Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BASP #3 Sierra Point & BASP #4 Golden Gate Park

Totally Look Pro
Race: Bay Area Super Prestige #3 Coyote Point
Category: 35 As
Place: 23/50ish starters
Teammates: Solo

BB abandoned me since he had some fancy dinner to go to. He has no sense of priorities. The night race is the shit. It's got crowds, lights, and the course is wicked stupid (ie. fun.) This year they added in some new road sections to make the laps longer. Other than that its dark, lots of 180s, and a great bmx dirt section.

I barely got a call up since they used the previous races results. I got a horrible start, totally missed my pedal, but was able to recover, but was about 50th and as we went into first corner which required a curb hop riders started stacking up. I took a risk, went inside, a rider started to go in front of me, so i went further inside, i started pinballing off some guys and emerged intact, in the top 20, going into the next section where the road started. This is where it started to go bad.

I had kept my tire pressure low which really hurt me on the road section. I immediately started losing ground on the 200 meter sections with 180s and could not stay in touch with the leaders. I as able to keep pace on the technical sections but lost it on the road, which i assume was due to too low pressure or poor fitness. Anyway.. that was the pattern, i would ride fine then lose a few places in the straight, and catch a few guys that were fading.

I had two moments of drama. Two 45 plus guys came by and the guy in front of me slowed to let them through and a guy in my category used them to get by us, after they called the track. I didnt think that was cool so i was happy when he stacked it up the last lap and i went by him. The other moment was some course tape that reached and and pulled me down the the ground in a moment that got a good crowd gasp. It was so fast i laughed. I caught the guys i was with at the very end but couldn't pass them. This is usually a good course for me but I didn't rock anything. today

Notice the stripes? Thanks BP!
Race: Bay Area Super Prestige #4 Golden Gate Park (CrossMass!)
Category: 35 As
Place: 18/50ish starters
Teammates: Solo

I try to have a small party every year and i call it crossmass. My real friends come! Steve, Alti, BB, Stover, C-Monster, Oso, Conejo - You guys rule! Bell Lappers not in attendance - you must now all shot gun a beer and repeat the follow "I will never miss a crossmass again."

We had beer and donuts. Why donuts? I fell in love with them in Canada and now buy them when i want to feel good. 24 krispy kremes were gone in flash... that's a party.

I got a decent warm up which was complicated by BB's panic'd search for a helmet that would fit his jupiter sized head. It was fun to watch... i kind of like the pre-race show now... he's the best race partner ever. We couldn't share a ride up but it was still fun to be there together. Kind of like and 7th grade date at a dance.

The GGP course is awesome... like a roller coaster. Its mostly single track with a little road and fire road. There is a lot of dirt and due to rain it was either tacky bud or really soupy mud, both of which are good for me.

I got a second row start, but the guy in front of me totally missed his pedal and i didn't have an awesome positing going into the first corner. I was catching people first lap and found a few good groups to ride with. I think i attacked a few guys and was able to drop my friend James Badia who I had not been able to beat yet this year. I think if i had played my cards right i oould have been a few spots up. My pedals failed me twice on one steep hill that was rideable and I had to walk up straddling the bike. There is an embarrassing picture of that I will post when i can find the photo insert button on this stupid blog thing. I had 2-3 guys i was thinking i would pass at the end but my pedal came out last lap too.

Humiliation Galore
I got heckled twice... 1. Going up said hill first lap i pulled out and a guy said "Everybody else is riding it" kind of like i was a baby. 2. I totally messed up a barrier, and fell on my ankle but not really falling all the way down, partially propped up by my bike, which was almost worse. Some guy in teh back ground just says totally deadpan. "Graceful."

I finished top 20 which keeps me in the top 20 for the series which I am happy about so far.

Monday, November 8, 2010

BASP #2 Coyote Point 35As

Race: Bay Area Super Prestige #2 Coyote Point
Category: 35 As
Place: 26/50ish starters
Teammates: Drove up with BB

I'm not sure what was more awesome, the rain that was falling as we entered Coyote Pt. or BB's face as he managed to fight down a explosion of rage at the lead registration person at the race.  I'll back up a bit so you get the full picture.  

Once again, traveling with BB is traveling in style, he was 5 minutes, late but only because hew as bringing coffee.  In addition to this he had cleared out his trunk so I could fit in my extra bike.  It's first class all the way with BB.  He was a little tentative about the day since he had not been riding much due to his recent purchase of a house and the launch of Rockmelt, yes that is him in the NY Time's Photo, trying to look casual while he sneaks into the view of the photographer.  Who knew BB Was a media w%$#@?  You will be happy to know Rockmelt, is getting great press and if all goes according to plan they may be one of the several sponsors for Team Bell Lap next year.  

When we pulled into the park he realized he had forgotten money.  We figured he had enough to scrap by and would bum the rest off of  somebody at the race.  While i registered he looked for a few friends but found nobody.  After i got all set up i left BB in the hands of the registration wives, who were manning the post.  He was going to try and do a hold my license so i can get the $$ after deal.  I circled back and found Karl Ehlert, a savior i often fall back too, who loaned us the scratch.  As i walked up to BB he had his Pissed off face on.  As somebody that is often accused of having a temper, i don't think i have a "hate face" quite as good as BB's.  He was in mid-fight with the lead registration lady and i sensed he was about to go volcanic as i handed him $20 to get the deal done.  That was about all the drama either of us had for the day.

I got in a warm up lap, and a decent warm up.  The challenge was it was raining and was going to be tough timing a warm up and staying warm enough so you didn't bag your race.  I opted for a fast interval driven 20 minutes on a little hill and then found a dry spot to huddle up in, and then did the same thing 10 minutes before the start of the race.  

I got a call up in the second row and was standing next to Steve Reaney, i was so close to fame i almost fainted.  When the gun went off i got a great start, i passed my friend James Badia and a bunch of others and was able to sit on the back of the lead group.  James later told me when i passed him it took the wind out of his sails, that made my day after the race. I was top 10 and held that for about a lap.  Somewhere mid-second lap Don Myrah passed me like i was standing still - he worked his way into the eventual win from like 5th row.  Can't deny the guy is awesome.  

The course was pretty cool if not a little hilly.  There was not much road and it was pretty twisty with a mud pit, and a sand pit that you had to dismount to get across. . It was really muddy the whole course but because there were random dry parts on the course because it was in the middle of a eucalyptus forrest.  The dry parts were made a little harder by the constant 180s.  The mud ranged from think spongy grass and peanut butter mud to the real soupy stuff. The soupy stuff was fine, but about halfway through the race the thick spongy stuff just killed me.  I think pretty much every person that passed me got me on the part of the course where the grassy mud started. 

I had started to fade pretty hard after several laps, and ended up riding a lap with a flat.  I almost bit it on one down hill section, that was a little scary, especially for the guy behind me, so i changed bikes right after that.  James Badia and a bunch of other folks passed me at that point, but I had slowed down considerably during the flat lap.  The last few laps were really painful, and after the race it took a while to recover.  I think i was really muddy after.  Wish i had a picture of that.  I mean look at this picture, am i standing still?  Sure as hell looks like it.

Even thought it wasn't a top 20 i felt like it was a good race.  My split lip from the week before really messed up my week.  About halfway through the week it turned into a cancer sore that was so bad i couldn't sleep - in addition to the nerves shooting up the side of my face it was giving me a splitting headache.  I had to numb it so much i was drooling most of the night, the pain was so bad it would wake me up and I had to reapply.  Today is the first day it wasn't hurting that bad.  Still, it's better than that stupid Halloween race.