There has been some criticism from people I really like about my lack of updates on Domesticated Carbon, so I give in and here I am.
The whole tone of DC began to focus solely around my training as I prepared for the coming season, and I guess I never made the transition to race reports. I'll do that now.
My season is now in full swing, gone are the jitters of my first time banging bars in a criterium race for the season and in come the comforts of my three millimeters of personal space at 25 mph.
I have had some trying times already; I did not make the cut in the Road Race at San Dimas and took it pretty hard that I couldn't support my team mates in the Crit, so I was acting like a jerk I'm sure. My team mate Sean took Becher Plus' biggest victory this year in that last stage at San Dimas, I'm still very excited for him about that.
I also have not gotten the results I expect from myself, after the off season I had, but its not for lack of trying. I will say that racing with a team that is dedicated to serving only the team and not the individuals is an amazing experience, and I pity those who do not get this opportunity. Racing alone is one thing, but racing with team mates who don't really know you or aren't their to achieve the same goal as you is just not acceptable anymore.
Our teamwork during races has become incredible.
I have also had some good times; besides the whole team experience, I will say working on our criterium racing squad for So Cal crits has been a blast. We haven't worked it into a win yet, other than Sean's brilliant victory, but it is coming. We had an amazing Dana Point Grand Prix earlier this month. I really feel for Wes though, the pressure he puts on himself to preform is immense, and sometimes its not going to work to tell him that sometimes you just don't have the legs in the end. I know he really wanted that race after crashing out last year, next time I will have to work my ass off harder to keep him safe. Also we learned a valuable lesson about staged at Dana Point, show up early, because if you don't...some jerk may forget how to clip into his pedals and force you to start the race in 120th position. Moving up from there on such a fast course was enough to suck your legs dry, so we will not let that happen again.
In each of my crits since then I have made sure I was on the Start line with my wheel touching the tape, ready to go.
Lately the races I have done have been smaller on the schedule and closer to home, so I am racing alone many times. I am used to this and it doesn't bother me, but I can tell you I am sure pining for my team when I'm getting swarmed by sketchy new teams that will remain nameless while trying to keep the best kit in the peleton clean.
This past weekend I raced 1 lap of the Devil Punchbowl road race, it was fucking hard so I quit. Actually I quit because it was too hard for me to really contend, I fell off the lead group pretty early, so I decided to save my legs for the crit the next day. I wasn't going to be able to help John or Sean from way off the back anyway. They both finished really strong, which I liked seeing. Lee also showed up for the Cat 5 race and enjoyed destroying himself for several miles. I can tell he is happy with his effort so far, I know I am excited to see he will be joining us soon in the next level.
I will post my race report for Chuck Pontius, but edited, here now:
What is the story behind every 4 race going off at 4 pm lately? Anyway, I got the hole shot again and took the first lap, this time I did so because I saw a few sketchy guys on the start line and I wanted to get them to the back as quickly as possible.
I stayed pretty much in perfect position all race. When it was fast I stayed top 5 and when it slowed down (which was often) I stayed near the outside around top 15 so I could be attached to any surges.
For some reason the peleton kept taking the worst lines into each corner, like we were in a car and had to stay in the right lane the whole time even though the entire road was open. It made for many sketchy turns.
I had 4 near misses with the pavement, one time I was nailed as a guy couldn’t hold his line in a sketchy turn and I had to lean on him with all of my weight to stay up. I also had the fortune of being at the front of the pack going into turn 1 next to one sketchy rider who must have completely forgotten I was there and decided to take his line into the gutter, leaving me 3 inches of space. He had the balls to yell at me. A few other riders quickly called him on his actions so I was happy to know I was in fact racing safely. Another time a rider smacked into my friend Jason (from Friends Cycling last year) so hard that Jason’s own knee cracked his own top tube. We both stayed up even though I was on his wheel and he had just broken his bike (he actually finished). The last time I almost ruined the best kit in the peleton was on the last lap in turn 3 of a 4 turn race. I was on Jason’s team mate’s wheel and this guy came around me on the outside trying to take the wheel I was on. He never came close to passing me, but he made his turn as if he had passed me and I had to grab a handful of break. Obviously I lost my position and was lost in the swarm. Jason’s team mate won :( well he is a nice guy, but it could have been me.
End report. Expect more of that, and if not I'm sure Eric will get on me for being lazy.
Now onto the juicy bits, more accurately the juicy bits I left littered on the pavement of Carbon Canyon Rd. Wednesday I went for an easy ride with Ashley and some guy I can't remember for the life of me (I think its because he went to Fullerton, go Dirtbags!). The rain spared us and we actually had pleasant riding conditions, although it was quite humid out. I had not done the Carbon canyon loop before, but I instantly liked it! The shoulder could be a bit bigger, but I was never one to be scared about asserting myself in traffic. That is actually a trait that may have saved me from getting run over. Towards the end of the climb I stepped on the pedals a little bit to gap Ash and the Titan so I could stop for a nature break. There is nowhere to pee on this road though, so I just began my decent. I took the entire lane and stupidly acted like I always do and I took one risk too many. As I entered the 180 banked turn going down hill my wheels completely dropped out from under me. There was never a chance for an "OH SHIT I"M CRASHING!" It just happened. The road was extremely slippery from the previous night's rain and I didn't have my Kenda tires on (shameless sponsor plug). I pulled myself together and noticed very little damage to the BMC. We actually rode for 2 more hours and I felt alright, but not great.
The BMC had an appointment with Bannings Bikes anyway, so it was somewhat convenient timing. this crash did put my weekend's racing in jeopardy. I had begun making plans with Brad to race in Bakersfield and had to wave that off when I woke up this morning with what felt like whiplash. I'm going to go for a 2 hour spin with Ashley tomorrow (he got a brand new Colnago he's pretty excited about) and afterwards I will decide about the San Luis Rey Road Cycling Classic which is on Sunday.
this doesn't really flow with the general discussion I have going here, but I thought I should mention that I have earned my category 3 upgrade in the California Bicycle Racing series. this gives me the opportunity to cut my teeth on some Cat 3 races which CBR puts on as well as race with the 1/2/3s at El Dorado and the new Great Park race in Irvine. Those 1/2/3 races are actually really great experiences for me, because I get to races with some word class individuals.
That is all I have for now. Enjoy a plethora of disorganized pictographs from the past month that was.
Song of the Day: Underworld - Sola Sistim