Yeah, I know it is supposed to be “Friday Night Lights”, but this was on Saturday night. The promoters have moved the times around a bit in the last few years. This year the Master’s A’s started at 7pm and it was dark. Not very dark, but it was hard to see the best lines in some of the turns. That made it challenging. Got a call up from the last race. 6th places on the front row…and I was #6.
Being on the front really helps in these races. Chaos usually ensues very closely around the first turns. This race was not an exception to that rule. A long paved stretch lead to a curb that had sandbags for a ramp. The pavement is long enough so you can get enough speed to really hurt yourself on the curb jump. Amazingly no one went down on the first turn…but the second turn caused some grief. Some guy came flying recklessly around a bunch of us. I was sitting about 5th or 6th. On the second turn there has always been a metal plate. It was there again and this guy slipped on the black ice. He didn’t take anyone out, except himself, but that was all Coates and Swanson needed to get away. The chase was on.
I managed to get up to them after bursting both my lungs. But I couldn’t hold on. I popped and got into a chase group with 5 others. One being national champ Don Myrah. We traded pulls for a few laps and tried in vain to bring anyone back. Don wasn’t riding as smoothly as he has in the past. He was all over the place. Not really sure what was going on him. The other 3 sat in for a while. Then, this guy named Reno Jude took off and had a dig. My jaw dropped as he dropped us all. I couldn’t believe. I have raced with him in Sac and he has a huge engine. Not in the greatest shape, but is the Energizer bunny.
Eventually I got dropped by Don and a Pen Velo fella. I was with Eric Bustos from Giant berries. On the last lap Don and Velo actually got tangled up in one another and crashed hard. We came in pretty hot and I was kicking myself because I wasn’t aggressive enough. But they were having a yard sale all over the course. I couldn’t get around them. So then we were all together for a “bunch” sprint for the finish. I ended up 3rd in the sprint and should have been 8th, but I guess they got me in 9th. Lesson: always check the results. Not like it matters, except for placement in the next race.
For a bumpy course with lots of turns I had a pretty good go at it. Only getting stronger as the year continues. Problem is the season will be over right when I hit my stride. Still some fun races to though.
One of the best parts of the night was seeing one of my coaching clients score a 5th place in the B’s race, which had 92 people in it. My other client finished his first race of the season a couple weeks ago in last. This last one he got 50th out of 75 people. Improvement….that’s awesome.
Below are a couple “artsy” photos of me. One taken a couple weeks ago by Brent the Elder at Candlestick Park. The other was a mistake when I was putting the iPhone back into my pocket. Artistic, I know. Lots of talent here.