Monday, November 13, 2006

Final Race of the GGTOC CX Series

How's that for alphebet soup? Yesterday was race four of the Great Glen Cross Series, it was fun and the weather held off making for a pretty good day.

I woke up and descided that I'd take Tom G's advice and swap up my break levers on my cross bike- of course his complete advice was to do that to all my bikes so I'd never get confussed but I only had a bit of time so I just stuck to working on the Kona. I had toyed with making the switch on the Surly but Saturday night didn't pan out and I never went down to work on bikes. I'd put a longer stem on the Kona and had descided to ride that and see if gears would help me go faster- so that was the bike that was getting the reversal.

Everthing was going fine untill I went to re-run the rear cable through the housing- it had started to fray and I didn't have enough extra to cut it and still make it through- so I chucked it and looked around for another piece of cable. I found plenty that would have worked for the front but nothing that wasn't already on a bike for the rear- however I did find a piece of deraileur cable so I figured I'd give that a shot. Now I know deraileur cable is much thinner and stretchier then a brake cable- but how much of a difference can their be!

So the bike was ready to go and I got the car all loaded up and we headed on up. We park and the girls head in and I'm unloaded the bikes and getting ready to go out and warm up. Some crazy dude comes over and tells me he's a friend of Huubs from Craft, he tests thier product and that he was going to do security for tyler and floyd- but that fell through with thier suspensions so it's a good thing that he kept his job as a cop- OK. this dude was nuts, a good nuts, but nuts none the less- so if you're ever pulled over in Marblehead by a crazed guy just tell him Craft stuff rules and maybe he'll let you off.

By the time he let me get back to getting ready I had about 20 minutes to warm up. So far things weren't going according to plan- but that's just fine. I get the surly down to the pit and head out to warm up. The break switch doesn't take long to get used to and makes a HUGE difference heading in the barriers. What I do notice but don't seem to think much of is that by the end of warm up lap two there doesn't seem to be too much rear brake left. Not sure why this didn't register with me as at that point I had enought time to go and pull a bit more cable- oh well.

To the start line and Mark and I chat a bit, Carl looks a bit hung over, Steve looks like he's ready to rip everyone apart, Craig looks bored, Dan- well Dan's just Dan and the dude just keeps getting faster, and Nate looked serious. Amy said go and we heading towards the first pitch. I rode second wheel for a bit had a good run through the barriers and was feeling pretty good on lap one, lap two I realized I was having a tough time slowing down for the hard transition that was getting mucked up and that if you screwed it up you were going to hit the pavement pretty hard, hmmm brake issues already? Roll into the first barrier and the brake lever is on the bar and I slide out almost going down- but I manage to stay upright and get through the barriers pretty well. At this point I'm still in front of Dan but behind Carl, Craig, and Nate. Nothing exciting for the most of the rest of that lap except on the climb up the practice slope Steve goes by me like I'm sitting still (was I?) and he starts moving up to catch Carl and Nate with Craig having a bit of a gap. At this point it's Dan, Mark and I having out own little battle. The next lap Dan goes by me and I can't respond so now it's just Marc and I. I've got a bit of a gap on Mark but manage to deck it on the run up on the North side of the tunnel. Mike Larecy is there and he's yelling for me to pick my carcuss up off the grass and get going- I do but my rear wheel isn't spinning. I assume I've knocked it out of the dropouts but after resetting the wheel still nothing, Marc goes by and now I'm getting frustrated. I see that the cablehousing is stuck on the guide and I pop it back and I'm in business. I chase and catch Marc just as we go into the barriers where I drop a chain and jam it. Off the bike yanking on the chain and then off and running. I catch Marc again and yell for him to get on my wheel as I can now see Steve has taken the lead and is only 30 seconds or so from catching and lapping us. So I drag Marc around to the bell lap, making sure Steve doesn't get the catch. Marc and I pretty much take it easy until the final climb where I give it a bit of gas and open up a gap to the finish. A good and fun battle. Hopefully next year we'll see a few more riders out there on course!

In front of Dan, this didn't last long!

Rumor has it that there is cross race that either PVC or Gorham is putting on sometime in early December in Portland. I'll post a link once I know more.

On other fronts we have a new dog to add to the mix- Jake. He's a yellow lab mix who is still a puppy but hopefully will end up being a good trail dog for both Karen and I. Molly is coping well- hasn't tried to eat him yet!

Night ride tonight?


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