Racing tales from the great Pacific Northwest

Thursday, August 29, 2013

2013 Derby Days Crit

Another Saturday and another perfect day in the PNW.  If you don't live here then it was a typical, cool, overcast, drizzly day so don't bother moving here.  It sucks all the time.   I say this based on the fact that I recently had to deal with a bunch of out-of-town co-workers that kept telling me it has to be a miracle that we have more than one day in a row of nice weather in the summer and that their slice of life in the (insert some shit hole mid-west city) they live in has way better weather.....except when we here of their 100+ temps in the summer, 12 foot snow storms in the winter, hurricanes, tornado's, blah, blah, blah.......wait,  I'm in a good mood here!  It was a perfect day for a little bike racing out in Redmond.  The Redmond Derby Days crit is in it's 78th year and it's a big draw with lots of fans lining the streets. 

We've had good results during this crit season and we brought a big team for the Masters 1/2/3 race.  Once again we planned on making it a tough one by constantly attacking from the gun.   Tom attacked right out of the start and go in a nice little two man break.  He managed to grab the first prime before they got brought back.  Then I attacked and was joined by  Rori(Canadian racer) and Greg(Apex).  We started working well together and before long we had a nice little gap.  We were drilling it and after a while our lead grew to over 20 seconds.  We didn't quite have a two turn lead and we could not see the pack behind us.  I looked at my Garmin and realized that we were in for a nice little suffer fest.  The crowd was cheering us on at every point on the course and it gave us motivation to keep driving.  I was hoping that if we could get that two corner lead we could settle in and ride tempo for a while but that didn't happen.  The field finally realized that we were serious and started working to pull us back.  At first it was just a second per lap but it finally got down to 12 seconds and they weren't letting up.  When it got to 8 seconds I decided to sit up while the other two kept at it.  I wanted to keep going but realized that we'd only make it a few more laps at the most and I had strong teammates that had been sitting in that would immediately attack.  I should have stuck it out for at least one more lap because it did force my teammates to have to do a short chase to finish bringing Rori and Greg back.  We had been out there for about 27 minutes of our 50 minute race and I felt blown.  I thought the pack would just fly by me while I  was trying to catch my breath but I was able to catch a wheel and sit in for the next three laps. During that time Matt, Nikos and Tom kept the pressure on and were taking every prime that was thrown out.  I recovered after a few laps and actually felt better than ever.  I guess it was a nice little warm up for me!

With about eight to go we were all back together and it looked like no one was going to get more than a tiny gap the rest of the race.  With five to go I saw Matt move to the front and I followed suit.  I figured we could get Mark the win if we worked it right. .  We came through the line with three to go and I was about five wheels back.  I wanted to be at full speed out of corner three and fly through the start/finish with two to go and give it all I had.  As we flew through corner three someone right in front of me briefly caught a pedal and his wheel bounced over a few inches right into my front wheel.  It wasn't bad but with my momentum it pushed me out just slightly and forced me to have to lean hard to make the turn......NOT!! My rear wheel washed out and I hit the deck hard.  It happened so fast I didn't realized what was going on.  By the time I came to a stop I realized that four or five more guys had gone down with me.  Before I knew it there were  medics all around me.  They were asking if I was OK and I didn't answer.  My brain was still playing catch up and I had no idea what was going on.  I did a high level assessment and realized my head didn't hurt and I could wiggle all my fingers and toes.  I was pretty sure I didn't brake anything but saw a lot of blood on my hip and arm.  My teammate Neil stopped and rushed over to me.  It was good to see a familiar face.  He gave me some water and asked if I was OK. I told him I thought I was and he help me off the road.
Everyone but one guy got to their feet (he was eventually OK) and I went over to check out my bike.  Apparently I took one for the team because there was barely a scratch on it.  I forgot that there was a race going on.  They came flying by for the finish and I barely noticed.  I jumped on my bike and road past the start finish, hearing many people gasp and look at us with jaws dropped.  What were they looking at.  One of my teammates finally rode up and told me to head to the medic tent.  Apparently there was basically nothing left of the back of my jersey.  I was kind of glad I couldn't see it.  When I got to the medic tent I took off my jersey and saw that it was ripped to shreds.  Other people were grimacing and I knew that there was some nasty road rash going on.  One of the EMT's told my wife to take a photo so I could see what everyone was talking about.  They showed it to me and I knew why others were grimacing.  OUCH!  I was pretty lucky considering.  I have a nasty contusion on my hip and a lot of road rash from there all the way up my back.  Sleeping sucks but it won't keep me off the bike.  Where's the F'ing beer garden?

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