Before I get going, here’s a kind of cool photograph taken from my balcony this evening.
While “malicious fog consuming an urban environment” makes for a good picture, it makes for awful cycling. I left my office this evening for a short, hilly ride up Twin Peaks (the name of the hill in the preceding picture, though both twins are enveloped in fog), wearing nothing but bibs and a short-sleeve jersey due to the 80 degree weather. In true San Francisco style, I was attacked by that Evil Fog Monster mid-ride and proceeded to contract hypothermia.
Cycling in San Francisco is like petting a cat. It purrs and snuggles and makes you happy for a few minutes…and then it bats at your face with a clawed paw when you least expect it. Bad kitty! Bad!
Now, hopefully by now the negative feelings toward me and my blog have subsided following last Sunday’s unfulfilled attempt at live blogging the Pescadero RR. I find it remarkable how disgruntled you people can become when something unavoidable like poor cell phone service interrupts my lighthearted attempts to do some cool blogging. I’m not the effing New York Times, people, I’m one dude with a course marshal’s flag in one hand and a data-connection-less smart phone in the other.
Actually, once I realized I had no cell service, I used the phone (and flag) for some epic air-guitar photoshoots, so the day wasn’t a total loss.
Nevertheless, in spite of the overwhelmingly aggressive response to my live-blog failure, I think the endeavor showed promise, and it was a lot of fun while it lasted; I think I’ll try again sometime.
On the bright side, the whole experience brought me closer to my Pro Cycling Idol and .pro blogging idol, Paul Mach (Bissell). You see, I waited in line for several hours at Nevada City so that I might get Paul’s autograph. When I finally got the chance to speak to “The Sock” in person — as he’s know amongst his fan base — he joined me in bemoaning the blogging lifestyle.
“Yeah, man, I know what you mean,” he said in an undeniably wise, .pro tone of voice, “once you set any expectations at all, then don’t meet them, people freak out! I always tell them, ‘Uh, I have a life, I can’t blog all the time.’”
Now, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Mach has “a life,” but he is supposed to be training and compression-tight-wearing all day long, so he has a valid point.
I suppose that’s about as good a segue into the topic of the 2011 Nevada City Classic as I can manage, so let’s get to it.
My warm up for this historical, highly-revered, hilly-as-balls race through the quaint downtown of Nevada City consisted of watching the W/1/2/3 race while I rolled around in circles near the top of the course.
(From Tom Embree’s Facebook Album)
Katerina Nash (Luna Bar) got all crazy-like and won the race solo, as I expected. I was pretty psyched to see local ladies Emily Kachorek (Primal Wear) and Susannah Breen (Fremont Bank) give Nash a run for her money, but it was also kind of fun to watch a good old fashioned smack-down in the closing laps of the event. Nice ride, Katerina!
Fast forward: my race was hard.
I knew it was going to be hard, because I had heard through the grapevine that Nate English (Polka Dot Jersey Pro Cycling*) was planning to twist the proverbial motorcycle throttle from the gun “in order to show the Pros what’s up.” That’s a direct quote from a barely-reliable source, so do with it what you will.
And twist the proverbial throttle, he did. He was joined in the throttling by riders like Kirk Carlsen (Garmin), Mach the Sock, and Ian Boswell (Trek-Livestrong), among others. To make a long story short, the race was as hard or harder than I expected. Here’s some photographic evidence.
(From MyI2U’s Flickr Account)
At first, that picture doesn’t look so bad; in fact, it’s a pretty good exhibition of my equipment sponsors’ wares. However, some scientific analysis indicates that the race was wickedly fast.
That’s definitely the most horizontal mullet-vector** I’ve seen this year, and it’s on an ascent. No wonder I’m nearly catatonic.
As a consequence of the horizontal mullet-vector, I finished in 19th place, two laps down on the leader, after spending most of the day with Andy Goessling (Firefighters Cycling). Sure, 19th place sounds pretty bad, but when you consider that even the 7th place rider was a lap down, I think it puts everything in perspective. Hell, I made $60 by being lapped twice — how’s THAT for some perspective?
Anyway, congratulations to Boswell for winning the event for the second consecutive year, to Evan Huffman (Cal Giant) for placing 2nd after some ballsy solo attacks, and to Nate English (Polka Dot Pro) for placing 3rd.
Just to spite me, both Maxim Jenkins (Team Censored to Protect Rider from UCI) and Evan Huffman began scarfing down Horneresque quantities of ice cream on Sunday.
(Right-hand picture courtesy of Huffman’s Mom)
Now I don’t even have an excuse for being slow. Thanks, guys. Now I’m eating carrot sticks and rice cakes so I don’t get dropped at Burlingame next weekend. See everyone there, I hope!
* Seriously, though, Nate, why are you wearing your Everest Challenge polka dot jersey in crits…or anywhere, for that matter?
That jersey is ridiculous — and that’s coming from a guy who’s better known nowadays as “Big Pink.” The only man ever to make polka dots stylish was Richard Virenque, but I don’t know why anyone would want to emulate that syringe-cushion.
**The assumption is that “mullet-vector horizontality” is proportional to airspeed, that wind was negligible during the event, and that I don’t purposely gel my mullet horizontally so that I look like I’m going faster than I am. These are all assumptions, not facts.