Monday, May 24, 2010

The Weeping Willow EFTA NECS '10 #2

Ugh.  Where to start?  I have been trying to purge this disappointment from my memory and have been basically successful, sort of.  I've been trying to put as many positive spins on this as I can but its hard to not boil it down to a missed opportunity, but I'll give it a go.

Unfortunately I'm not quite in the groove of race blogging yet and completely forgot to take any pictures, oops (but I did steal some from Shaun!).  Ok now to the positives.

1. Turn out.  HOLY CRAP.  I think I can safely say this was the biggest EFTA race I have ever been to.  Parking lot was packed, people everywhere, fields stacked.  The start was pandemonium, never experienced anything like it.  31 singlespeeders toe'd the line yesterday!!! 31!? Playoffs?!

2.  The trails.  Mike was right.  They are awesome and I only saw about 4.22 miles of them.  Single speed paradise, very high speed, flow, whoops, etc. I was having a blast right up until my pedal fell off.

3.  Enthusiasm for juniors.  Very rarely do I get to see Novice and Sport riders finish usually do to still being out on course and all.  But it was great to see every time a Junior rider come into the finish everyone cheering and ringing the cowbells extra loudly.  Everyone typically gets a cheer to a certain extent but juniors get everyone's undivided attention as they come in.  It must have been great for them to come in with that many people (hundreds) all cheering.

4.  I rode really well (for 4.22 miles). I got a decent start and was positioned far enough up so that I wasn't getting stuck behind slower riders but far enough back so that I wasn't redlining really bad trying to follow the fastest guys.  Speeds were really high and there were some high speed washout crashes in front of me early on but nothing that held me up.  I felt strong through the first two bigger climbs, even with the new 19 tooth in back.

A guy I have raced against for several years now, who used to beat me by 30mins and more recently by 5-10mins even mentioned after the race that he was having issues holding my wheel heading up those climbs.  Maybe he was just trying to make me feel better after my DNF but I will choose to think he wasn't for my own sake.  I bobbed a bit coming into a corner too hot and got passed by 2-3 riders but I caught back up quickly and was then in the back of a 4 rider singlespeed paceline, which was actually perfect because we popped out onto a fireroad and I was able to draft and do basically no work and rest a bit.

I was feeling great and loving the trails and just waiting for a chance to gas it, pass my paceline mates, etc, etc. and then my pedal fell off.  At first it just sounded like a click and I thought I had just rotated my heel a bit too much so I attempted to just click back in but I was having a really hard time finding my pedal this time, i.e. I wasn't even hitting it which I thought was weird so I look down and hmmm thats why I can't click in...its not there.  I stop and look back the trail a bit trying to spot it, no dice.  Look down and sure enough, still attached to my shoe.  Pulled over and tried for about 5 minutes to reattach it, with no luck the threads were mangled just enough on its way out to prevent it from being threaded back in easily. (I was able to get it back in at home in the shed with a wrench and some elbow grease, we'll see how the next ride goes...)  So I accepted my fate and started the long walk back to the start, I was of course just about as far away as I could have possibly been.

I can speculate until the cows come home but I felt like I had a really good ride in me that day.  Looking at results today, two guys who I have beat in the past came in 10th and 11th and I don't know the guy in 9th but I think I was on his wheel when my pedal came off.  I was halfway through lap 1 at 23mins so I was looking at maybe a lap 1 time of 50mins give or take and I usually am just as strong in the second half of a race so I should have been right around 2hrs for a finishing time which more than likely would have put me top 10 out of 31 starters.  But who knows like Gina says maybe if my pedal hadn't fallen off I would have exploded in grand fashion at mile 14 or something and hurt myself and DNF'd anyway.  Hard tellin'.

So what I chose to take from this is that the fitness is there, I just don't have any written proof of such yet.  Onward.

 Team tactics meeting. 
Me: "I'm gonna have my pedal fall off right when I'm doing awesome." 
Shaun: "Good plan, I'm gonna get passed and then dropped by a mom." 
Me: "Let's DO THIS."


  1. Sounds like a great turn out and fun course - makes me wish I could have made it.

  2. sorry man....that's a bummer....i would have been furious...i hate you think that on the drive to the race your pedal was spinning in the wind on your roof and somehow unthreaded itself? i cant really think of any other way that could have happened ...well, at least you felt strong, next time you'll probably ride even harder....where's the next race? id like to make it to at least one if its not too much of a haul for me

  3. i have been trying to scour the forums to find similar stories but cant really find any good explanation.

    The only thing I can think of is I jarred it hard at some point, maybe thursdays ride maybe early in the race and may not have noticed at the time but jarred it loose a bit. We were spinning non stop and fast the whole time so if there was any time I was gonna work a loose pedal out it would have been yesterday.

    next race is at FOMBA but not on the singletrack unfortunately, its basically a fireroad crit. 28 miles, 7 four mile laps haha. The Pinnacle is after that.

  4. 28 mile fireroad crit with my gear ratio sounds like crap.....pinnacle eh? hmmmmmmm

  5. yeah im gonna gear down to 32-16 most likely. should be interesting.

    Pinnacle will be good but also might suck in your current gear ratio. You could do it, but it would hurt A LOT.

  6. its mostly climbing right?...i just did a huge climb sunday....i was in the pain cave but recovered fast whenever the climb would plateau for a minute...we'll have to talk more about this race soon...maybe ill throw a different cog on for said its basically the same course i ran...right?

  7. not sure I have never done the trail run there but its probably some of the same trails.

    I have GPS data, just search the blog for pinnacle there's a link in there somewhere

  8. that's right bitch! you tried to ride willowdale without me as a personal guide, and willowdale fought back! We are connected! EAT THAT!
    me and dustin exploded several times when we went, but our bikes stayed strong. not the same fate for you, sir.
    on the real, that sucks man, horribly. But hey, it happens. glad to hear you at least liked the trails and felt good in the beginning. I am really curious about the route they took you on, but I guess I'll have to ask shaun about that. I may have an available weekend day/morning in the next few weeks if y'all want to try to ride it again.