Well, the bike came together in time for MABRA champs. Turns out, the problem was INSANELY simple and the solution even simpler. Pinks, in typical fashion, tried to do me right when he built the thing up. He routed the rear derailleur cable with metal ferrules at the intermediate cable housing. In the end, that generous attempt to keep the bike looking and performing best was more harmful than good-ful. Something about the metal was obstructing the cable pull and I was getting poor shifting in the rear. After swapping the metal out for the cheap-o plastic, all was buttery smooth and crisp. Sometimes it's the littlest, seemingly insignificant, things that make all the difference.
With the repair complete yesterday afternoon, it was time to get my mind set for today's race. Unfortunately, I never really came around psychologically. Set out solo early this morning. Matt had to opt out today 'cause of his holiday travels. Evan, BMOC, decided to step it up and race with the 'A's (right where that sandbagging b@stard belongs!!). In the end, I was home and enjoying a ham, egg, and cheese sand-o with SVR before the gun fired for the 'A's. It only makes sense to carpool to these things, so I guess I better step up to the 'B's...stat!!
I've said it before, and I really mean it. I don't like to have to criticize the promoters and organizers, but things were pretty chaotic with registration, set-up, etc. Let's just say, at the start line, we all had to strip down to our base layers to switch numbers from right to left. Get it right from the get-go folks!! Also, some ass clown parked on the course. I noticed this during my pre-ride and pointed it out to officials. They had to re-route the course and the start was delayed for it. This yielded an abbreviated 'C' race and that was another pisser. A 32-minute race is an absolute joke...even for the lowly 'C' riders. Anyhow...down to the racin'.
Today's trend was me not being able to find my pedals. Can't explain it. At the gun, it took me a full 15 seconds to clip in. Inexcusable. The entire field had already rounded the initial 180-degree turn before I was even up to speed. I had the same problem after remounting two other times during the race. Hard to say I lost the race 'cause of it, but that kinda shit is bound to matter when I start mixing it up the Killah Bs. Battled some of the regulars for a lap or two. The only technical sections of the course involved some nasty mud. It wreaked a little havoc with the drivetrain and was just kinda mucky and annoying. I never managed to pedal the one run-up and that was another disappointment. As usual, I'm not sure where or how I made up my ground. I guess there were some flat, power sections in the first quarter of the course. I can never figure out why guys don't take advantage of those sections, but I powered past a crap load of guys on those straight-aways. Also, as usual, the mixed fields made it really tough to figure where I was in the mix. After scooting past at least half the field during the first half of the first lap, I caught a glimpse of two guys up the 'road.' I eventually bridged to a pair (a young kid who I've seen working at Revolution and who rides for NCVC) ahead and didn't spend too much time with them. I accelerated past them. Eventually, a regular who rides for Joe's in B'more (pink jersey) paired up with the kid and they worked hard to reel me in. Never happened. At the same time, I had no friggin' clue where I sat going into the last two laps. I suspected I was sitting second, but had no idea who I had lapped and who I was about to lap. I rode my own race for a few laps and just kept the power to the pedals to ensure I wouldn't get passed. I rolled across solo and probably lost by about twenty seconds.
I'm glad to report I never really felt too taxed today. Talk to me next week after a MAC 'B' race (Reston). I suspect I'll report, 'I really felt too taxed today.'
Word from the road is Evan took 5th in the 'A's. Excellent. Maybe he'll win Nationals.
Time to wrap it up and head up to E&K's. We gotta get to planning B07. The time is now. The trip will rule! Oh, and we're gonna eat.