Cape GerardDepardieu

Wow, I have no aerobic capacity!

Today marked another development in my cycling pubescence. Akin to Max in Where the Wild Things Are, I felt like a mere adolescent among aged behemoths. Leading up to the Cape Race, I had a few solid workouts including a weekend of singlespeeding in KC and a few tempo rides this past week. My last workout ride, Thursday, saw me riding the Castlewood race loop from earlier in the month. Demoralizing; I left the Wood realizing that I was about five minutes off pace (per lap) to hang with the true aficionados. This grim truth would haunt me for the remainder of the weekend.

Lead Out:
Off the line, the 9 man strong expert open field sprinted through the grass. Hesitant and cautious, I trailed the pack into the woods following Dblack and Scotto. The first half of the course consisted of ridiculously buff, practically paved, rolling hills. Trail conditions and its rolling nature made for a high speed opener. Unfortunately I left my lungs somewhere last week. I managed to stay with my companions throughout the first lap hanging just a few seconds back. By the double track climb, mid-way through the second lap, I had no choice but to back off the pace just a bit. Much of the middle portion of the race eludes my memory as I ventured deep into the pain cave. Laps 2-4 went by with no talking, minimal drinking, and my head slung low between my shoulders, whilst attempting to bridge back up to the back of the pack.

Taking an incredibly circuitous route through the small acreage park, the trail offered ample gaging of gaps between competitors. Frequently, I would spot riders from my class and reckon to be about 30 seconds back. To the best of my knowledge, I think that I was able to keep a majority of the expert 35+ folks at bay, which I am pretty proud of for my first upscale outing. A disclaimer though, that this is the perception of a dehydrated shell of a man.

Rolling across the line a few minutes before the 1.5 hour mark, I went out for my fifth and ultimate lap. The rolling section went swimmingly as per usual and I gulped the rest of my water ascending the double track. Cresting the hill, entering the twisty singletrack, my body shut down, violently attempting to remove stomach contents. I pulled off course and dry heaved for about a minute. After spitting up some water and gu, I hopped back on the Stumpjumper and took off into the woods. A few turns later, I noticed the rear end getting really loose coming around corners. Then, the bike developed a straight line wiggle. Pulling over to inspect the rear tire confirmed my fears, a sidewall gash spewing Stan's all over the trail. Taking two signs from the big man, I called it, Game Over.

Overall, the Cape turned out to be an educational first Cat 1 outing. I feel pretty ambivalent towards my performance, as I exceedingly outperformed any of my Cat 2 efforts this year, but would have still rolled across the line dead ass last, even without the mechanical. Now knowing my weaknesses, I look forward to the college season kicking off next weekend and hope that the next time I roll with the Stl cats I can hold some wheel a little longer.

Now for a week of rest as I may have overtrained a bit.


Casey Ryback said...

sucks about teh DNF, although it sounds like you were flyin'! You know you're going hard when you have to stop to dry heave. That's fucking hardcore.

Matt Schweiker said...

I also had a gullet full of Bavarian food and fried twinkies from the day before, which I have been informed is not "race tech."

I always used to carry fried twinkies in my pocket when I raced sport. Dang this expert thing is hard. Haha!