Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Quickie - Crit Nationals in Chi-town

Take off at 8:05 Saturday morning, get into O'hare at 1-ish. Hop the shuttle to Thrifty and find out that a Caravan doesn't hold 4 bikes in boxes and bags. Upgrade to the Grand Caravan and we're on our way. On the drive to the hotel, we determined that the roads in Chicago have no shoulder and look like this. We got the bikes put together and found lunch at a place called the Coyote (mexican). Then it was time to watch the pro-am day-before race that we were skipping since flying and racing same day is just not much fun. Finish the day off with some good Thai food, downing a beer and then try to sleep through extremely loud partiers (not your average loud partiers!) next door at our Comfort Suite. Wake up and give an 8am courtesy call to the neighbors, but we're pretty sure they got evicted by the cops. Looked out the window and saw the predicted 1 to 2 inches of rain making its start on the day. Got to the course in Downers Grove, a Chicago suburb, pull out the gear and ready it for take off. At least one warm up lap to figure out the course was a dream that was not coming true, line up took place as soon as the gates opened. The Bob's team got the short end of the stick in the line up order and we were all very near the back of 170 racers. Not good for any criterium, but it makes things even more difficult when it's wet! We fought the entire race to get near the front. The whole time, it was a challenge to see out fogged up and grit covered glasses. By half way in, I finally made it to the front only to be wrecked out one lap later as somebody slid out just in front of me. I had just earned the sweet spot of 5 riders back and immediately hit the deck... NO!!! At least the bike and body were still functional and I got back in. Back to working my way to the front again, which never truely happened. Miss a few more wrecks, one by the tiniest of margins. There must have been 20 pile-ups or single rider slide outs in that race! I wasn't the only bob's-bicycles.com guy to get mixed up in a wreck. Brandon went down twice. Of our three combined wrecks, none were caused by us. Our Michelin tires with 90lbs of pressure kept us fully confident in our cornering skills. We all concurred that the Abercrombie & Fitch team were causing most of the wrecks. Lets get that team on some different tires! Eventually the finish came around and I rolled in for 24th. Rob Campbell finished in 15th, not too shabby Rob! We got the bikes boxed and put back in the Grand Caravan, then managed to get somewhat lost finding our return location due to a north/south sign conflict. There's a reason it's called Thrifty. The flight was nearly 2hrs late. Got back into town at 1am and go back to the 8 to 4:30 grind the next morning, thus the title - The Quickie.

Results: - 24th - not too bad for 170 starters

Pictures: - none include me, but do show the conditions

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought I told you to race like a jet- That didn't mean crash!! Nicely done with the rest of it, however!

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