Thursday, May 24, 2012

Part Deux Addison Oaks Stage Race

In this second installment of the Addison Oaks Stage Race was the Expert/Elite Single Speed Cross Country. As we toe the start line, or in this case, front tire, my single speed race compatriots and I exchange a few pleasantries and the gun goes off. I don't like to lead out in the races as it's a good time to let someone else do the work and size up the competition. This course start allowed me to tuck in behind the leaders wheel and save a little energy. As we start the Water Tower climb I realize our pace is not as high as normal, so I am content to stick to the leaders wheel and see how is single track prowness is. Rolling through the first single track is fun and feels like a fast fun, albeit hard ride. I'm having a blast, the breathing is good despite the heat and we are rolling along nicely. We cruise through the first lap and our little single speedd peloton work horse is still out front doing all the work. We do make it through all the two track and hit the paved path on the back side of the course, as we approach the end and just before the single track our third single speeder sees the first Elite woman catching and annouces she'll probably want by real soon...not only are the wheels rolling on my Specialized S-Works Carbon Stumpy Single Speeder, they start to roll in my head as I plan my strategy. The Elite woman annouces she wants to pass and there is absolutely no safe place to pull over, so we keep our pace as is. As we reach a section with an option to go left or right, our work horse leader pulls to the right, which is the slower line, and I hit the gas. Within 30 seconds I turn around and no one is with me. I keep the gas on the entire length of the single track which spits us out near the start/finish area and I have a one minute lead on the my chasers. I continue to feel good, hit the Water Tower climb and keept the pressure on and roll through the single track with a smile on my mug. I continue to pass a few riders and I catch an old friend, annouce my presence and use him as my personal domestique. He obliges me and pulls me through all the two track and paved path to the single track where I go around him and keep putting some coal on the fire. Third lap done and I have a two minute lead...I go through the start finish and notice my competition is further back, I go through the 4th and final lap and back off a little, but still end up two and a half minutes up on 2nd place as I roll in. I take a little break and chat with my newly found single speed buddies, congratulate each other and my day is done, time to relax! First place both days, my time today would have put me third in the 50+ Expert group, good stuff! Go ride! Jay Jones

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Addison Oaks Retreat Stage Race

Two days of racing, Saturday brought us two short efforts with a Time Trial in the morning and a Short Track in the afternoon. I'm use to 6, 8 and 12 hour racing, so these two short races would call upon my cyclo-cross mojo. My weapon for the day was my 17.4 lb. Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper Carbon Fiber single speed with it's Whiskey No. 7 carbon fork. With my early registration, I started with a 10:23:30 start for my Time Trial. I lined up next to my starting partner and the gun went off and I hit the gas. The start was flat, a few tight turns, some long straights and all on grass, so a little work was required but letting the other racer pull me along helped a little. Once we hit the Water Tower climb I passed my starting partner and hit the single track at my own pace! I came upon the next racer in the single track and they were nice enough to let me by after ringing my handy bell. The gear ratio I selected for today's festivities was a 34x17, which was perfect in the single track, but not the best on the two track, so if I got lucky, I would get behind a geared bike who would instantly turn into my personal domestique. No such luck, I had to spin my brains out, but got to the next single track section virtually unscathed...but wait, there's a little surprise, the single track is blocked off and more two track, which makes the course a little longer. As I hit the final single track section I am feeling good and my timing is pretty good, the only road block is a small technical climb strewn with softball size rocks, I clean it nicely and hit the gas to finish strong with a time of 29:50! I am the only Expert/Elite Single Speed racer for the day, so my 1st place is automatic, but I always like to check my time with the Expert 50+ age group (my racing age is 52) so I was very pleased when I see that my time would have put me in first place in that age group! On to the afternoon's Short Track, the gun goes off and we have a mass start of all the Expert racers. There was some carnage within the first 100 feet and two racers tangled up like they were cage fighters, fortunately I was on the other side of the track and stayed clear of the crash. Holding your line in this tight twisty course was imperative, with that said, I was forced to run over a root and my tire burped and the tire lost some pressure. I thought I would be okay, but all the turns on a single speed requires one to stand up and deliver! But with the low pressure I was afraid of rolling the tire off the rim and I decided to slow down and finish the race as the overall points for the weekends racing were more important than a strong finish. So I limped in with a smile on my mug and looked forward to tomorrow's cross country. Go Ride!