Sunday, June 22, 2008

Granville Race

The 4/5 race at Granville, home of Dennison University, was again the appetizer for the Tour of Ohio. We had the pleasure to race on a tough course set up for the big boys and unlike previous Granville races this one wound up and around (and up...and up) the university. Again, our guys were the dominant riders in the race, with Matt Herring the winner. Who is this guy? Mike Rea has a theory that Matt’s a genetic clone of Farmer John, big, strong, and fast.

You know what happened, but where to start? Maybe with karma. Farmer John promised us he’d upgrade (and get his monkey strength out of our events) for this race. But, just before we start, there he is suiting up to race with us senior citizens! Damn you compost man.

We had previewed the course and knew the race turned right and began climbing right off. Then there’s a left turn and up some more. Another right and quick left to more up and up. The ten laps = 11 miles took 40 minutes! Do the math, it might have been the slowest race we’ve ever done. That is because the downhill bottomed into an almost 180 turn. I clamped down of the brakes all the way down.

We start the first lap and I call, “neutral lap,” who knew this would be the sportsman practice for later on. Everyone agreed and we take a slow trudge up the course for lap one. When the racing did start, no one could really accelerate with any authority on the steep climbs.

Our lead vehicle, a VW Bug was doing a nice job until we encountered another car on the course. Instead of leading he stopped, blocking the course, farmer John ended up over the top of his bars landing on Luca Brasi. Ouch. Was it bad luck or maybe John’s old friend karma that caused the accident? After teaching us a few new curse words we all agreed to ride neutral to the start to allow the big man to check himself for broken parts. But now he’s mad and the real racing starts. We begin passing dropped riders, and I spot some peregrine falcons that were nesting at the altitudes.

Stress, pain, and a bit of fun, I hang for 5th place. John promises to get out of our races, but now we have his genetic (and younger) twin to deal with for the rest of the year.

After our race, we did what good teammates do, we climbed the hill and made fun of the other racers.

then we watched them go down.

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