Monday, December 15, 2008

12.13.08: Ice Weasels Cometh

Unfortunately, this is going to be a short report. 

I spent my alloted blogging time this week playing with iMovie on this here MacBook. It's incredibly intuitive, like everything else on this machine, and since the movie is made up of clips from the Ice Weasels single speed race it wasn't a complete waste of time. If I can figure out how to get that video up here, I will. 

Edit: Here it is. This is my first effort on iMovie, so forgive the over-the-top editing and gratuitous campy-ness, I was trying to learn the tool.

In a nutshell, I sucked eggs this past Saturday. I checked out for the season last weekend after the two RI races, but wanted to go to Ice Weasels figuring it would be a bit more "festive" than your average cross race. I made the mistake of actually racing though, and worse yet racing in the last field of the day so just when I was finishing up and getting ready to put down a few beverages, everyone was leaving the venue. 

On the way to the Wrentham, I forgot more than once that my bike was on the roof and that I was headed to a race. The last time this happened to me it ended in disaster. 

Three years ago on my way to work I decided at the last minute to bring my bike to the shop at lunch. Already late for work, I was rushing around and stuck the bike up on the roof racks, too lazy to take put the rear seats down and slide it inside as I prefer to do when the bike sits all day in our parking lot. After eating lunch at my desk I had to go to a meeting downtown and going out to the car I saw the bike on the roof, realizing at once that I'd forgotten all about it and the my hastily planned trip to the shop. At the end of the day walking out to my car I saw the bike again and realized I'd forgotten about it for a second time. I recall thinking right then "I have got to remember that thing is up there, this is not good." 

Maybe you can see where this is going.

Fifteen minutes later I was stopped at the last stop sign before my house, a scant .9 miles away. This guy in a Subaru with bike racks on the roof pulls up next to me to take a right hand turn, but when I look over at him his neck is cranked up and he's looking at something over the top of my car to my left. "What the hell is he looking at?" and I to turn to my left and look out the window expecting to see some sort of exotic bird or fireball in the sky. Then it hits me... he's looking at my bike. Ok, that's 3 times I've forgotten about that bike.

Ninety seconds later I drove the car with the bike still on the roof into our garage.

So Saturday I was having similar lapses in memory. Clearly I wasn't into the "racing" part of this race. 

I lined up with 20 or so others and was second wheel for two laps and in the top 4 for three. Then the lights went out. I had nothing. It wasn't lack of fitness, I couldn't make the legs turn over at all and the muscles were simply shut down for the day (Later that evening I got winded climbing the stairs just one time). I slowed down by 10-15 seconds per lap at least for the remaining 5 or 6 laps after that and watched as 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th caught and rode away from me. With two to go, Colin was gaining and would have easily passed me until we discussed our mutual desire to take a beer feed. With 1.5 laps to go and entering the beer feed area, there was no drink to be found. A few turns later Scott managed to dig up one cup of grog: and seeing the prize I easily out-sprinted Colin to it but shared it with him in the spirit of sportsmanship. 

We rode together through the bell and around to the beer feed area for the final time to discover that the feeds were plentiful. We drank, toasting a great season and took 3 or 4 turns to get the small cup of PBR down in an impromptu mid-race period of neutral racing. With the beer gone, I stuck my front wheel inside of the next turn to indicate I was prepared to throw it down for the last 3 minutes of racing for the year. 

So was Colin apparently, and he stayed in front of me all the way to the line. 

I was 8th or 9th overall, I forget, but 3rd 35+. My main nemesis in 2008, Mike Rowell, had raced earlier and despite that effort took 5th overall. He was also 1st master. Dave Wilcox from Cambridge bikes had the ride of his life I suppose, hanging with two strong elite riders for the majority of the race and finishing a well deserved 3rd in the end. All of that in a black and silver head to toe skin suit with a gigantic shark fin on top. 

It wasn't an epic course, the fields were not large, and the racing wasn't very serious, but there have been enough of those events this year. Ice Weasels was a perfect way to end a great season with all of the NE cross family. Kind of like a back yard cookout... cyclocross style.


Colin R said...

22 hairpins weren't epic enough for ya?? Just wait till next year, then.

matt said...

I'm doing the 9 am race next year, even if it is the women's 4 singlespeed field.

Cathy said...

Awesome video! For the record, however, I finished 2nd in women's SS - DOH! But I was better dressed ;).

Oh - and you had me worried that you drove home from the race after some recovery drink and drove the bike into the garage!

Enjoy the off season. Hopefully we can do some MTB.

Colin R said...

Cort Creamer??


JT said...

Neat little video there kid! =) I like the 'Ferraro, stop sucking' line and remember hearing it during the race. That was on the 1st or 2nd lap. I wasn't warmed up yet and didn't have a stellar start, but obviously moved up. I was actually in 2nd place, but due to yet ANOTHER chain drop (where I had to dismount, put it back on, and remount) finished 3rd.

matt said...

Cathy - Fortunately I didn't drive the bike into the house again, but I was just as disconnected with my bike that day as I was on Saturday. I did have to keep reminding myself that it was up there though.

Jeff- I messed us the end of the video, but the last clip of you was supposed to show text that read "Jeff eventually stopped sucking." It flashes quick if you pay attention.

gewilli said...

nice video...