So Danny and I got out on Sunday and participated in the Bonanza Creek road race (better known as the Prison Loop). It was good times. Saturday afternoon saw us wavering a little on commitment to go race, me more so than Danny. It was hot, we'd been working all week, and the beer was calling my name. But Danny persisted, and in the end we were off and running towards Santa Fe at 7:30 am (early by our standards), spinning the bald tires on Danny's Saturn for everything they were worth.
The turnout at the race was impressive. Danny had about 60 guys with him in the Masters race, and there were maybe around 30 in the Cat 4,5, which I participated in.
The race was three laps totaling 55 miles. It was kind of hilly, but no real elevation change. The race started out rather casually, and despite my best efforts to stay calm, I was getting pretty anxious towards the end of the first lap. I spent more time at the front than I knew was wise, but it was just too fun to chase down the couple of small attacks that got away.
In the end it was a pretty large group finishing together. I positioned myself very well, but new I had already spent too much energy to be any good in the sprint. I was already fighting off some minor leg cramps, which is something I'm going to put some effort into figuring out, since that was my main problem last weekend as well. Perhaps a combo of nutrition and stretching?
Anyway, around the 1km mark I knew I was going to get blown out in the sprint (I'm no sprinter anyway), so I told our buddy Nick (who rides for Cafe Guiseppe, a small but very successful team that we sponsor) to follow me in, and I attacked off the front for about 500m until I was cramping and useless. It paid of though, as Nick told me afterwords that he took the sprint and won the race, I was pretty excited. I managed to hang onto the back of the pack across the finish.
It was my third road race in about as many years, and it was by far the most fun I've had so far. Definitely able to play a little more strategy than at the Crest road race, which really comes down to just suffering as much as you can until your at the top.
Danny also finished in the pack of his race. I think he was happy with this, as he had been pretty much off the bike for the past couple of weeks, mostly recovering still from his nasty spill at the State Crit race. He's still got an ugly bruise on his leg, which must be 4 weeks old by now.
It was a very fun race. There seemed to be plenty of support to keep things running on time and to keep the roads safe. It wasn't even as hot as I was expecting, considering we finished around noon. It's amazing how much cooler Santa Fe can be than Albuquerque during the summer. I will definitely be planning on attending again next year.
And that's about it. We've got a condo rented up in Taos for next weekend so that we can race up there in the Frazier Mtn. Madness. Looking forward to that race and a little vacation day in Taos afterwards.
I have to say, we are definitely enjoying our new schedule of being closed Mondays. Starting to understands why everybody else gets so excited about the weekends. It's sweet having two days off in a row! You spend too many years working retail and you forget that.