Chequamegon 2006 is in the books and I'd like to say it's a bit of a relief. The "Midwest World Championships" is quickly turning national and I'm feeling the burn. Chequamegon has always been a hard race for me and this year was not any easier to say the least. I always feel great leading up to it and I come into it confident, but I always leave a little disappointed and wondering why I just can't pull out the result I'm looking for.
I'm sure you've read all the race reports, or you can find them here and here. I suffered hard across rosies field, I just can't find the power to get across it without suffering like a dog so then the next 2 miles are spent dragging my drooling face up into a respectable and safe position in the top 5. Doug says he goes so hard across Rosie's field "cause it really wakes people up", pretty funny!
I was 4th wheel when Doug split the group with his acceleration, I saw him stand up and I new it was coming. I stood up at the same time to try and match the move but already he was putting distance between us it was so powerful. JHK was solidly stuck to Doug's wheel, Travis was on it too but dangling just a bit, and I was 5,10,15, then 20 ft back watching, and knowing, the race was on it's way up the road. I looked back and I had a sizable gap too, but it didn't really matter cause I wasn't going anywhere but backwards anyway, so I sat up and joined the chase 1 group pretty much knowing it was over.
I never felt great during the race, but at 25 mph I never do, so after the group got away I didn't really care so much anymore so I tried to pull more than I usually would. Jeff was still driving it hard, and I thought the group worked together alright to maintain a descent sized gap, but when the guy who has won the race two other times, an Olympian, and a two time national champion are up the road, yeah, you're racing for 4th no matter how much we do.
I uncharacteristically started cramping due to a malfunctioning camel back, with about 5 miles to go and by the end was in a bad way. Ian looked at me funny once near the finish and I just laughed and told I couldn't pedal right now.
Oh well, I really would like to have a good Chequamegon one of these years. It's a bummer for me that the biggest, most prestigious race in the Midwest is one that doesn't exactly fit my style, but no excuses, it's just motivation to work on my obvious weaknesses.
But other than racing, what is Chequamegon really about?
It's about playing the piano at 11pm..
and hanging out with the guys from Trek who make it all happen..
and, well, falling asleep during the infamous slide show..
but mostly it's about hanging out with several thousand people who all do, and talk about the same thing - BIKES!