Monday, July 11, 2016

It's in the Air Tonight. It's a Free For All.

So, last weekend we went to Clear Lake, Iowa for some bike racing. It's a beautiful little town and the bike races are VERY well organized. It's one of our favorite races of the year, and as it happened this Summer, it was our ONLY road racing of the year.

I had some weird news on Friday morning, so I was happy to get out of town that afternoon. We rented a cute little house about a half a block from the lake and a block from the criterium course. Perfect. We also are trying to be better at spending less money on these weekends. We had a full kitchen and bought a quiche from the co-op that we had for breakfast both mornings and stuff for sandwiches for lunch. We each took one night to buy dinner for us and we didn't drink much alcohol, so we did sooooo much better.

We headed downtown to get our numbers and sat and watched a little of the Blues part of the Bicycles, Blues and BBQ Festival. We never stay up late to hear the headliners, but the early bands all seem to be a bunch of white people singing Lynyrd Skynyrd covers. So, I'm hoping the later bands are better...

We went for dinner at a place called, Sips which has great food, and I had my Moscow Mule there. It's a nice little place about a block away from the house where we stayed.

We went down the street and sat on the dock by our rental house and it was GORGEOUS. We watched the boats and the water skiiers.

And, of course, I had my own favorite view...

The sun set and we headed back to our house and went to bed. I was hoping to NOT have a migraine the next morning and I got lucky. No migraine. I signed-up for the time trial. I did a nice warm-up and thought I had more time before I was supposed to go off than I did. That's right. I was almost two minutes late for my race. They are timed, so I could at least figure out how fast I went, minus the time that I started late. Derrrr. I went off and was going WAY too fast, trying to catch up to where I should have been, so I made myself slow down before I blew up. I got my speed at a comfortable place for me and felt pretty good all the way back. the fact that I had 2 minutes added to my time, meant that I was dead ass last, but even if I had my real time, I would have been second from last. The woman who won averaged 24.5 miles per hour. For the beginner category, that is pretty damn fast. Also, I haven't been riding hard, all Summer, so it was a good reminder of how much faster I need to be training for Cyclocross season.

After the time trial, we went home and took a nap and had lunch and then headed to the Criterium.

John got called-up to tow the line earlier than the rest of the field, because he got 2nd in his category for the time trial. The guy who won it was the former world pursuit champion and had just lapped pretty much the whole field in the 40+ criterium and was going to lap almost the whole field in the 50+ criterium. I told John he should feel great about his time.

John had a good start in the criterium.

He said he felt the same way I did after not racing or training all Summer. He was able to stay with the pack, but didn't have it to compete for the sprint. he still got 8th out of over 30 plus riders, and I would have been thrilled with that.

I loved the gardens all over the course.

And, apparently, even the strollers had race numbers on them.

Check out the incredible views...

After the race, we walked back to our place and got our swimsuits on and went for a dip in the lake. I have no idea why we have never thought to do that before, but nothing helps your legs feel better than getting in the water and swimming around. it really cooled us down after being outside in the sun all day.

We got back in time to watch the women's race and Whoa Doggies! did those women ride fast. There weren't any riders off the front that can slow the pack down , with cyclists sitting up on their bikes to let their teammates break away. This was pure carnage. I saw some really strong riders get shredded at the beginning of the race. It wasn't until the third to the last lap that one of the women broke away and stayed away, to win the race. I was in awe of these women.

The next morning, it was storming, which meant I had a migraine. There was no chance of rain, until there was a thunderstorm that wasn't going to end before our road race. We had already decided not to race, when they canceled it anyway. We drove home and had the afternoon to take care of things around the house.

It was a very lovely trip.

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