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Old 05-01-06, 10:47 AM   #1
Cromulent
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Whitnall Park Criterium 4/5

Hey! I didn't completely suck.

It was cold but not raining and not too windy. I got to the park at about 8:20 for the 9:00 race. The pen was shaking in my hand as I filled out the forms and handed over my money. I ran back to the car to throw on my leg warmers and another base layer. It was chilly. Almost no time to warm up.

And we're off. Roughly seventy riders (I think) on a beautiful course through Whitnall Park. Trees are starting to get their leaves, the grass is that lush, spring green, and no time to enjoy any of it. Perfect. A hill, a false flat, a nice fast downhill section, another hill. Nice.

After a couple of laps I looked down at my computer. It was off. It shut down at the start line and I hadn't remembered to press the button. It was better that way, actually. I didn't know how fast we were going and if I had seen the numbers, I think my legs would have told me that I shouldn't be going that fast. So I left it alone.

My goals for the day? Sit in the back, stay out of the wind, don't get dropped. Okay, that's not much of a strategy. I mean, it's great if you want to come in 50th (and 50th is a huge step up for me), but not if you want to be anywhere near the top.

So it was going well, but half way though the race I started to get bored. Sure I was keeping up with the group for the first time ever. But I guess I was waiting for the front of the group to start pulling away, at which point I was going to jump to the outside and grab the last wheel on the front. It never happened. So I tried working my way around the group. That wasn't happening either. At least not on the outside. Not if I wanted to stay out of the wind.

The last two laps were really fun. Three riders went off the front, and the group really picked it up. The speed was fantastic with guys started moving up and back, trying to get any kind of position. And on the last lap there was a crash a few places in front and to the right of me.

And then the sprint. That was crazier than I expected. A water bottle went flying over my head. The whole group splintered. I picked it up but didn't give it everything. Not much point in sprinting for 30th. Or 40th. Or whatever.

Anyway, it was extremely fun. Results aren't up yet, so I don't quite know how I did.

I was pretty happy, but I need to get a lot stronger and more confident on the bike. Smarter would be good too.
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Old 05-01-06, 11:08 AM   #2
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hey, you're getting some quality time in the saddle and one made it thru in one piece. good luck on your next.
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Old 05-01-06, 01:02 PM   #3
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are you going to Baraboo this weekend for the Circuit of Sauk?
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Old 05-01-06, 01:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by $0.00/Gal
are you going to Baraboo this weekend for the Circuit of Sauk?
No. That's a little far away (he says to the guy from Chicago). I'm going to try and make the Wheel and Sprocket Criterium in Neenah on the 7th, but more likely I'll race the Muskego Park Criterium on the 13th.

For sure the Third Ward Criterium on June 4th. That'll be a blast.
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Old 05-01-06, 01:30 PM   #5
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are you going to Baraboo this weekend for the Circuit of Sauk?
If you are going to do Baraboo, you'll have to do the Leland Grand Prix at the end of the month. Brilliant race with a climb that sorts the race out right from the first lap.
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Old 05-01-06, 03:15 PM   #6
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If you are going to do Baraboo, you'll have to do the Leland Grand Prix at the end of the month. Brilliant race with a climb that sorts the race out right from the first lap.
That's on the 20th, right? I'll be staying in Chicago for Monsters of Midway that weekend.

Then on the 26th/27th I am doing the Wapello-Burlington RR and Snake Alley out in Iowa. I am super excited for those.
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Old 05-01-06, 03:28 PM   #7
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Congrats on the effort!
Good read.

Question: I missed this. Where was there info on the event? That park is right on part of my daily training ride. Did you go UP that hill by the barn that they ride up during the Super Week crit there?

Sorry I missed it now....crap....
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Old 05-01-06, 03:38 PM   #8
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Congrats on the effort!
Good read.

Question: I missed this. Where was there info on the event? That park is right on part of my daily training ride. Did you go UP that hill by the barn that they ride up during the Super Week crit there?
Thanks, Hip.

If you go to wicycling.org, they have the USACycling Wisconsin races there.

There were two hills and a false flat. I think we went up past a barn. To be honest, I wasn't really looking at the scenery. I haven't done the Superweek Whitnall race before, though I'm going to give it a shot this year.
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Old 05-01-06, 03:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cromulent
Thanks, Hip.

If you go to wicycling.org, they have the USACycling Wisconsin races there.

There were two hills and a false flat. I think we went up past a barn. To be honest, I wasn't really looking at the scenery. I haven't done the Superweek Whitnall race before, though I'm going to give it a shot this year.
That's a nasty, steep little hill.
I have pictures on my home computer....will post later here....at work now. Anyway, that's awesome that you are going to try it Super Week....

I take off that day and hang there all day....now I have someone to cheer for. I'll have to meet up ahead of time with you. There may be a couple of others from here riding it too.

I'll take the pictures!

...and bring a cam corder too!
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Old 05-01-06, 03:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hipcycler
That's a nasty, steep little hill.
I have pictures on my home computer....will post later here....at work now. Anyway, that's awesome that you are going to try it Super Week....

I take off that day and hang there all day....now I have someone to cheer for. I'll have to meet up ahead of time with you. There may be a couple of others from here riding it too.

I'll take the pictures!

...and bring a cam corder too!
Well it was the first criterium I've heard of that had King of the Mountain points. Really. It was completely fun. But I like hills.

A camera and a camcorder? You are the king of all media!
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Old 05-01-06, 04:20 PM   #11
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To the OP: you have exactly the right attitude about pretty much everything. Good job, and good post.
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