Monday, March 30, 2009

Jeff Cup = Flat

The first race of the season for me is The Jefferson Cup. For my non bicycle racing blog friends and family this is a long standing race on our regional calendar. The only consistent feature of this race each year is the course and the coveted "Chocolate Bunny" to the winner. Everything else from start times, categories, and the weather of course, remain unpredictable.

Back racing for Team Kenda this year, I left Saturday afternoon for Charlottesville to meet up with some new teammates Tracy and Liz. Tracy had a hook up at the posh Doubletree Hotel. Thanks for that! You know when your pillow has "Sweet Dreams" embroidered on it, there could be less of a chance of those little bugs crawling around the sheets. AND when we checked in the clerk handed us each a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. Which turned out to be the second best part of my trip.

After settling in, we ventured out for a pre race dinner at Anna's Pizza near UVA campus, Tracy's old stomping grounds. We ended up running into the NCVC Junior contingent including the infamous Wilson clan. Jim informed us that Hefler used to work at the restaurant back in the day and was roommates with Dave Matthews at the time. Interesting.

We tried to convince Tracy to go to a frat party since she had never been to one but all she would do is show us all the biology buildings where she spent endless hours studying. So back to the hotel and bed because our race was in the first wave at 9a.m. Not before obsessing about the weather. Tracy and I ended up schooling Liz on Jim Cantore and Mike Seidel from The Weather Channel.

Not long after hitting the sack we were awakened to the sound of a girl on speakerphone dumping her guy who was standing right outside our door yelling expletives at her. Sweet Dreams.

The night settled down and we were off to dream land. Rise and shine was at 6a.m. I hit the road early to grab breakfast at the Cavalier Diner. A favorite of Fast Freddie and I when we are in the area.

The roads were wet with a nice rainy midst falling on the way to the Walton Middle School for registration. The temps weren't too bad by Jeff Cup standards. It was great to see everyone amongst the pre race buzz after being holed up for 5 months.

This year I decided to race in the newly added Women's 35+ category. And it is the VA State Masters Championship Road Race. One of the reasons I chose this category was my uncertainty about my fitness and the shock a race would have on my body. I thought this would be a more pleasant experience to start the season. The other reason for this field choice is that I was going to be able to race with one of my good friends and teammate Janelle. The best part of my trip to Charlottesville. Janelle and I go way back and have a ton of fun on and off the bike.

Our race was a modest 30mi. or 3 laps. Our small field would be the 3rd group to start the course. On the neutral roll out to the start we were following the Men's 50/60+ & Jr. field followed by the W1,2,3. Once we turned onto the road to the start, tires started popping like balloons. Master's guys and women everywhere with a wheel in the air looking for the wheel truck. Unfortunately one of our locals, Lumpy was a casualty and never even got to race because they started his field before he could get a wheel. Evidently some unhappy locals smashed glass all over the road the night before. This combined with wet roads just chewed up tires all day long.

Finally our race was underway. I was feeling good (for me) this time of year. A few of us took turns pushing the pace but the field was so silly small it was obvious not much was going to happen until the end. I was hoping to help Janelle secure the VA win with a leadout of some sort. However, the tire gods frowned upon me on the last lap and blew my rear tire. I managed to get a wheel but...whatever. I chased but couldn't catch back on. All I could do was think happy sprint thoughts for Janelle. The girl can sprint. Turns out she was nipped at the line but ended up with a strong second place showing. This only means she'll be faster next week so watch out.

Tracy and Liz raced the W,1,2,3. Tracy finished a very impressive 8th place. Liz managed to finish her first Jeff Cup which was her main goal after some spotty training over the last few weeks. Way to go Ladies!

Next stop on the race scene~our local race~Walkersville.

all for now...


Chickin said...

Nice race report. Sucks about the flat.

Anonymous said...

bummer bout the flat! that kills me that some jerks purposely broke glass on the road. you handle it all in stride though. now, if we can find some bomb proof tires for you next week at walkersville, you'll be impossible to stop! your solo break last year was awesome.

lizrides said...

Nice job. I'm not sure how much I can add about our adventure!

Sigberto said...

at least you made it that far... i took a peice of glass in my tire on the first lap of 4. needless to say, it was the shortest men's 4 race ever.