The Big Bend Cycling Festival went off, well not without a hitch, but she sure went off this weekend! About 1/2 of Saturday's crits were cancelled due to an inhospitable Mother Nature. She threw down with some heavy duty rain and even a tornado or two. Around 4pm the local Po-Po pulled the cord and shut her down. Oh well, I fully enjoyed spectating while it lasted. Ricky Silk did us proud with a 2nd in his race. He would have won it with a little more roadie experience. He had the guy beat hands down and eased up right at the line. No showy hands in the air or anything, but he backed off just enough for the other guy to slide by and literally beat him by .001 second. That stings a little, but the ever positive Silk just chalked it up to a learning experience.
Sunday was quite cloudy and I was sure the skies would unload at any minute, but the deluge never came. Being that wet roads spooked me less in a Cat 5 road race, as opposed to a wet Cat 5 crit, I decided to throw my hat in the ring. So throw it I did, and those punks preceded to stomp all over it! The course was VERY hilly. No love whatsoever for a 240lb mountain biker. I rode as smart as I could, and outlasted quite a few, but eventually, Bradley came by with a pretty serious attack, halfway up one of the big ones. That was it, I gave what I had, but it wasn't enough. Riders flew off the back all around me. Over the top, I got on with another straggler who was still willing to lay it on the line. I was down with that. Maybe we'd catch a break, and the group would ease up after that effort. I tried to pull through for my compatriot, but everytime I started around him, he'd go harder! Eventually I gave up and sat on his wheel. He got us pretty close to the group on the next hill, so I gave it an all or nothing effort to bridge across. I rolled the dice and came up snake eyes. After that, the stragglers I'd passed returned the favor. Oh well, I went ahead and stayed in the gas all the way to the end. I actually was able to go a lot harder than I thought I would. I have to say I'm definitely bummed on getting dropped, but I am stoked that I was able to go as hard as I did. Two months ago I had a hard time getting my heartrate over 165. I averaged 165 for that entire 1 hour race. I must be getting somewhere.
On the positive side, our boy, Ice Berg, pulled off the surprise move of the day, and brought home a win. I'm super stoked for him! He was freaking out the whole time I was in the group because people were riding so sketchy. I just kept telling him to relax and worry about his own ride. Sure enough, one of the sketchiest guys eventually took himself, and another guy, out. Luckily, all of our crew was in the clear, and Berg managed to do what he needed to when the time came.
All in all, it was good weekend for bike race fans.
Looking at that pic, does the kid really look all that fast? He'll surprise you, even with that junior restricted gearing.