Friday, December 11, 2009

Newton -6, Shawn-0

Amazing what a few hours can do to a race course. After pre-riding at noon, the assessment I had of the course was that it was grippier than it looked and surprisingly unslick given the amount of snow on the ground. Fast forward to 3:30, the sun is low in the sky, the mercury is dropping and there is a slight delay to the start. Things change.

I line up deep in the field, somewhere around the 15th row. I get caught behind weird traffic at the start, but move up and around. My willingness to jump off and run when things bottleneck (thanks, Todd!) means I can move up - a lot. I find myself in the top 50 and moving up steadily, constantly pushing, always trying to catch the next rider. Then I crash. Hard.

Up, remount and off. Pushing, pushing. Catch, pass, catch, pass. Trip at the barriers, falling, break wooden course post with collar bone. Up, remount and off. Another crash. By this time the course is freezing solid. The descent after the run up is rideable for just a few and becomes a harrowing ice slick run down for the vast majority of us. Two guys rode home in an ambulance as the conditions continued to deteriorate. Turns were slow dances with the devil, never knowing if you were going to go down until you hit the deck.

I crashed more in this race than the entire season combined. I finished the race with my knee warmers around my ankles, blood coming through my skinsuit and spit/snot-cicles gathered in my beard. Now to recover, and get ready for Saturday.
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