Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cmmonweath of PA

After a two year absence, I finally made it back to PA to see friends, family and do some bike racing. The day before I left I raced a gnarly crit in Portland put on by Steven Beardsley. The Giro di Portland was a 6 corner loop in the Pearl district as part of the Festa Italiana. Of the ten blocks that we traversed in the 50 min race, the vast majority were fast and smooth, but turns 1 and 2 and the blocks of rutted cobblestones between them proved treacherous for many racers. I had a good time dodging flying bodies and bikes in what seemed like a crit of attrition. I also think my crit skill level increased by at least two hit points. Toward the end of the race 3 people were off the front and I wont the field sprint for 4th, stoked to be in one piece. Looking forward to this next year. Definitely a good one for spectators.

Dave Roth Cycling Photos

The next morning I embarked on my marathon travel day to Philadelphia, leaving my house in Portland at 8am and arriving at my friend Blakslee's apartment in south Philly at about 2am. My arranged ride from the airport got sick so Dan had to wake up borrow a car and come get me. We woke up the next day, went for a quick spin, survived an earthquake and were then picked up by our ride to the track for Tuesday night racing in T-town.

Basically just there to spin our legs and get ready for the big show on Friday, Dan and I were in small gears and planning on racing on the conservative side. Despite that, some good scratch race sprints and monster lead outs from Dan got me the win. That was enough money to put gas in the beater minivan that Marty loaned us for the week. That thing is possibly the loudest most ghetto fab minivan ever.

Wednesday Dan and I had a Motorpaced madison workout with the awesome Jack Simes III driving us around the track. All was going well until a miscommunication at 40 mph, mid-madison exchange behind the motor but us on our butts and claimed a decent amount of our skin. We were able to get up and finish the workout before hitting the showers to lick our wounds.

After a day of downtime, recovery and all you can eat dim sum, it was time for Friday's Madison Cup. We left the city at 3.30 and promptly encountered insane traffic. As we lurched forward the traffic seemed endless. Probably due to the impending Hurricane Irene that was threatening the East Coast for the weekend. Contantly checking traffic updates, we weren't sure we were going to make it on time. I phoned Marty and had him get my bike out. Dan and I pinned numbers and changed into kit in the car. With a prompt start time of 7.30, we rolled into the parking lot and 7.00, didn't bother putting the van in a proper parking spot and dashed over the bridge into the infield.

Stress and bike racing are not a good combo for me and the first couple races were not good. The first 50 lap madison was so bad that Dan and I were arguing about it afterwards and I actually yelled "I'm not yelling" at him. But we were there to have fun and kick ass and eventually calmed down and did just that. Our racing got better a the night went on. We had a decent showing in the miss n out and now it was about laying it all out there for the 120 lap final madison.

Finally feeling settled, stoked that my Mom and little sister were there watching me race for the first time it was go time. Unfortunately Bobby and Jackie got away for a lap some where in the middle of the race and everyone seemed content with that so it became a race for 2nd place. Going into the final sprint we were tied on points for 2nd with another team. We missed an exchange as the race was getting chaotic near the end and I ended up being in the race for the last few laps. I had the team we were tied with watching me and with one to go i ramped it up and then jumped hard. One person managed to come around me at the finish but not the one that mattered, i dropped them. So Dan and I were pretty happy to get a come from behind underdog 2nd at Madison Cup.

Anthony Skorochod

My mom, sister and i grabbed a hotel for the night then drove back towards Pittsburgh. My bike box didnt fit in the trunk too well so it hung half way out for the 300 mile journey. It was awesome visiting family and friends, riding around Pittsburgh and out the burbs, eating at The Zenith Cafe for the best Sunday brunch in the World! I really love Pittsburgh and can't wait until I can live there again, but I think that might be a while from now. In the meantime, someone should buy me this shirt.

My last full day in town i got to race at the 1/2 mile Washington Blvd. oval. It was just a 18m mile training crit but some friends that had never seen me race come out and it was pretty awesome. In the final few laps someone with lots of teammates tooka flyer while everyone else blocked. It seemed like he was going to stay away but at the sprint began winding up the guy off the front was fading fast. In the sprint i pulled away from the field and got the off the front riding by half a wheel.

Now I'm back in Portland and it's time to starting ramping up for track nationals at the end of the month. YEE-HAW!

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