November 19, 2007

Blurred Vision

This weekend was kind of a blur. It started out bad, I was supposed to fly out Friday afternoon but I woke up with blurry vision and no peripheral vision at all, signs a killer migraine is soon going to be splitting my head. I went back to bed and couldn't move, much less get myself to the airport. I laid in bed till 3pm sleeping it off and then finally got up and changed my flights to Saturday.

Saturday I was on the road by 4am to the airport with every sudden head or eye movement reminding me my brain still felt like it was bruised from yesterday. I arrived in Philly at 12 noon and had exactly 2:55 to get a rental car, drive an hour to Trenton, put a bike together, register and race. All those times showing up last minute to WCA paid off as I put the finishing touches on the bike setup as the first call to staging was announced. Pulled on the skinsuit and rode to the start, that's the all the warmup I was going to get for that day. Needless to say I was going backwards fast after a lap and I was counted off in the mid 30s at one point. Eventually my legs started going up and down towards the end I ended up 20th, but I wouldn't suggest trying my method too often.
Sunday's race was much more to my liking. It rained overnight and continued on raining up until race time. The course was a slip n slide, just the way I like it. Not too muddy and not too fast, just slippery as banana peals, which is extremely slippery. The first lap, pictured above, was out of control pandemonium. Bikes, people, grass, and tape all over the place and I ended up on the ground or trying to break my way through the tape more than once. A few crashes early on had me back in the 20s, but right away I found my rhythm and by mid race I was up into the low teens.
The course was tough, lots of turns and off camber sections making it difficult to gain time of riders, but near the last lap I finally caught Parbo, and then Troy Wells with one to go. I rode one section that they both ran near the end of the lap and they both put 20ft on me and I never could get them back so I rolled in for the 10 spot. It felt good to finally get a result worth the effort of making some of these trips and hopefully this helps my confidence and motivation as the season heads into the last month before Nationals.
I have to thank Planet Bike and Bob Downs for the support this trip and for the great work helping me out in the pits. On Sunday I made multiple bike swaps as the sand pit was really packing up the gears switching bikes really made a difference. It was nice to actually have two bikes in the pit, working and clean with someone in there helping out, something I haven't had the luxury of the last couple years and when conditions get like this it makes all the difference.


Echelon said...

the bike and wheels made you fast on sunday. great work.

Ben said...

Amazing job, keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on a fine ride on Sunday, and yeah, also for beating me at another sprint on Saturday too! See ya in KC!

- BP

julie said...

rad, Tristan, way to go. can i ask though- you had 2 bikes in the pit? for 3 total? or 1 in the pit and one under you? (sorry, newbie questions)

Tristan Schouten said...

Two bikes, one to ride and one to switch out. I think I changed bikes about 4 times and it was well worth it every time. I don't think I lost any time and got a brand new bike with lubed chain and good shifting and brakes on a muddy sloppy course. If you have someone in the pits it's worth it to get a new bike.