February 13th, 2010:
I went out to Palm Springs with Dan Levine to meet up with a bunch of "old" guys and John G. from Team Becher+ and his friend Lee. Old is in quotes because they as fit as any 20 year old you'll meet. The plan was to do the entire century (100 miles) and make a day of it, so we knew we had a lot of riding ahead of us.
Its not often you get to ride with thousands of other cyclists all at once, it was really quite impressive. There were people of all skill levels there, some having more fun than others. This made for some sketchy situations, but nothing too dangerous. In fact I think the most dangerous things that happened we brought on ourselves. For example we pace lined down a heavy populated decent, which was almost like playing a video game. There are few things i like more than going downhill on a bike at a high rate of speed, I think I have said that before.
The ride is actually a paid event with support throughout the course; we didn't pay because I don't have that kind of money to spend on riding my bike. On course were free bananas, oranges, water and brass bands playing the Bee Gees. Having Dancing Queen stuck in your head for 3 hours is not the best way to spend a morning, but I guess its not the worst.
John's friend Lee is newer to riding, but has been spending a lot of time on the bike with John in Redlands, so much so that We convinced him to race the Cat 5's. This still made the ride tough for him, and with me racing the next day (and having a cold, unbeknownst to me) we made the decision to do the metric century(100 km as opposed to 100 miles).
The 65 mile ride was a lot of fun, new rodes and new riding buddies will do that though. We made pretty good time actually, averaging 19.9 miles an hour for the entire day. As we started to make our way back into Palm Springs, John and I decided to animate the group that latched onto us. Similar to when Wes and I were at Food Park, we alternated pulls and made for a very fast very fun end of the ride. John even through in some attacks, but I wouldn't let him get away (or he wasn't trying very hard).
I didn't care too much about my race the next day, so it didn't bother me that this ride was a lot harder than the day before a race should have been. What I didn't realize was that this ride took a toll on my immune system. When I got home I fell asleep, for what I thought was going to be a short nap, and woke up 7 hours later at midnight with an ear ache. I made some oatmeal and did the dishes until I felt I could sleep again around 3:00 am.
Here is a short video we took during the ride, I will make more of these. The rest will be better.
February 14th, 2010:
I woke up today feeling sore, but not anymore sore than usual. I slept in my compression tights, so my legs felt fresh. This meant I could race and everything would be fine.
Wes and Sean were making fun of me for sweating while I was fixing something on my bike, and I thought it was just because it was hot. Turns out I had a fever and didn't realize it, it was REALLY sunny out so it wouldn't be hard to believe it was 90 degrees out.
Sean is still carrying great form from his win last week and took a place behind me in the front of the field once the race started. I figured with the uphill before the sprint the course better suited him. Everything was fine and then I started finding it hard to breathe. I took a break towards the back of the field, but this made me extremely tired because the course created an accordion effect of stopping and sprinting every 30 seconds.
Long story long, I had to pull out of the race with cold symptoms, which was really disappointing because my legs felt fine. Sean continued on and ended up taking 6th place in the field sprint behind the loan winner, for 7th overall.
I flip-flopped over whether or not to do the second race, and ended up starting. This race was so much slower that I felt completely fine. It was only after 5 near accidents in the first 10 minutes that I decided to pack up and call it a day.
I will spend this week getting over this pesky cold and preparing for the Brisbane crit up north. I am really looking forward to racing with Ben and Pat. They plan on working for me, so I need to get my head straight now!
Ashley being pissed leaving the wheel pit:
Music for the day: Phoenix - Fences
|Phoenix - Fences .mp3|
|Found at bee mp3 search engine|