Economic Cycles

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Pushed to My Limits

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How come the night before Worlds, two things inevitably happen? 1. I eat too much and 2. I sleep very little. The eating I can explain. We normally go over a friend’s house to eat lots or friends come here and we eats lots. Okay, that makes sense. The sleeping thing not so much. I think it’s a combination of excitement for Worlds, going over different race scenarios in my head, and knowing that I’ve got to get up early. Those three things are a deadly combination for a good night’s sleep.

In any case, I woke this morning with way too little sleep under my belt. Enter espresso maker, stage right. It was 6:30am and already 40 degrees outside, so at least that was promising. I watched the first half of the Manchester derby and left knowing that Man U was up 1-0. (I watched the second half of the game when I got home and caught this wonder strike). Fast forward to the start of Worlds. It took around 3 minutes before the attacks started flying. It was the usual suspects. I had the misfortune of going with nearly every break. And none of them stuck. I must have burned a good 6 matches going with attacks that fizzled out. Hanna made a good point about it. He said that there was a lot of parity out there today. Lots of really decent riders willing to close the gaps and bring back all the moves. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the climb before the final climb, I was pretty cooked. I had already used my matchbook and had nothing but smoldering embers left. It was just pure pain for the last 10 minutes. Turning into the final climb meant I only had a minute or so of pain left. But before I could even process that thought, Bailey flew by me. What the…. Last I saw him, he was trying to recover from one of his monster pulls into the wind. He looked finished. I should have known better.  Dude is a beast. Jordo and I found each other side by side on the way up. (A prelude to the action that would come later). He was half-panting and I was sort of drooling all over myself while seeing cross-eyed. It was neck and neck but I think I eeked out 7th by the top. Not too bad. Hanna locked up his second W in a row. Joe Pa looked strong as well and came in 4th I believe.

With all the snow and ice on and around Chatfield, no one wanted to chance it so we turned around and went back the way we came. I tried to rebuild my matchbook on the ride back to Deer Creek.

We took Willow Springs back to Morrison per the usual, but this time, it was an adventure as we rode over ice and snow. It was nasty. I actually tipped over at one point. From Morrison we all decided to climb our way out and up to Golden. The plan was to hit the backside of Lookout, get 45 minutes climbing in, turn around and come home. The ride blew up on the climb and never came back together. When we made the left turn after climbing out of Morrison, I hit the light first and started making my way up to Mt. Vernon. I was alone for a little bit, then Jordo caught and passed me. Bailey caught me soon after and I started riding with him. I mentioned that my legs were shit. He said me too. We puttered along keeping Jordo in our sights. I did no work. When we got to one of the flatter sections, Bailey told me to stay on his wheel and he ramped up the speed. As he pulled me along, my cassette made some awful noise because I was in my little ring – 11 combo. Oops. He swung off and told me to go bridge to Jordo.

I felt compelled to do so. I had to. He did all that work, I couldn’t let it go to waste.

At first I found it nearly impossible bridging to Jordo. I tried to just up my tempo and slowly work my way to him. That was not working. Then I found more success getting out of the saddle and giving it a few big time efforts. It took 3 big efforts to get there. I got there. Jordo looked back and saw me. Instead of slowing down for a chat, he glared. His facial expression told me he was going to shake me off his wheel. I knew that was not going to happen. I wasn’t going to waste both Bailey’s and my effort like that. What ensued was an epic battle. Ok, maybe not. But it was epic in my mind. Jordo and I battled all the way to the top. He would dig in and try to drop me. I stayed. He would get out of the saddle and attack me. I followed. He would try to put me in the wind. I moved over. I stay glued to his wheel. He did all the work. I had no other strategy to employ being the weaker rider. Finally when we neared Mt. Vernon, the road turned up even steeper. It was within the final 1k. I gave it one big effort with 200 meters to go and Jordo couldn’t follow. He had done too much already.

We savored the moment at the top. It was great. Lungs searing, intermittent coughing, snot dripping, and a battle won and lost. Epic. That is what riding a bike is about.

It’s so amazing what can happen when your friends push you to your limits. I’m eternally grateful for these days.

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Written by jlongo12

February 12, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Posted in cycling

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