"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer


Well, well, well...

The sun was out, the heat is back, and walking Jack home from the park this evening through lush green leaves and grass was absolute heaven. Memorial Day is almost here, the official unofficial first day of summer.

While I'm sorry to say I'll be missing my first Bike the Drive since 2004, I'm proud to say, Joe Namath-style, that I will be picking up those ever-elusive Cat 3 upgrade points in Iowa this weekend.

I guarantee it. I may as well be calling myself out at this point. It needs to happen. I have got to get angry and hungry, and this is the weekend to do it. Snake Alley has always been good to me, and this year, I think a victory is within my reach. I've been climbing well for a non-climber, and this is a non-climbers race. The Snake is short and painful, and it needs brute strength and no brains. My kinda race.

I am excited to be staying the entire weekend, as we'll get to stick around finally and watch the pros (and Seth and JT) do the brutally hard 20 laps.

Sunday is the Melon City Criterium - two heats. A fast, hilly course that requires, according to my coach, a 100% all out effort on the last lap to stay no less than three wheels back. That's the podium right there. Any further back you will lose, he says, and worse, are risking a crash on the last turn. Again, my kind of race: my only two podiums have come during races in which I actually feared for my life.

Monday is a classic, the Quad Cities Criterium - also two heats. An eight-corner hourglass course, great practice for the State championship in Peroria, and packed fields full of hungry, competitive riders.

I've seen enough of the middle of the pack and the top-ten finishers sweaty asses. I am no longer going to be afraid of cracking, crashing, or choking. I will make my mark on these races, you can be sure of that. I have the strength. I put in the 8th best time in for XXX's fitness check time trial on Wendesday, and a new personal record for me. Now I just gotta use what I know I have. Spending the kind of money that a four-day trip for five races requires will put you in that frame of mind.

If you are sticking around town however, and haven't registered for Bike the Drive, do so now. It's the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Active Transportation Alliance (formerly the BikeFed) and as they go, so goes bicycling in Chicago.

And the Chicago Cycling Examiner has a new article up as well...How to make the most of your 2009 Bike the Drive.


Bob Mitera said...

Beat some ass this weekend. Great post.

The Car Whisperer said...

I did NOT win my first bike race today, that is for sure. 27th place. I was heavy and slow and in pain and blowing snot the whole time. What a mess. Ha! Started out in great position, but just couldn't move up the hill as fast this year. Ironically, I would catch up the back stretch with my much improved descending. Exactly the opposite of my top ten a year ago.

Oh, well. Better luck with the flatter crits this weekend. I consider it a good omen. Tomorrow is a Cat 4 and Open Master's 30+. The latter is the second race so I can just have fun and try for the break.