3 days in Cinci

Here it is - better late then never, still trying to finish up some bike work and figure out if I want to glue up some tubulars or not.

Day 1
As usual, I was running late getting over to Shawn's place. Running an hour late, we made our way south towards Cincinnati. Soon we would run into traffic several times, putting us even later the expected.

The course was soft and muddy, lots of climbing and throw in a couple sets of barriers. One lap of warmup, some hill sprints to warm up and to the start line.

First muddy corner, everybody going for the win right there, and a huge crash. One guys gets up to see a frame broken in half. I get around it, but loose time in the process.

Immediately, the burn starts coming into my lungs and it is pretty obvious I did not warm up enough. Soon, the leaders would catch up to me and I would get yanked.

Very disappointing day for both Shawn and I which was a bummer as it was mostly caused because of me running late - but I would wind up with some cash for the day, so it was not a total loss.

Day 2


Day 2 brought the Java Johnny's course, a course which I did decently on a few years back so I was looking forward to racing the mostly flat and fast course.

Gun goes off and I have a decent start, sitting mid pack.

Soon, we are going by the pit. Another rider in front of me suddenly slows and swings far right and looks right and starts waving and yelling "hi" to his buddy in the pits - totally looking away from the upcoming left corner.

I continue on with the gas, pass him and go into the corner and then wham - the idiot looking the other way hits into my rear derailleur super hard as he didn't see me. Nice. He says something to me, I pedal away not noticing he bent the rear hanger.

3 corners later, I take a corner wide and sweep in tight - just like i did every time in practice as it was the fastest and safest way to get around it. but - the same idiot that hit me before, hit me again. this time, intentionally. it sent me flying, i tried to counter steer and partially rolled the tubular. Great, 2 minutes into a race and this jack ass takes me out.

I climb back on, try to catch on after pulling the tubular on and pedal on.

20'ish minutes later, I am nearly catching the back of Shawn's group and my front tire washes out and the tubular completely rolls off. it also snaps the shifter clamp band.

Game over.

Great. So much of these races are the first 4-5 minutes and needless to say it is very frustrating to get behind an idiot. And when you finally get around them, they intentionally take you out. I don't understand that logic at all.

But - hats off to Sram Neutral support. Free upgrade from a Sram Apex front shifter to a Sram Red so I could use the bike the next day.

Day 3


The last day of racing would be a tough one, the course was all soft and muddy and had a decent little climb in it. Lot's of power would be required.

We get to the venue about 3 1/2 hours early. The organizer was running late on time, so he cut ALL pre-riding of the course. I was NEVER able to ride a full complete lap during warm up as the officials would start yelling and blowing there whistles. Was a total FAIL in all of the riders minds to not let us ride all of it - especially considering they were cutting us off from riding the last 1/2 mile'ish of the course when the next race had not even started - even with lap times running over 7-8 minutes. Unreal.

Gun would go off, and I took off from the last row. Super awesome. Not.


The first few corners I get pinched, pinched again, and then I am at the back with the majority of the guys faltering on the twisty section by the road that I had cleared every time in warmup.

I play catch up, picking off a few riders here and there. I feel like I am riding the best of the 3 days so far, but soon the leaders are catching up.

I get yanked again, but end up with some cash for the day.

All in all, good eye opener for me to get my attitude adjusted before nationals, but I wish things had turned out a bit better.

Time to glue up some tubulars.

Ernesto out

Photo credit - Julie Lewis

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