Monday, May 23, 2011

Tour de Syracuse: Part Un

So let me just start this post off by saying, making blogs is harder than it looks. I have dedicated this season’s blogging to more creative posts and not just rambling of play by play. Brainstorming has not been a problem; rather the actual implementation is the problem. This post was suppose to be a slide show of the weekend, but being a racer it is so hard to get the media I need. A lot of time is spent getting ready for the race, then participating in the race, and finally cooling down after the race. Just by cooling down from my race, I practically missed 1/3rd of Kyle’s race, so there would have been huge gaps in the time line of the weekend.

Yup you counted right. Five bikes and two wheels. What does this equal? More worth in bikes than actual car. Funny thing is, we still didn’t have everything we needed in that car. Tim had to take a few wheel sets with him, just so we could squeeze everyone in. It wasn’t going to be a long trip down to Syracuse, only about two and a half hours. However, the weather didn’t look to good with a “low ceiling,” (pilot jargon, aka fog)

Our goal was to get to the Upper Onondaga Park, in time to see Tim’s first ever p/1/2/3 race. Literally as we walked to the racecourse we saw Tim warming up on the course. Not bad timing. Before we could start cheering for Tim, we had to do some investigating first. Last year at this event, some guy over cooked a turn and went right into a young tree. His chain ring cut about a forth the way through it. We here at WOE are happy to inform you that the tree pulled through, but with an everlasting scar. I think it just gives it a little character.

Perhaps we were all to excited to see Tim suffer, but at the same time hoping he had a good showing. He was up to his old tactics of moving around the bunch and even ending up in the front of the peloton. Not really sure what he was doing there, Tim hates being at the front, let alone in a p/1/2/3 field.

We could see a few times on Tim's face he was enjoying himself, with an ending average pace of 27mph. But he held in there and came out with a top ten finish, in tenth place for the cat 3's.

Even though Tim was racing with the big boys, he was not racing in prime time. Rather the race after was perhaps the biggest event of the day and one all came to see.

These future cyclist participated in what the promoter put on to help bring about interest of cycling/racing to young children. They had smaller fields, broken down into age groups, from two years of ago all the way to nine years. Some still had training wheels and some I’m sure didn’t have UCI legal bikes. But who cares the kids were having fun.

Once Tim’s race was done, we had three and a half hours to kill, before the cat 4 race. Obviously food was a priority, so we went to the Brooklyn Pickle. If you are ever in Syracuse, you must try this place, awesome deli! To sum up their sandwiches, go to the kitchen and make two sandwiches and then put them side by side. That is their full sandwich, not to mention they have some pretty tasty homemade style pickles.

Once back at the park we still had time to kill. And what do cyclist do when their bored? They juggle whatever they can.

*sorry about the video format, thought I'd be able to rotate the image but apparently not with my software*

Also during our time of boredom we started chatting it up with other racers. We found a racer we remembered from last years race and met his pretty sick team. He said their goal was to bring the fun back into cycling/race. I can say they were doing a pretty good job and our teams mixed well. However, I can easily say they put our set-up to shame.

Finally came the Cat 4 race. Everything started off well, with Mike and I in the front row. However, it seemed like clipping in was a big problem for many racers. Nerves must have been riding high in a 60-man field. For the rest of the race nerves continued to run high, riders were bumping, touching tires, and one guy kept screaming “HOLD YOUR LINE!” I think when you say that to everyone, by default it might not always be the other guy. Mike held pretty steady in position throughout the race, I however was all over the place. Front, back, right side, left side; you name it I was there. Things were looking good for me going into the final lap, and Mike was going to use me as a lead out, but again the bumping continued and I had to lean into a rider pretty good, but while we were fighting on the right, the left side took off. Meaning, with the bottle neck just ahead, the day was done for placing well. At the end of the race we had a pace of 25mph (approximate, seeing there was cool down lap and I forgot to stop my computer).

Now that we got the ball rolling with the cat 4’s, WOE had individuals in the remainder of the races. Unfortunately having to cool down from the race and find water, I missed quite a bit of Kyle’s race. Once I got set up to watch the race, I immediately notice two things. One there was a solo brake that was probably going to stick, and two Kyle was in excellent position. Then as we were talking to the Rogue Cycling Team, one of their members mentioned their guy didn’t come around. Immediately we noticed the same thing, Kyle was MIA. The result, Kyle’s first crash. Guess there was a guy on the floor and he could do nothing, but fall on top of him. He made it out all right though with just some minor bumps and scratches. Seeing the rubber didn’t stay down, Kyle had to settle for a 19th place finish. A finish that should have been a lot higher.

As the day was winding down and the Rapture was upon us (some guy predicted the rapture for 6pm on May 21, 2011), the Cat 5 35+ was the last race of the day.

Both Eric and Phil stayed with the field for a while, but then Phil fell off the back. Here I must give credit to Phil who never lost a smile throughout the race and always kept pedaling! Eric remained in the pack and finished with the group at the line. From the race I can tell Eric is becoming more and more aware of where he needs to be. For must of the race he was tucked in and out of trouble.

Once everyone had returned to the cars and cooled down, it was time to start repacking the cars. The following photo will sum up the fun we had with that. Eric and Phil were relatively neat, where Mike, Kyle, and I...well we might have to work on our organizational skills.

Stay Tuned for Part two of the Tour de Syracuse!!!

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