02 Aug Superweek — Humboldt Park 2011
Last two Superweek race reports from my saturated brain. Humboldt Park is an interesting course, though the flow of the track is not great, this is what makes it good. It is a pie shape course with the tip being at the bottom of a hill, making for a 150 degree corner. It is this turn that requires respect since the pave’ is rough and goes from asphalt to concrete in the apex. The uphill has concrete seams that are large cracks across the road that make for a rough section.
The caveat for the day is the temperature, 102F at the start of our race. We are slated to race 35 miles and today Superweek gives us the full Monty. Still a few small details the Garrison’s need to improve on, shorting races is one, though the start times have been very close, or exactly on time. I am sure this will be the next change they make. The brothers seem to be improving the race a little every year and I am grateful for this series. Thank you Boys.
The whistle sounds and the group is racing hard on the first lap. Crap, I feel like I have flat legs. This is a great course for my riding style as I decide to follow wheels for a while, hoping the legs improve. I do not get much of a chance, the attacks are hard and often, it seems every time up the hill we are drilling it. After 6-7 laps, I decide to gutter the group in the crosswind and up the speed to 31, just to keep everyone interested. This time the group goes easy on the uphill for the first time. A few more attacks and Heagney(VQ) takes a hard pull, hurting the group. I am not the only one with a poor pedal stroke today. Then Bob Karlow digs hard for an entire lap, and I wonder what he is doing? I figure he must be feeling good because he is putting the pack in serious difficulty. Again at the base of the hill Heagney attacks hard and the race splits, now we are an 8 man break, though Bob is not with us.
This is how the race remains, eight of us working as we lap what is left of the field. I am not really aware of this since the group has exploded, as we are now the main field. With seven laps to go Heagney uses a move from my paly book, attacking the group, I see no reaction and think I need to go with him. A quick look at my HR monitor, it displays 177, not good. It is not often I listen to my HR monitor in a race but the heat has my engine room all facockted. I quickly turn into a pack fodder and sit there; thinking 7 laps solo is a long way in today’s conditions.
Now six to go and I can see Heagney is on it gaining 20 seconds, which is bad for us. A sudden burst of brain power, I see Karlow and Zellman being passed by the leader and I know we will soon get a little help from my lapped team mate. The break/pack pass these two as Zellman jumps in and Bob just looks at me, as he keeps rolling slowly. I again am confused by my team mates racing today, though later he would tell me he felt really bad, worst day on the bike this season. Bob raced the day before at Whitnall Park and finished 2nd. Telling me Whitnall was a really hard race also being a really hot day. Having six laps to race Zellman goes to the front and sets tempo for 3 laps, bringing Heagney to within 10 seconds, again the bean says I need to bridge now, as I become even a larger pus#@ than before doing nothing.
So this is what it is like to not race your bike, I can tell you, this does not make me feel good about myself, just sitting in the group when the race is up the road. This is how the race plays out, Heagney solo’s for the W, and my weak gray matter does not even make the correct call in the field sprint only finishing 6th, fubar.
Anyway, Heagney receives kudos for really getting after it today, first time I have seen him expose himself in many years, nice racing Mike. Way to put it all on the line.
At the end of the day Bob finishes 12th, most others dropped from the race summing up the difficult conditions, nice work finishing Bob. A large effort when the car was only 100 meters from the course.
Next up Brewer’s hill. Safe riding and racing everyone.