Callville Bay Classic 2011
Current Mood: Exhausted
Stage race 2 is completed!
Another LONG weekend with a decent amount of craziness. Thursday at noon I picked up the same guy I did Valley of the Sun with and we headed off to Vegas. Well, not really Vegas, more like 30 miles east of Vegas… I think it’s called Henderson. It took about 6 hours since we ran into some traffic in a few spots. We made it past a HUGE accident on the 15 right when we started… Probably at least 3-4 cars involved. As we drove by, people were running to an overturned SUV holding some poor guys head as they tried to pull him out.
The hotel we stayed at was friggin’ SWEET. It was like a resort on a man-made lake called Montelago Village. So right down from the hotel was a little “village” with several and shops. The suite we had was a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom with a full kitchen. It worked out well as it gave us both our own personal space. The hotel was also only about 20 miles from the race site!
Weather was going to be an issue at this race. I had been watching the imminent storm on the radar in the coming days. I was happy that the weather held out on the long drive but that meant it was going to start to pick up when the race began…
I was looking forward to this time trial since it wasn’t as gear slanted as the Valley of the Sun one. This was a 3.4 mile hill climb basically which my bike is perfect for. Enter the weather! The wind on this day was STRONG. It was averaging around 20mph with 35+mph gusts! That was slightly concerning to me but if there was a day to have wind, I’d prefer it on the day where I’m not pack riding! The sky was mostly clear with some scattered clouds, it was fairly warm when the sun was out… maybe low 60s. I started warming up on the trainer about 45 minutes before my start. After about 25-30 minutes on the trainer I made a shift up to the large ring and my chain flew of the outside. I got off, put the chain back on… and then every time I tried to shift up to the large ring the chain would fly off again… Really?! 15 minutes before I need to start?!
I’ve had some issues with the front derailleur since I first got this bike so I started to freak out a bit. Luckily, there were some SDBC guys who had just finished their TTs so I road over to them as they were packing up their stuff and asked for assistance. They were kind enough to help me try and remedy the problem. They adjusted the limiter screws which made the shifting slightly better but it was still sketchy. So I just decided to make sure I stayed in the big ring for the entire TT. I was pretty sure I’d only need the big ring anyways but this kinda hammered in the need to stay there.
I got into line with a minute to spare before my start. I wasn’t overly nervous, I don’t think I had time to be nervous since I was dealing with the bike issue right before! As I got pushed off I just went all out from the get go. The wind was coming from the south which ended up being a great tailwind up the climb! The gusts occasionally pushed me around but it didn’t really affect my riding. I was watching the Garmin every so often just to see how far into the ride I was. I was feeling pretty strong through the majority of the ride. I eventually caught up the the person who started before me and briefly passed her! That motivated her to push passed me again.
Around that time the SDBC guys were driving up the same road to leave the race and were cheering me on. They actually stopped up ahead and got out to motivated me up the final hill. That was AWESOME! While I was not able to pass the girl ahead of me again, their motivation definitely help me up that last climb. Not only was that girl still close ahead but we had both caught up to another girl too!
I tried the best I could on that climb and even though we left before the results were posted I knew I gave it all I had. I reinforced that belief after I got back to the hotel and looked at my Garmin data:
My max is around 190-192. My average for the TT was around 182!
It wasn’t until Friday morning that a friend of mine had messaged me to tell me I got 3rd!
Saturday morning was brutal. The full storm had moved in by this point. It was bitter cold and raining. I had bad feelings the minute I saw the weather. It wasn’t even worth wearing my warm clothes because if they were going to be wet… what good were they?! I honestly barely remember much from this race… All I know is it was supposed to be 45 miles and about 3700ft of climbing. We started up the same hill we did for the TT the previous day. My goal was to ride safe and stay with the group. Apparently we started dropping people right at the first climb.
Riding in the rain sucks… Roads are slick and the spray up from other peoples wheels gets in your face. On the first descent out of the climb one ride got kinda sketchy and bumped her back wheel into my front wheel… NOT GOOD! The person whose front wheel gets hit is the one who has to try and not fall… She hit my wheel hard as were were descending about 35mph and I heard a few girls yell as everything kind of turns slow motion for me as I try not to crash. I was told, if this were to happen, to turn your front wheel INTO the wheel that hit you and not away from.. so that’s what I did… and I held my breath at the same time. The handle bars were just shaking back and forth as I was trying to control them. Miraculously, I regained control. Several riders yelled at the girl who hit me. 4 miles into 45 miles….
This road race course wasn’t a loop but more of a out and back type thing with a couple of turn around points. Each category had different turn around points which were noted in the race bible. Our first turn around was 14 miles into the ride. Unfortunately the turn around points were not manned by any type of officiant nor were there any kind of banners indicating who the turn around belonged to… And for whatever reason we did not have a motorcycle leading or following us….
12 miles into the race and we pass a turn around. I was taking pulls along with 2-3 other girls and everyone else was sitting on us. As we passed the turn around some people thought it was for our group and yelled that we should turn, they were wrong and I continued to pedal. Then you hear some screams and as I turn back I see some water bottles fly… I thought someone crashed while turning on the wet pavement but I was very wrong. She got hit by a pickup truck!!!
A line of cars (mostly racers) had built up behind us, probably sensing the confusions since some people were slowing to turn. One impatient driver several cars back decided to cross the yellow line and speed by the cyclists. As he was racing passed one girl was starting to turn around and she was T-boned by his pickup truck. She flew onto the windshield and cracked it before falling to the ground, her bike was busted in two. The driver didn’t stop immediately but rather got back into the correct lane and slow continued to drive. About 3 of us started pedaling after him yelling for him to stop. Eventually he did but it took about 30 seconds of pedaling to get him to.
We all stopped and headed back to the girl. Standing in the cold and rain, waiting for EMS to arrive, some girls helping the injured cyclist. Luckily one of the riders is an ER doctor so she really took control of the situation. It took about 30 minutes of us standing around before the race official neutralized out race. That basically means they called off our categories race and everyone position stays as it was after the TT. So we all rode the 12 miles back to the race start… cold, wet, and now shaken up.
On the ride back one girl gave me a nice compliment about not falling earlier due to the wheel bumps. I also got to chat with a few girls from Team Dude Girl. They are very nice and made the ride back as enjoyable as it could have been all things considered.
The girl who was hit was pretty badly hurt. Fractured skull, broken pelvis, brain bleeding, unable to hear out of one ear last I heard. I wish her a speedy recovery… There were several things that led to that tragedy but ultimately it was an impatient driver who caused this.
Sunday morning was frigid and damp. The rain had stopped by this point but nothing was dry. Not really something you want going around as a pack in circles for 30 minutes. That stacked with the previous days accident really weighed heavy on some people. I believe around 8 people just dropped from the race all together. Even the girls who were there didn’t really seem into it. I know I had contemplated bailing on the race, I just wasn’t feeling safe. Steven talked me into continuing.
It was hard to warm up. There was no good place for us to put the trainer so I just pedaled around lightly near the course for 30 minutes. My only thought for this race was to be safe and try to finish with the pack. If I could finished with the pack I could keep my place from the TT.
As I rolled up to the line I wasn’t able to get a front spot. Since this was only my second crit, this concerned me. As they blew the whistle and everyone took off I wasn’t able to clip in! I actually had to slow down and spin the pedal a few times to get it positioned right. UGH! I had to pedal my butt off to catch up but I was able to get back into the middle of the pack pretty easy. From there I moved my way up towards the front. We probably did about 12-15 laps around this course over the 30 minutes. I pretty much was able to stay towards the front. I got stuck pulling once and since no one wanted to pass I got to slow it down and recover for a few about halfway through the race.
The course had a slight uphill section that started to wear on you after about the 5th lap. It lead into a short descent which allowed for some recovery. On the turn after the descent is usually where I was able to make up any position that I lost. It was a fast pace and 10 minutes longer than the crit the previous race. It was hard and I was doubting myself some… just trying to play it safe and stay with the pack. On the final lap the pace started to pick up again and when we got to the hill I decided to give it all I had. I mostly did this so I could get into the position I wanted for the final turn. Apparently I actually broke away during this and was out in the lead while heading for the finish. I was pushing as hard as I had left and the end was in sight but a better sprinter passed me and beat me for first by half a wheels length!
I’m ok with that.
I got 2nd in a crit that I was scared to do. I broke away, which I had no real intention of doing. And I stayed safe. I can’t really ask for much more than that. Garmin again shows I gave it my all:
I got a 6 second time bonus for finishing 2nd in the crit. This got me into 2nd place in the overall rankings! Pretty cool for my 3rd race ever! I was stoked!
I won $80 and got some random nutrition products. Pretty exciting. I met some really cool girls who I look forward to racing with again. And I have another race under my belt now! It was a pretty successful weekend.
I am so tired now!
The only other thing I have to say about this is I really hope the girl who was hurt has a speedy recovery.
Posted: February 28th, 2011 under Cycling.
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