor holds out, I'll be a fast guy too.

Front tire is flat agian on inspection a few hours after arrival. Lovely.

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