May 29, 2007

Memorial Weekend Races

Stage racing is about the best way to get in shape. I haven't done more than two days in a row of racing for quite some time now so I thought it would be good to do the Memorial weekend races in Iowa and try and get a little power in the pedal stroke skinny tire racing. PCW hooked me up with some clothing and we headed down to the Mississippi valley.
Snake Alley is my favorite criterium, it's super hard and not a race you can hide in. I've done well here a few other times, but it didn't happen this weekend. I went to hard on the first few laps and slowly blew up until I was just going backwards. I was pretty bummed about it cause I really wanted another good race here, it's one of the only crits I actually look forward to doing but it just didn't happen.
Sunday and Monday were two more skinny tire races. Sitting in the car and pinning on numbers brings back a lot of memories from the days when I raced crits with Saturn and pinned on numbers what seemed like every day. It took me a couple laps to get comfortable at 30mph but it all comes back quickly.

Usually I just hang out at the hotel room until race time, but with Jamie along we spent some time checking out some cool places while waiting for the afternoon races. There's a lot of scenic parks and bridges on the Mississippi river that were pretty neat to walk around in and relax in the sun.
Then it was back to the races, pinning on a number, and cranking it up to 30mph again. I think they said we averaged 31mph for Monday's 8 corner "cage match" race, so named for all the fencing they put up around the course. There were a bunch of good crashes and a few times when we were strung out single file around at least two of the corners, pedaling through them and hanging on for dear life as the elastic stretched thin. I'm just happy to to have raced 3 times and come home with all 3 layers of skin intact, something about 1/3 of the guys can't say after that many days of racing.

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