Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Fort Steilacoom revisited
It was a gorgeous fall day, one of those days where the light is perfect, the sun is shining, a slight nip in the air, we were all wearing short sleeves. Fort Steilacoom is just south of Tacoma, about a 45 min drive from my house. I arrived took the dogs for a walk in the park and then suited up and readied for battle. I had been coughing up lung butter all week, and was really hesitant to race, but really wanted to. I found myself wondering why I was pushing so hard to get points in the series, that a few months ago I could have carried less about. It looks like because I am choosing the CCSSWC in Portland over a weekend of racing here in the Seattle series I will be only participating in 6 of 9 in the Seattle series races and the Points race includes the best 7 results. I still hope to place in the top 5 overall, but I can not have a bad race. Enough about all that, competition takes hold of me sometimes and I feel the need for speed so to speak.
Now to the race on Sunday. Thanks to Twin Six I had a new jersey and socks just for the occasion. What better for fall than the Buck. Every Singlespeeder needs a pair to these, 6 inch wool beauties. Thanks so much Brent. The course included small climb some descending and the famous Knapp run up, think a very long, not so fun steep hill run in the middle of the race.
Lap one: The whistle blows and we are off. I find myself out front for a bit of the lap, through the barriers and up the small climb, then I get passed and struggle to hold his wheel. Down a steep, loose, mulch hillside and on to the run up we go. Running uphill is not my strong point, in fact it is my weakness. Up we go and I am now battling for second and third. At the top we are in a pack, once we hit the flats I have the power and the ability to stay out front, a firm second.
I get passed by one more single speeder Galin, last weeks winner and continue to battle for the next position with Mike. He is faster on the run up, but I can catch him on the rest of the course.
I am able to shed Mike and get a gap. Firmly in third. Now if I can just hold it.
Lap 6 the final lap
I have a gap until I drop my chain. How could this be. I fix it and am on my bike just ahead of Mike, last years series champion. He is faster on the run up, typically, we are close to the top and neck and neck, it is do or die time, I bury my head and dig deep, just edging him out at the top. I know that I will not be able to shake him, it is the last lap, I try but to no avail. We are going to be sprinting for third. I am patient and think I know where he will jump on me, I see him in my periphery and stomp on the pedals, just edging him out across the line. I am whipped, snot is everywhere, but I managed to get third, a very hard fought third at that. It was a great race.