A quick word on last Saturday's disaster. I had high hopes for doing well at the 3/4 Giro di Coppi. Had high hopes of at least seeing how I stacked up to some 3s. Well, I never really got to find out.
The race started in steamy and scorching conditions. I found myself drenched in sweat just unloading the trunk. Bumped into some pals in the parking lot and I hope Judd can hook me up with a good deal on a 'cross bike. We'll see.
Lined up for the start and was a weeeeee bit on the nervous side. After the neutral roll-out and some near crashes during the neutral period, things got underway. The pace was comfortable for a while. I sat in mid-pack and never really tried to surge to the front. I definitely moved up a bit on some hills, but didn't follow Eric's advice to stay very near the front at all times. Well, that cost me.
The first lap was chock full o' "Whoa"s and "Hey"s and "Watch it"s and other unmentionables. Guys seemed pretty sketchy and I was really surprised by the near misses and close calls. I think most of the near crashes were due to the accordion effect approaching and starting hills.
To make a long story short, at 12.1 miles, we approached a hill leading to the feed zone. Ready to make up some ground through the bunch, I got out of the saddle to accelerate and climb. Just then, four guys in front of me ran into each other. Of course, they weren't accelerating. They were slowing. Bam! I ran into the back wheel of some dude and started to teeter to my right. I unclipped in an awkward way and saved myself from hitting the deck. The bike didn't stay upright and it crashed to the pavement. I snatched the bike, re-mounted, and tried to pedal away. No luck. I was grossly over-geared. I tried again to pedal away. Still over-geared. I hit the deck again. Embarrassing! Third time was a charm and I finally got going. Turns out the rear brake was rubbing and making it still harder to pedal. Drats! I crested the hill, sped through the feed zone and couldn't connect with Drew for a bottle, and watched the field ride quickly into the distance. I approached the start/finish line and dismounted. Centered the rear brake, gave everything a quick look over, and continued on with the hope that I might actually bridge to the fast-moving bunch.
Well, I had noooooooooooo such luck. I chased for a full lap (at several moments seeing stars) and abandoned the chase at the feed zone on lap two.
Simply put, I was humiliated and sooooooo disappointed. 'Nuff said.
Of course, many, many, many thanks to D&S for coming out to watch and support. Y'all rawk.
I'd be remiss if I didn't add a tidbit about food to this post. Down in the dumps after my DNF, D&S invited me over to watch the final ITT at le Tour. We stopped at So's Your Mom! for some eats.
Man, I love that place. Used to eat there often when I worked upstairs from the joint. Ordered a chicken salad san-ditch with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion. On a soft sub roll, it hit the spot...even though I didn't deserve such a treat after my lackluster race. The san-ditch coulda used a bit more bacon, but, then again, what couldn't???
With that, I'm off to sample another lunch spot that I've been dyin' to try. Roberto Donna fired up the grill this morning, so I'll finally get to sample the infamous pork shoulder sandwich. I hope to report on it soon.