This year is going to be about having fun. This year I'll skip one day at PVD, maybe both days at Noho, and at least one day at Sterling and free up time to get to Orchard Cross, Putney and Lowell. The contraction of the VERGE series has been great, no pressure to get points in VT or ME just so you're not 16th row at Gloucester: just line up by CR.com points and go. Love it.
Got to start this section off by mentioning the 2011 NECXSSWC held last December at the Ice Weasels. I had been riding better and better throughout the year, and the efforts were coming easier and easier. I had a good start at the Weasel and was in second behind Sean Mottram for a half a lap. Got past after the flyover and started to ride away a little. CJ Congrove was there, as was Curtis Boivin. The decisive moment in the race came a lap and half later, when Shawn went down taking out Curtis as well. I upped the tempo, CJ hung with me for four laps, then started to fade. I felt better with each pedal stroke and had enough of a gap to ease off just a bit for the last lap and a half to be sure I didn't crash. Winner winner, chicken dinner.
This season has been less than stellar. I followed last year's preparation pretty much to a tee but the legs weren't ready for the first races as they were in 2011. Also unprepared for 2012 was my brand new rear tire, which went flat at the first race (tire's fault), flat at the second race the next day (my fault), then went flat again this past saturday at Gloucester (I'm going with tire's fault on that one). So I stuffed that bad cat into one of those space-age envelopes for the post office and sent it off to Florida for new internals. I'm borrowing velocb's sweet FMB/grifo wearing R-SYSes, which I'm reluctant to ride in anything less than perfect conditions.
BOB SSCX: Started losing air in the rear tire halfway through lap two. Right in front of the officials, I dropped the bike, ran over to the car, grabbed the pump, and ran back to inflate the tire. It lasted another half lap, so I repeated that every time through the S/F area. This is not the way to get a good result.
PS: Future me: 42x19... would have loved a 42x18
Quad SSCX: Same shit different day. I thought I had addressed the leaking tire issue with some teflon tape, the damn thing went flat again. This time, pit wheels! But I was not happy so I soft pedaled for a bit before getting back on the gas. Another sub par result.
42x19 again, and again... would have loved an 18
SBC SSCX: Hells yeah. This race was what single speed is all about. On a geared bike, it's a watt fest, but with one gear, you can only go so hard. That tends to keep guys together, longer. From the start it was Mike Rowell, Doug Kennedy, Curtis and yours truly. It stayed that way throughout. Rowell got ahead by 5 bikes with a lap and a half to go and held it, but he was working hard as the three of us took turns at the front trying to get up to him. I was second heading into the sand on the last lap, about 50 seconds from the line. Doug made a sweet pass in the sand and had a nice remount to get a 2 second gap and hold it. Curtis pipped me at the post for third. The difference between 1st and 4th was just 5 seconds. When's the last time you saw that in a geared race?
That's it for now. Midnight ride and the two Gloucester race updates next.