Me against Him

Me against Him
Racing a BMW

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Start Hard, Sit in, Suffer, Attack, Blow Up

   That is the way to race the Blair Cup crit. NOT!
   Thursday night was Blair Cup number 3 and one of the hardest races to date for me. This one ranked right up there with the Lees McCrea Road race. 
    The race started really hard. I was in a bad position on the line and it just went down hill from there. We were gunning from the beginning because some guys decided to make a break and everybody went crazy. So, the people on the front chased really hard while I dangled on the back of the main field, knowing better than to be back there I tried to get in the middle on every lap- didn't happen. Anyway, lots of suffering, chasing, breaks, and catching of breaks. 
    The race is the standard 4/5 length of 35 minutes plus 3 laps. With about 7 or so laps to go the group absorbed a break right on the hill of the course. I saw that I had a clear line through the group and everybody was slowing down. I was already out of the saddle to keep up with the group and figured what the heck I'll give it a go. So, I stayed standing hit it a little harder and got a gap on the field. 
     I was out all alone for two laps. It was cool to come around on a lap by myself and hear the announcer say my name. I was dying by the second lap by myself. Did I mention it was 95 degrees? I thought I was going to hurl. Then going into turn 4 and the hill on the course I looked back to see Jonathon Pait out of his saddle breaking from the field and bridging up to me. I smiled and sat up a little. As Pait came up beside me we acknowledge each other with a nod and a smile Pait was having too much fun standing up and going fast so I just sat up and waved him on. Looking back I should have gotten on with him we probably could have done something. I went back to the field and sat in until we pulled Pait back. After about a lap of that I caught Pait and simply said, "Hurts doesn't it?" I was reffering to the pain of the attack. We kind of rode together just fast enough to stay on the lead lap.
   After a month of good spirited trash talk the better man won in my opinion. According to the results Pait placed 20th dead last of the people on the Lead lap. I got a DNF, which I will protest, because i was on the other side of Pait and they didn't see me. (we finished side by side) But Pait was kind enough to let me sit on his wheel for the last two laps and he was the stronger man Thursday night. 
   I learned a lot about racing Thursday night. I learned that its better to do something than nothing. That attacks hurt really bad and are best saved for closer to the end or earlier in the race. I learned that opportunities present themselves and taking advantage of them is easy, committing to them is something totally different. And that racing my bike is really fun. 
     So remember.... 
 Have Fun,
  T Crotts 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Going Slow

  Speed is relative. It is a feeling. So when reading this blog keep that in mind. 

  I have always liked to go fast on my bike and pretty much everything. Speed is fun. Going fast gets your heart pumping and when that happens your body releases chemicals that make you happy. So naturally I like going fast. 

  I recently was informed that to go fast you have to go slow. At first I assumed that John was just making stuff up, but then I realized he was right. I ride pretty much the same speed on every ride I do and that is bad. 

  So today I went out and did the slowest, easiest ride I have ever done. In three years of riding the slowest ride. It was not really that bad to go slow, I really needed it. 

  Thursday night I did a TT out at Donaldson center. I was hoping for better than a 24:18 for the ten mile course but thats about where John said I would be. That just means I'll do better next time. For the first leget TT i've ever done it wasn't too bad. I paced my self well and caught the guy in front of me at the 5 mile turn around. I didn't get caught be the person behind me so it was all good. 

      I'm going to be going slow for the next week or so. 

 Have fun, 

   T Crotts

Monday, June 8, 2009

For a man of little words

     I experienced something I have never experienced in my entire life yesterday. I have been caught up in a bit of trash talking that was not instigated by me. I'm serious that has never happened before. I love talking crap to anyone about anything, and this time - finally - I'm not starting it. 

     There is a man who lives in Greenville, he races with my boss - sort of my boss-, he is a frequent customer of Sunshine, and he finished behind me at the last Crit race we did. That part is important, he was behind me. This man's name is Jonathan Pait. Pait is a mild mannered 40 something guy who rides a bike pretty well for a guy of his old age and lack of hair. (That was an intentional cheap shot at him personally just to make him mad.) 

     So, apparently, Pait is supposed to be stronger and faster than me. He is a Cat 4 racer and he has some fancy power meter and he knows how to use it. But here's the catch, he isn't really faster than me. If I want to be I think I am faster than him. (We never really drag race at the right times, i'm sure we will soon.) I guess he thinks because he beats me on a few group ride sprints he is faster than me. Which, I will give it to him if you win a sprint you are faster at that sprint- that I can not deny. But, next time hopefully he'll bring what he's got and I'm going to show him what I've got and we shall see. 

     Anyway, back to the story. One day I'm working on a bike at work, minding my own, when out of the blue Pait says something about how he's upset because I beat him at the Blair Cup crit. I was taken aback. I never really thought of Pait as a trash talker. He's the kind of guy who just likes to show he's better than you rather than telling you. And show you he will, maybe. 

     Well at this Saturday's Hour of Power, that is a group ride that the shop does - loads of fun and sprints, Pait was supposedly gunning for me. I believe the words were "lets crush him". I wasn't feeling my best and I had previously taken a less experienced rider up the road with me to try to give him some glory, Gary is a cool guy and deserves a little help. So Pait and John come flying around me about the time I pulled off to send Gary attacking like a wild man, I said "You've got it." That was to Gary not to Jonathan as he suspected. Gary didn't attack and I just sort of rode up the hill at the Quarry and went on to join the group at the stop sign. Pait won that sprint. I had nothing for him there.   

    Later in the ride we came to my favorite part of the ride, the state park sprint. The lead up starts up this really steep hill, we usually attack the group there and get a gap. Then it kind of false flats and flats for a few 1000 meters and starts to drop down hill where it the kicks up to the entrance of the Paris Mt. State park, first one to the park entrance wins. Well, Pait was at the front setting a good little pace, but it wasn't enough- It usually takes John's old creaky legs to get it spun up to sprint speed- so I shouted at Pait, "MORE PAIT!!" and John told him to pull of and laid it down with me in tow. John pulled off and I carried it down the hill spinning my little compact big ring wildly. I pulled off and John jumped to go, he's old so he didn't go long and said, "You've got it." So not willing to waste any energy since John gave up I sat down. Then Pait comes blowing around us and takes the sprint. (Did I mention that earlier in the ride Pait made a rookie mistake and tried to sprint in his 39 ring and I smashed him?) 

      I guess pait was satisfied because after that we just hung out and talked about ways to win the Blair Cup. We ended the ride and Pait never actually said anything to my face about his prowess out on the road that day. Pait left and Saturday drew to a close. Then yesterday I read his face book and saw that he had written a blog about our little throw down. And so this is my reply. 

                 Pait if you want it you know where to find it. Come get some.

   Remember kids have fun, Mr. Pait and I are having loads of it.

     T Crotts