Thursday, February 11, 2010

Not your normal day on a bike

Last Sunday’s ride actually turned into an event for me.  It was the first day in weeks without rain, I was riding with one of my good friends to watch another friend race, and it had that “your crazy” factor I look for when telling non-cyclists about my plans.  It also ended up being similar to the week before in that it occurred in three parts and ended with me time trialing home.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The plan?  Brian and I were going to ride from his house in Sonoma over to Napa to watch another friend race in the Cherry Pie Criterium and then ride back.  It’s only 25 miles each way but to non-cyclists it seems like an impossible distance. 

imagesWe take off bright and early from Brian’s.  The sun is out and even though it was quite chilly at 34 degrees, we didn’t really notice.  We left early which meant we could ride at a sensible pace through the vineyards of Carneros where the mustard plants are in full bloom.  About half way there another rider from our group, Adam, caught up with us and we finished the ride together.

We arrive at the race just before 9:00, which is perfect since Scott races at 9:20.  While Brian was calling to find out where he was warming up, I watched the juniors who were racing.  It was awesome and our local team, Team Swift, was performing very well.

On the way to meet Scott, I saw many of my cycling friends such as Dan, Kashy, Michael and others who had already raced of were racing later.  We find Scott and just start chatting away while he is warming up on the trainer.  Then we pack everything into his car while he heads to the start line.

Scott 3At 9:20 exactly the Elite Cat 4 race is off.  Scott has a simple goal.  He wants to stay in the lead group for the first 20-30 minutes to get an intense workout and get into the racing season.  However, as they start counting down laps to the finish, Scott is with the lead group.  On the final lap, Scott is sitting 6th wheel and has a legitimate chance at a top 3 finish. 

The peloton comes across the finish line about 30 strong.  Scott wasn’t in the top 3 unfortunately.  In fact, we didn’t see him cross the finish line at all but with a big pack it’s hard to pick out individual riders.  So Brian and I head back to the car since Brian has his car keys.

This is were things got interesting.  We get to the car but no Scott.  No worries, he’s probably just cooling down.  So we wait.  And we wait.  I ride back to the start line and still no Scott.  It’s now 30 minutes after the race and he’s still not around and Brian and I need to start heading for home. 

We asked the announcer if there was a crash and he says no.  As we are pulling away he then calls Brian’s name over the microphone.  Uh oh!  He tells Brian to go see the guy at the start line with a white truck.  As we roll up I see Scott’s bike in the back.  That is definitely not a good sign.  Long story short, Scott crashed on the final lap, broke his clavicle and was in route to the local hospital.

Scott 4 We go back to Scott’s car and load both his bike and Brian’s into it.  Brian then drives to the hospital and I head for home.  My ride home was going to be another sensibly paced ride but now I am running late.  I had called Sherry and she was completely understanding but I still wanted to get home as soon as possible.  So just like the Sunday before, I was back in the time trial position and hammering the pace.  It was a strong ride that felt really good so I know my interval training is really paying off.

The update on Scott is that he is in good spirits and recovering.  I actually have never known Scott not to be in a great mood.  He is also planning his next race and asking when he can start spinning on the trainer.  I know he will be back soon stronger then ever.

The rest of my fellow cyclists survived their races just fine.  In fact Soda, who I ride with regularly, took third in her race.

There you have it.  I am so glad we rode over to watch Scott race.  His crash was unfortunate, but it was great that we were there to help out.  Brian also got some great stories about what a crazy guy like Scott says when he’s feeling no pain.

I hope everyone had a chance to get out and ride last weekend with perhaps just a little less adventure.


1 Comment(s):

amy said...

Ouch! I hope he is okay. :)