It's been quite an adventure since I last wrote. First of which was flying home from Trinidad, on my birthday with a fractured back. I opted for the wheelchair and paying someone to lug all my stuff for me. The Miami airport is the worst.
My back healed up well and pretty quick. Most of the troubles I had early on were with my lower back muscles tightening up and my glutes refusing to work. As was my first race back at mt. Tabor on may 22nd. I made it thru 15 of the 30 laps just fine, then all of a sudden a third of the way up, I just could not pedal anymore. Game over. Luckily, the race announcer, aware of my circumstaces, made an excuse for me pulling out.
With my first race back outta the way I had decided that I would set my sights on being back in reasonable shape for the tesstarosa velodrome challenge in San Jose in early june. This proved to be quite a bit harder than I thought. I took a small spill at a fast twitch Friday sprint night, then I got a staph infection in my armpit that required getting cut open, then I had an allergic reaction to my antibiotics. This led me right up to race time in San Jose with a rash all over my body that was starting to fade. I had very little training going in so I just had to use it to kickstart my training in to high, fast gear. Racing. Went suprisingly well and I managed to come out of a crash in the Madison unscathed after doing a front flip over the bars, a somersalt, and landing on my feet. I also earned a new nickname courtesy on michael hernandez, white trash ninja, because he said he had never seen cat like skills like that from anyone with a mullet. Well hernandez, it's a rat tail, but since you played motley crüe when went off the front of the points race, I'll let it slide. Also, my teammate Brent had his coming out to show the worls he's a bad ass ride in the Madison.
After that it was back at training to prepare for that death march that would be late June and July. Raced the swan island crit to test the legs 2 days before the sixday. It was run as an unknown points race and was pretty fun. Then dan harm and I teamed up for the alpenrose sixday there wasn't a very large turnout but dan and I won every individual day and the overall. The alpenrose challenge was two weeks later. The racing was really good and really fast. Everbody's favorite manboy Jame carney was there as well as jason Allen, emile de rosnay, dan harm, more of the usuals and a strong Canadian crew pushing the tempo. We set a new fast time time in the 10mile. Jame won. I got 3rd. Same story in the points race. I blew the miss n out in typical fashion. Dan and I had a decent ride to 2nd in the Madison. I blew a move and Jame capitalized, got away and he and jas stayed away.
The following weekend was the nuun/fsa grand prix in Seattle. Racing was good here as well with a lot of familiar faces from the week before. Blew the miss n out agian. But managed 2nd in the scratch behind Jason Allen and 3rd in a grueling points race that Jame won. Brent and I had a decent ride in the Madison to get 4th. And he found out that you can go really fast in madisons at marymoor.
So instead of taking a breather after two hard weeks of racing, I decided to pack my bike and race the far west championships at the encino velodrome in LA. I had been wanting to do this for a while since it's an int'l style ommium and it's put on by Al Nash, who rules. This was the longest day of bike racing ever. We ran thru the entire int'l omnium program but in one day instead of two. Flying lap, 30k points race, miss n out, 4k pursuit, 15 k scratch race, and a kilo. This was also there national qualifier so there were oth events in the middle. Racing started at 9 am and finshed at 9 pm. I rode really well other than losing all my chainring bolts in the points race, borrowing a bike but going down a
lap and getting almost last. I won the miss n out, pursuit, scratch and the kilo, but it was not enough to over come messing up the points and i finished 2nd overall but was all qualified for nationals in sprint and endurance events. I was also ready for a bit of rest.
I did take a week of rest but after that I went and did the state road race on a whim after Brent asked if I wanted to go, I think as a joke. Assuming I would just get dropped since I hadn't really been thinking about climbing a hill for a while I didn't taken it too seriously and didn't have anyone to hand me a feed in the 92 mile race. I don't think I had ridden 92 miles since 2004. So I found myself in the first chase group and about 80miles in, cresting the hill into the feed zone, I just crashed myself out. Real embarrassing. I caught some wind with my hands on the tops and rubbed wheels and just fell down. The real good part was that it was a nasty chip sealed road and I wasn't wearing gloves. As I frantically remounted and tried to chase back on, I realized that blood was pouring out of my hands and I couldn't really grip the bars. I chased for about 5 mins off and on but eventually gave up and hitchhiked a ride from someone who had been in the feed zone. I was super pissed because I would have done ok in a race that I shouldn't even had considered doing in the first place. I raced on the track the next day with gauze on my hands under padded gloves. It still hurt real bad but I couldn't miss the sugar shorts race.
I did some crits after that. I had high hopes for the Portland twlight crit, but got stuck in a crash and in the spectacular rookie move of the year (more so than crashing uphill) I paniked, hopped on my bike and and started trying to chase back on by myself. That didn't work out so good and I got pulled. I don't think I'll do that one again. I had a decent ride in the state crit. I took a flyer at one to go and held on for fifth. Road bikes still aren't my strong suit.
The rest of august and September was spent training my ass off for nationals. Roommates/teammates Brent and Amy and I decided to road trip down to LA, stopping in San fancisco for a few days on the way down to break up the drive and get in some quality away from portland time. I got to see some good friends in the bay I hadn't seen in some time then it was off to LA and the first stop was the crucial vegan friendship picnic. Most of my awesome LA friends were there and even a few very unexpected faces. Oh and more door than Brent, jack and I could eat. Right? After a couple days of straight chillin' it was time to get down to business.
Nationals day 1. The first day of the omnium kicked off nats. I had an ok flying lap. Could have been better, but couldn't the
y always? Points race. Raced with my head firmly up my ass. Seriously. Miss n out. 3rd. Not too shabby. Pursuit, eh not so good. It was at least under 5 mins.
Nationals day 2. Omnium continued. Scratch race. My head found it's way up my ass again. WTF? And kilo. I had to lay it all on the line and hope for the best. 108.000 and 2nd. I'll take it, would have been tenth with the big guys, but it was too little too late. I ended up tied on points for 5th my time in the pursuit put me in 6th and off the podium.
Nationals day 3. Scratch race. Rode the qualifier smart and got in the big show. Tried to ride as smart as I can stand. I was in a good spot at 2 to go but hesitated a split second when I shoulda launched, then almost got boxed in, went back, out, around and full gas towards the line. But the top few guys decided to go a little sideways, probably crossed the line at a 45 degree angle in 5th. Old man carney won it.
Nationals day 4. Points race. Won my points qualifier. In the final I was starting to feel last last few days in my legs but would try to race smart as possible. Got some advice from Carney before and during the race. I was happy with the race as a whole and I ended up 4th.
Nationals day 5. Team sprint. Madison. Team sprint went pretty good. Brian had a great first lap and he didn't drop me. I was really hoping for top 5 but we ended up 6th. The Madison was the most dissapointing race of the week. I rode with sex machine dan harm. Ian moir and Danny healey got a lap pretty early on. It was a great move. So as they caught, I countered and got a pretty decent gap. Jame and Shane kline bridged up and we were off and movin good. I was feeling good and feeling better as the field got closer and closer. At some point I wasn't sure what happened, but we started to lose ground big time. I did what I could to dig in but in no time we went from having the field in sight to swallowed up. I did my best to recover as the counter surges happened. We managed to get in the points a bit but our race was basically over. We ended up 6th. Some shit went down during the race that I didn't realize. All I can really say at this point is fuck politics and race your own race.
I feel it was a good nationals. I'm still learning so much and I really apperciate the help I get from everyone around me. Brian, Tank, BRIHOP, Bike Central, Jame, LA vegan crew and many more.
I'm sick of typing on this iPhone. Stay tuned. Next stop. Burnaby, then Tasmania!