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Off the back...but finished. (long)(17 posts)

Off the back...but finished. (long)gregg
Mar 26, 2002 2:23 PM
Using the Sea Otter Road Race to kick start my riding season was a tough way to go, but I'm glad I did it. I hadn't trained or even ridden my road bike for 4 weeks due to an unlikely chain of events. It was too late to back out, so I decided to buckle down, stop making excuses, and just ride.

Fortunately for me, the Sea Otter Amateur Road Race circuit is a fairly easy one (for those in half-way decent shape, that is). A lot of short climbs, descents, and rests. No extended climbing except for the 5km stretch back into Laguna Seca. Senior 5's did two laps which meant 38 miles for me. I hadn't even ridden more than 25 miles on a road bike since last year! But I said I wouldn't make any more excuses, right?

Friday morning, woke up at 5:30 to leave South SJ by 6am. Get to Laguna Seca by 7:15 and no booth or tent setup for us in the Sponsors area! Drop off the booth furniture and supplies, call the boss, re-park. 7:35. Don't have time to worry about the booth for now, I've gotta register and get my number, gear-up, and be ready for an 8:30 start. Spot the registration tent easily, it's gotta line-up of about 60 people all frantic to register and make their start times.

Finally get my packet and back to the truck to gear up after a short, but crucial pit stop. Time is 8:10. Gear-up, to find that there are no pins in the packet for my number so I'm off to the registration booth again before racing to the start line. Make it to the line at 8:29 and fortunately, the start has been delayed for a few minutes. Finally, a chance to catch my breathe. Doh! I forgot my gloves! Then we're off!

Clearly the slowest start to any race I've ever been in, as the motorcycle paces us and leads us off of the track (thankfully, the easy lead out gives me a short chance to warm up.) Once out to the open road, the race is on. The peleton is mellow and nothing exciting happens in the opening moments, just the way I like it.

I fall into a slow, sustainable pace about mid-way through the first lap. The pack is already gone, no surprises there. I am able to catch a pull from a rider clad in an orange and black mongoose jersey. In fact, I am able to catch a draft off of several riders at different times throughout the first lap. Start of the second lap and I feel pretty good, but think to myself, "Well, if you're gonna drop-out, now would be a convenient time." I see about 3 others who obviously thought the same thing as they are heading back. Screw it, just keep riding.

The soreness creeps in through the middle of the second lap and by the time I hit the last climb (w/about 10k to go), I am feeling tight. Glance at my HRM, 2 hours of riding and I feel every second of it. The final climb that wasn't so bad on the first lap, is 3 times as hard this time 'round. No drafts to catch here, I fight the urge to stop and start clenching my teeth, bobbing my head, and shoe lace slightly (y'know, all those things you aren't supposed to do.) My right thigh is killing me, and I know if I DID stop, starting back up would be even more painful. Screw it, just keep riding.

I hearty thanks to all the volunteers who cheer on everyone, even us guys bringin' up the rear. Your cheers DO make a difference. Make it up the final climb and I feel much better. The descent back onto the Laguna Seca track is a little slick as it has started to drizzle a little by this time. Onto the track and sprint to the finish (well, I wouldn't really call it a sprint, more like a fast crawl)! I am so done.

A clear reminder why I don't race anymore, I check the results and I've avoided D.F.L. by 6 places. I'm happy though, my goal was to finish and I accomplished exactly that. Think I'll stick to the centuries.

Way to go, Gregg!! nmrollo tommassi
Mar 26, 2002 4:33 PM
At least you weren't DFL!look271
Mar 26, 2002 4:46 PM
Way to go. I'm envious as I have never raced.Perhaps this summer I'll give it a go in the "old farts" class!
and even if you were...weiwentg
Mar 26, 2002 4:58 PM
glory comes from within.
you didn't give up, and that's what counts. keep riding :)
thanks guys.gregg
Mar 26, 2002 5:03 PM
I figured it would help my presence on the boards if people knew that yes, the guy running the site does actually ride! Unfortunately, I can't always post on these boards as much as I'd like to!

you couldve been a competitorishmael
Mar 26, 2002 5:25 PM
if your number wasnt slowing you down so need to bring a "partner" in tow to do a better job there...
Great Post Gregg, Thanks (nm)Scot_Gore
Mar 26, 2002 7:15 PM
het Gregg... you deserve a new bike...;-)Spirito di Finocchio
Mar 26, 2002 7:21 PM
ill cut ya a deal....mates rates!

looks like it'll fit too and ill throw in some free bar tape.
nice bike, but too big.gregg
Mar 27, 2002 11:51 AM
I usually ride a 49cm, sometime I can get away with a 50 depending. My giant is 44cm (with the compact sizing, of course).

I was hoping to get Jeremy to build me a compact frame with nice lugs, but he informed me that the lugs they use don't come in the right angles for a compact frame. Darn.

Mar 27, 2002 9:29 PM
not only do we have the same frame, but we ride the same size!!!
Our fearless leader is a hammer!Elefantino
Mar 27, 2002 6:31 AM
Thanks for sharing, Gregg.

BTW, did the Laguna Seca portion of the race take you down the Corkscrew?

And finally: You need to design a RBR race jersey!

Unfortunately, we did NOT get to ride down the corkscrew.gregg
Mar 27, 2002 11:54 AM
I was stuck in the MtbREVIEW/RoadbikeREVIEW Booth most of the time, so I didn't get to see if the pros rode down it. I know they have in the past for the crit, I believe.

I HAVE ridden the corkscrew on a motorcycle, though!


(darn, I knew the subject of RBR jerseys was gonna come up somewhere)
pic of the RoadbikeREVIEW/MtbREVIEW Boothgregg
Mar 27, 2002 12:04 PM
two of our volunteers, Gina and Steve (sorry guys, Gina is NOT available).
Betcha you'd be able to sell out a first printing of jerseys. nmElefantino
Mar 27, 2002 7:40 PM
Yahoooo! Bravo and thanks for the story! (nm)tempeteKerouak
Mar 27, 2002 8:11 AM
Good lad, Gregg!nigel
Mar 27, 2002 11:15 AM
You stuck it out, which shows some proper guts. Start what you finish. Keep up the good work; you'll be finishing with the pack sooner than you think!

Thanks for sharing with us.

Hey Gregg, you finished on the big ring!! Way to GO ! (nm)yfoiler
Mar 27, 2002 9:01 PM