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Tour DAY Gap - Cycle

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Abilene, Texas
United States
Food Bank of Abilene
90F / 32C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = ?/?
Age Group = Female
Age Group Rank = 4/?
Pre-race routine:

Okay, since Jen keeps insisting...I'll do a stinkin' race report, but not cause I wanna :) I'll try to be brief...

First off, about my bike: a)I've been having troubles clipping in on the left side and b) one of the springs in my aerobars broke (Still usable, but rattled when not in them). So, went to my bike shop on Thursday to try to get these things fixed. I come back to pick it up and of course, they don't have a replacement for my spring and then they worked on my right pedal rather than the left pedal; however, got them to look at the left pedal and we got it all worked out. So, just gonna have to deal with the stupid rattle.

Friday I got up and did a short 20 min. run, packed and loaded the car and headed for Ft. Worth (doc. appt.). From there continued on my way to Abilene. Since I got to Abilene way earlier than I expected I thought I would stop by Biketown to see if they might have a spring. So, walk in the door and ask, "I have some profile design aerob-" Nope! Don't have it. Alrighty, so, not a triathlon friendly bike shop, sheesh! He then proceeds to tell me to just take some zip ties to tie them down so it won't rattle. Really? I was thinking duct tape would be better. Geez, I'm an engineer, I know there are ways to make it stop...I was just hoping to actually...I don't know...fix the problem! What's up with these bike shops lately?! Anyways, left there in a huff, tired and cranky so went to my parents where I crashed until they woke me up for dinner. Was I getting the good carbo loading dinner?? No, we were going for nice greasy pizza. Well, if it works for Lane, perhaps I'll give it a whirl. It was some of the best pizza ever though, I must admit; therefore, I guess I felt like I needed to stock my tummy up with a year's worth of supply. Ugh, so totally miserable by the time I left there. Came home and chit-chatted with my mom and step dad. My mom wanted to come to the race in the morning, so she was going to come out to watch us take off and then she and my stepdad were going to breakfast and then she could come back out for the finish. So, she asks about what time I thought I would be through. I told her that it would probably take a little over 3. As we kept talking, I realized she thought I meant 3 o' clock, not 3 hours. Geez Mom! I know I'm not fast, but give me some credit. Then she asks if I will have my cell phone. Sure, I'll take it in case something happens between here and the race site. So she asks a question that I will never forget and I almost didn't think I would stop laughing..."Well, can you call us when you get close?" Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Sure mom, how about I bring a picnic basket too and I'll have sandwiches ready at the finish. Lol, my poor mom...knows nothing about this sport, but at least she wanted to be there. Anyways, after my stomach stopped hurting from laughing, I decided to go to bed.

Event warmup:

I woke up around 6:00 am. Slowly started moving around, eating my pb crackers, drinking some juice, and getting all suited up. I decided to go with the zip tie idea for my aerobars...yes, I think my bike's name should go from Apollo to Redneck, Bubba! I already have electrical tape around my computer sensor to keep it on, the decals on my bike are peeling off, there is some weird creak that the bike shop dudes can't find (gee, am I surprised?) and now this. So, I go grab my bike out of my car to get it ready and my back tire is flat as a pancake. One more point for Bubba!! No big deal, I change out the tube, but of course, I didn't bring any additional tubes besides the one in my saddle bag so now I wouldn't have a spare if I had a flat during the ride. I hate patching tubes, but decided to at least patch my old just in case...a patched tube is better than no tube. Alrighty, so now I'm ready, replaced the tube, aerobars are set, tired inflated, let's hit the road. I start to walk out the door and realize that I forgot to fill my water bottles, so turn around and fill them up. Okay, now I'm ready to go. Again, head for the door...this time forgetting shoes. I guess I need the complexity of three events to get things together, this cycling alone business isn't working. So, after circling the house a few more times, I was finally clear for take off. My parents house is only 2.5 miles from the starting line so decided to "warm up" to the race. I got to the race site, registered, and then saw my mom. Jen quickly found us and we hung out until it was time to head for the line. I of course, was getting extremely intimidated as usual. Some jerk posted this race on the TXBRA forum (Texas Bicycle Racing Association). This was just a rally race and not a USCF race. However, there was some serious cash to be won: $500 to the top 4 man team, $300 to first, $200 to second, and $100 to third for both male and female overall. Since there was not a USCF race this weekend, I knew several racers would be here thinking easy money. Yep, I was right! The first female I see...freakin' Andrea Hannos. She is a pro-rider, used to race for Rona out of Canada. She lives in Tyler so I've spoken with her several times and unforunately she is like super nice so you can't hate her, dang it...I hate people with talent AND kindness. But it's just not fair! Pro-riders shouldn't be allowed to race with us lowlifes!! Then of course, I see the Peyton girls (out of Odessa) and lots of other women. Nerves now shot!
  • 2h 57m
  • 63 miles
  • 21.36 mile/hr

Microphone dude told us that it would be a neutral start through town until we crossed the railroad tracks (no getting ahead of the lead vehicle). Well, I guess my definition of "neutral" pace is a little askew, because I didn't realize that 20 mph was "neutral" That's freakin' race pace to me! It didn't matter though, I was stuck going that pace whether I liked it or not. The mob was huge...well over a 100 riders, I would have been dragged along if I stopped pedaling. I'm used to my nice, small girls only cycling races with a max of maybe 35 women. This was insano!! As soon as we crossed the railroad tracks, the tempo kicked big deal, I still felt fine. However, our mob was taking up the entire two-lane road. I refused to cross the yellow line, because that's generally the rule in road races and is a dq offense, plus, my life just isn't worth a better position in a road race. Anyways, people kept going on the other side of the road and moving up in the pack. Therefore, I was being forced further and further back. I thought it would be alright and I would just remain calm until things thinned out to start working my way back up legally and safely. Well, first hill out of town I am behind a row of Peyton boys and they immediately drop off. What the heck? I thought racing boys would be able to handle a little weenie hill...but then again, they are from Odessa. So I have to fight my way through them, but by was too late. By by front pack. A group of about 5 of us gathered up, and chased. However, I'm not so sure these people ever really did much road racing because we were not working together at unorganized. One person would just pull and pull and pull, then blow up and then someone else would do the same thing. I tried pulling so hard to catch back up, but it seems like whenever I would gain a little...the next person in line would lose it all and then some. I wanted to yell, CIRCLE PACE, SHORT PULLS! But then I knew they would hate me. I don't think they would take to kindly to orders from a female (there were about 4-5 guys, me, and another female). Finally, one of the guys said, let's circle pace. He directed the rotation and we got rolling. It was beautiful, like clockwork. We had it going so that you were always blocked from the wind on one side and then in the paceline on the otherside, so really you were only in the wind for the brief few seconds that you were at the head of the line. It was great and we kept it going for a long time. After we made the turn at Winters I was starting to feel kinda wimpy. I would sit out on some pulls for a couple of rotations to recover and then jump back in. I took a hammergel and it is amazing how quickly I felt it's magical powers. I was instantly back in the game. The road heading towards Hwy 277 (can't remember the road #) totally sucked. It was rough, there was a crosswind, and a few rollers...nothing bad, but the group just seemed to crash and burn on every single hill...these peeps need to come visit me for some hill training. I was so glad to see Hwy 277 because it meant smoother road and with the wind! Even though there were more hills, it wasn't bad. We would gain stragglers here and there and then lose a person every once in awhile. I saw Jen at mile 43...playing with her foot :) My computer crapped out on me at mile 48. Would something else please go out on my bike? Please. I don't broken spokes might be nifty. Come to find out...the heat made the sticky stuff on my expensive electrical tape turn to goo and it slid down the spoke. It was probably a good thing because then I wouldn't be watching the miles tick by. Especially since I was in desperate need of water. 2 water bottles just didn't cut it for that length of ride. At the starting line I found out that the rest stops had been instructed to NOT hand water to a moving cyclist. It's a race! Who the heck is going to stop for tea and crumpets and nap time? There is no stopping in a race! We turned on to FM 89 and our group got blown apart by the hills...some guys went ahead, most fell behind, and me and the other female were left in the middle. I totally could tell I was stronger on the hills than her. I pulled us up every single steep hill and she drafted the entire way. However, during my wimpy middle section of the race, she never cracked so overall...she was probably the stronger rider of the day. is where my fatal error of the day comes attention and DON'T DO THIS!!! Sine I sensed that I was doing all of the work, I sat up and moved to the side. We started talking. I noticed she had aerobars on too and asked if she did triathlons. She said yes. I found out that she was from San Angelo and I told her how I almost considered doing the IRP Woolman triathlon there. Then we got on to bigger stuff. Turns out she has done Buffalo Springs a few times, but not this year. I was telling her about how it was my first and that I really didn't expect the recovery from it to be as hard as it was, blah blah. She said the bike BSL bike course was tough, but I loved that course, hills and all. I then told her about how my knee was bothering me in the race. She told me that she had been watching my form because she is a physical therapist. She said that I have a Q-form or something like that. Basically, she said that my hip angle is larger than my knee angle. Great...I'm a bigger freak of nature than I thought! I've learned so much about my body since I've started this tri stuff, I'm so deformed! Anyways, she said it wasn't a big deal...just gotta work on strengthening those outer muscles. Show me the weights! I want to remain injury free! Anyways, yeah, yeah...I'm getting there about the biggest mistake ever, hold on, gotta keep ya' in suspense :) So, she then asks how many women are in front of us. I said that I saw three women in the pack, but didn't see the Peyton girls up there, but assumed they were. She agreed. I noticed that she had a number on her calf which meant that she was in the team competition. She said that two of her teammates were way up ahead, and one was behind her. So, since I KNEW we were out of the money, I told her to finish in front of me because we were in different age groups so we would still place the same there. Then, I saw a guy in front of us within the last mile and I said, "In fact, let's go catch him and that will put you up another slot!" So, I drop in my aerobars and haul butt with her on my tail. We easily sail by this guy. We approach the finish and I move to the side to let her go in ahead of me. End of race, no big deal...I certainly didn't care about being 7th rather than 6th.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

After coming across the line I drank two water bottles at the aid stand. I felt like the guy in the Wendi's commercial dumping the water cooler jug down his throat. I needed liquid badly! My mom was there taking lots of pictures. Okay mom, it's just a little bike rally, in a town of population 200. As I'm standing there I see the two PEyton girls come in. What? They were behind us? Huh, oh well, guess that means I'm 5th rather than 7th, cool (Evil evil foreshadowing). I rode back to the starting line (it was over a mile back to where we started). Once I got there, I noticed they had the nectar of the gods...TEA. I slurped down 3 big glasses of the stuff, ate some cookies and waited for the rest of the fam to get there. My mom, sister, brother in law, Jen, and I sat around watching the Tour de France (yes, they brought out tv's to BFE, how thoughtful), while waiting for the awards. My mom's next brilliant comment of the weekend (I love her, I really do...but I think for Christmas I am buying her cycling for dummies) as we are watching the last time trial stage..."Lance is riding all by himself." Umm, yes mom, he's supposed to's a time trial. That's when they send one rider off at a time...oh nevermind. Hey, she knew who Lance was!

So they make it to the team, top men, and then to the top women. They call the top three women and my name was called. What?? That's not right. So I go up there and tell them that I think there is a mix up. They had screwed up the results in the team division and they had computer problems with the age group stuff so they decided not to hand out AG awards. So, it gets straightened out and sure enough, Miss Triathlete finished third, making me 4th. Yes folks, I basically handed $100 bucks to another girl. I don't know that if we had tried to duke it out at the finish I would have won because I'm a weak sprinter, but I would have at least liked to have known that I tried. Oh well, live an learn. Never assume you know anything...even if there were 3 girls up in front...they could have crashed, had mechanical issues, etc. Fight to the finish and no Miss Nice Girl!!

After that, we decided to go eat at this Fish place in Buffalo Gap (I can't even pronounce the name right so don't expect me to try to spell it). I decided to just ride my bike to the restaurant since it was basically around the corner. Ate lots, then rode my bike home to my parents, took a shower, tried to take a nap...didn't really work so well, went to see my dad, then off to drink beers with Jen! At least the day ended good!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Being Nice! My best friend told me that I needed to learn how to be a B*tch because that's what guys seem to go for, for some odd reason. Well, now I have learned where being mean is also a worthy trait!

Event comments:

This is a great course, the volunteers were nice...they just need to learn a little more about road racing. Got to have water bottle hand ups for that distance in that heat (not really that hot though). Results were all messed up and they had the same problems when I did this ride 2 years ago so still need to get those kinks worked out. However, like i said, it is a great course, well marked, and good food after the ride (which I didn't have, but it smelled good).

Last updated: 2005-07-25 12:00 AM
02:57:00 | 63 miles | 21.36 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/?
Overall: 4/?
Performance: Average
Wind: Little
Course: This course starts out in Buffalo Gap and then heads south towards Winters. You then head west to Hwy 277 then make a right turn on to FM 89 to complete the loop. Going south: smooth but into the wind. West: yucky chip-sealed road, a few rollers, and crosswind. Hwy 277: with the wind, hills getting bigger. FM 89: big hills, and @$#@#% chip seal!
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 1
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? No
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2005-07-25 9:59 PM

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Longview, TX
Subject: Tour DAY Gap
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