A Quiet Start to the 2016 Season

17 03 2016

It’s pretty quiet. At least from my perspective; the months and weeks of off-season training gave way to the first event: The Ridge Circuit Race and Time Trial #2. I finished well, not having bonked, or experienced a mechanical or flat, or having bumped elbows or shoulders with another in the bunch. Maybe this was karma from having completed a preemptive commuter crash during an evening return from the super market (read: got it out of my system.) Or maybe it was ’cause everyone in the pack was super cool and not real nervous. (Most of us were Cat 3 masters.)

This was a first-time event site for me and I found the experience a positive one overall. The venue was well-organized, had plenty of parking (paved or gravel,) and the Motorsports park environment a nice change from courses run on public roads. The weather was typical northwest overcast with occasional rain, and the ~9 mph wind was out of the WSW. The course was already wet. I hoped more rain would stay away for a while.

Bird's eye view of the race track

The Ridge – Bird’s eye view

The pop-up awning went up and this time I staked it down…if it rains, no problem, I’m ready. At earlier events, not tying down meant that the wind would blow it over and crumple it like tissue— no worries right? I’ve repaired the thing twice so far. Got the gear bags, trainer, and stuff laid-out. Race prep as usual.

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Figure 1. On the straight-away into the Finish, looking toward the downhill “S” turn

 

Figure 2. The Finish seems farther than it is…

I learned a couple of things this day…one, fix that front-end high-zoot skewer (the one that keeps loosening.) two, tweak the TT position to bring the elbows in more, three, even though the pop up awning might be braced-down, the wind can STILL blow it down. As was the case when I returned to my car after the circuit race.

 

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Figure 3. Circuit race. I’m (hidden) drafting the guy with the yellow frame

The circuit race was without mishap, no bumping, bar-ends getting tangled or any such nonsense, just a clean race. A good start to the season. At any rate, round and round we went. Into the wind and out of the wind. The “selection” for the last lap was decided at the top of the descent before the corkscrew, and I made sure that I was in the right place at the right time. Kyle (the rider in red, Figure 3,) was first into the corkscrew. I was second. I feathered my brake too much and watched him get on-the-gas out of the last turn. Even on the top of my gears and out of the saddle; I wasn’t able to close the gap.

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Figure 4. Out of gears and out of time…approaching the Finish.

A fun race and venue, and an easy drive. I’ll look forward to next year’s opening. Thanks for reading and good luck with your race season!

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Figure 5. 3rd place for the Circuit race this day.








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