Sunday, November 14, 2010

USGPCX #5 - Fort Collins, CO

Ah yes, another easy hop skip and jump over the mountains for another big race near Boulder. I love these fast flights vs. layovers and all. I am starting to feel spoiled as UCI races make their way toward the West coast a bit more!

So if the race could have been just as nice as the plane ride, all would have been extremely good. But the race was awful. Do you know why it was awful? Click here to watch this video of the race start and you will see just why. Or maybe just take a look at these pics as I am face first into the pavement:

And then sitting dazed and confused wondering A) where my bike is and B) why I am not on it. Sunglasses even popped off my nose.

Yes, that is me sliding across the pavement on my rear and head in the video only seconds into the race. It was awful in so many ways!! A lot of people asked me what happened assuming I just know how to fall off my bike on flat dry pavement. Let's just say I had help and leave it at that. NOTHING was intentional but this is just how things panned out. I have never had that happen and it was gut wrenching in all respects. The last thing I want to do is ruin someone elses race!! But that can be racing unfortunately.

After making sure that everything was moving on my body I found my bike and hopped back on and tried to pedal. You can see that in the vid too. And, I was not able to pedal at all!!! The derailleur was jammed in between the cassette and the wheel which I found out later after the race was the least of the bikes worries.

After trying to pedal and remount and trying to get it thru my thick head that the bike was flat out broken I decided that maybe I ought to focus on my own body for a second because my rear was starting to hurt BAD as I slid on it for quite a ways. I screamed for medical as I was sure something was super wrong and I needed stitches or something. I decided to take the time and check for blood which thank heavens I found none despite expecting the worst. Other than that area driving me crazy, I was all good to go with no bruises, bumps, hema tomatoes and not even one tiny scratch. You have to be kidding me? My skinsuit was even intact with no holes. That night I wasn't even sore!!! NOW THAT is a weird crash.

The bike on the other hand, well it had 2 broken chain stays and some severely bent handlebars in addition to the derailleur issue. Check out the right handlebar compared to the left in this pic. It goes inwards quite a ways from being bent in the crash.

Man I was lucky - the bike, not so much. It was the one that ended up broken and seeking medical attention.

Ok, so any reasonable human being might call it a day and head for the spa at this point but I am always programmed to forge ahead no matter what like a robot (I have finished races with broken bones - maybe not the greatest choice).

So I headed for the pits running with my totally busted up bike on my back. And by the time I actually started running, there was NO ONE around. I mean no one. The race, its leaders and anyone dangling off the back had already made their way to the other side of the course. I could have heard crickets if I had listened close enough over the sound of my huffing and puffing.

Once to the pits I turned in my mangled bike and got my "B Bike". Ok, now I can start racing. Good thing I am only starting about 10min later than everyone hugh?! Try finding motivation at that point?! Well, I found it because I didn't want to DNF and I came out there to race!

I got in as much as I could getting back up to the tail end of the girls and making a few passes before my race was over. I placed poorly but I wasn't expecting the world after all that happened. Such is racing and luckily there are tons more races to come!! Today's happiness falls with the fact that I CAN race tomorrow, didn't get hurt, and didn't hurt anyone else. What a day.

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