Monday, June 18, 2007

Harlem Skyscraper Crit

Ah, to be racing in the City again. Tho I once lived nearby for some time, this is the 1st time I raced in the NYS Crit Championships in Harlem. Danny G, Eric Schou & I made the 3hr Trek from Albany. We wanted to be good & early. Early race organization left everyone wanting, but the races themselves did not disappoint.

All three raced the 4/5, a challenge just to avoid the sketchy riders. DG was looking typically strong near & at the front. He would place 12th on the day. He & I tried a minor attack, but found ourselves basically pulling the group along. We were top 6 going into the bell lap. Coming out of the last turn I began my sprint, then some clown smacked into the side of me, almost taking out my front wheel. He hit me right when my inertia was going the opposite way. I was fortunate to stay up; my front wheel will need some attention. Eric look very strong, & _almost_ didn't crash. Couple of dudes pulled a real bonehead maneuver in front of him w/ 1-1/2 laps to go; he was lucky to come away w/ only a small rash & bruise on his arm. And did I mention the three big pileups? Makes a good case for staying at the front. Would love to do another crit w/ larger team presence & w/ a better plan. Oh, the possibilities.

So, I had another race I had signed up for, the 3/4. What poise. Virtually none of the screaming, biting, yelling & kicking of the 4/5. And when a civilian chose the wrong moment to cross on a corner, the bunch just dealt w/ it. Alas, no teammates to ride with. But hey... Instant cheering section! And I could hang w/ the bunch. With ~4 laps, I bridged up to a group of three, figuring if I am gonna blown up, might as well do so doing something spectacular. The break disintegrated after about a quarter lap & I was sitting on the front riding sortof tempo. Not tactically wise, & I was starting to reach deep into the pain bucket. Ultimately, I finished somewhere in the pack.

My goal was just to sit in & make it around the course 25x. I did that, & more.

Then we had to drive home. Appreciated the company from Eric S.


1 comment:

Danny Goodwin said...

Way to man-up Barry, doing both races. The benefits of doing the 3/4 in addition to or even instead of the 4/5 are now quite clear to me. It looked from the sidelines (and was indeed confiremed by Barry) that the 3/4 weren't really going that much faster, just more controlled and smoother. Besides, going faster wouldn't have been a problem. My biggest problem Sunday was all the guys trying bike racing for the first time in my race (now that I have my upgrade I can be a snob, right?). Eric spoke to Dieter at the race and it looks good for his upgrade too. Hope your arm heals up quickly, Eric. Good job, Barry.

And by the way, you're too generous in your comments regarding the race organization. It was a total joke. We got there around 10:30 to race at 12:15. Registration opened at noon. Then it was two table: one for release forms (find your own in the stack, but be careful not to get them out of order), then another for numbers. Haven't seen anything that entropic since I was at the Brooklyn DMV. I'll not forget the dude walking around at 10:45 announcing that "...REGISTRATION STARTS AT 10:30!" I mentioned that, um, it was already 10:45, and he said "DON'T CONFUSE ME!" Keep up the good work, dude. Once Atwood and Dieter showed up, things started running like a normal race.

All told, a very fun day. Another we should add to the schedule for sure next year. With a strong team presence, we could dominate.