April 7, 2009
I had the itch to race last weekend but with the impending snowstorm which was supposed to dump us with 5" of snow on Sunday, which was the same day I wanted to do the Great Dane crit in Madison, I made the quick decision to blast down to Hillsboro, IL late Friday afternoon to check out the road race I had been hearing a lot about. The 6 hour drive was worth it as far as races go, well organized, huge field of over 130 riders, cool course with short climbs, lots of narrow roads, and a strong field. Not a lot of races like this around the midwest so it was fun to get down there and see what it was all about. It was a long race at 88 miles and windy, which was deciding factor for most of the riders who got shelled off the back one by one throughout the race. I was hoping it would be a little easier than it was, but the race was constantly stretched across the road with 80% of the field riding the gutter/gravel on the sides of the road behind the top 20 riders in the echelon. I was too far back through much of the race and saw lots of carnage, I knew I shouldn't have been as far back as I was, but just did not have the ability to stay near the front. I haven't done a hard race like this in a while where field position is important, and I was having a hard time staying up front where it would have been easier to ride. In the end I got dropped just before the start of the last 20 mile lap in a strong uphill crosswind section. It was brutal riding the gutter at 30mph for much of the day and getting dropped late in the race but coming off the trainer from 4 months of riding inside it's hard to have the endurance for a 90 mile race. Still a good time and definitely one to think about doing again next year. It would be great if we had more races like this around.
First time I ever forgot to bring my helmet to a race. Luckily I found someone who was willing to loan me one since they had just get their new team helmets and had an extra, I would have been bumming without that - that's a bad feeling realizing something isn't in your bag. luckily it wasn't my shoes.
Oh yeah, I also got sunburned on the tops of my hands and neck - they actually had green grass down there too, I had forgotten about that kind of stuff.
at 7:38 PM