The Saturday race at Tulsa Tough was good.
I still haven't mastered the art of getting a good starting spot so on the start line i was 3/4 of the way back of an 88 rider field. I'd been preaching to the newer guys how important it is to line up near the front, but it's easier said than done.
My race was good but uneventful, having said that i'd say it was my best race ever on a road bike. After 51 minutes at a 23.9 mph average speed in hot conditions... i had a pack finish. Bam! I did this race last year and was dropped after 15 minutes. Not this year, baby.
During the race i pretty much stayed in the back, played it safe, and tried to enjoy the ride. I would move up a little here and there, but nothing much. I was just trying to stay ahead of any riders who might get dropped. Hopefully i've learned that lesson, don't ride behind people who are going to get dropped.
The course was hillier than i remember, which was fine. the down hill was fun. long and strait with a wide 90 degree left at the bottom. Tuckin in and trying to see the turn thru the crowd of other racers was exciting, then you swoop left at god knows what speed and then hammer thru and repeat. Speed is fun, i also like turning. Put the two together and i'm a happy man.
I heard two crashed during the race and apparently both involved teammates. Ha! I'm not trying to laugh at their misfortune but out team has (fairly or unfairly) gained a reputation for crashing. Unfortunately the Tulsa trip only added more fuel to that fire. At least now we only crash ourselves. Kenny apparently put his brother into the curb at the top of the hill (a common trouble spot on this course, so you're not alone on this one guys) while Andrew and Brian somehow went down close to the downhill. I didn't know it was them until the next lap when i glanced over to see them standing in the grass. "Great" i thought, they were two of our fastest guys. But no time to dwell, if i didn't concentrate on the task at hand i might of ended up like them. It was around this time i noticed the dude in front of me had on a house arrest anklet. Funny.
Anyway, with a half lap to go a basically stopped racing and just coasted in. I had already completed my goal of finishing with the pack so i didn't feel like risking anything to improve an already anonymous placing. Plus i was really tired and really hot.
I finished 43rd and was basically the very back of the peloton. So about 45 more guys either got dropped or didn't finish. That makes me feel pretty good about my performance.
Tulsa Tough is a lot of fun.
Volker in the house
that's a big flag
Tulsa does it right, no debris on this course
X marks the spot
The women's open field pass by the Soundpony and crest the hill. You can see how the road narrows, be careful if you're on the outside
Ramshackle drum kit outside Soundpony, he had a few other drummers and they were pretty damn good
Men's room at Soundpony
Successful beer hand-up
Unsuccessful beer hand-up
The men's pro / 1 race