I was being a little narcissistic and looking through my iPhoto library at some of the 2010 race pictures I had collected. I thought I would share some of my favorites, with a little commentary on each.
This was from the first race of the year, the Pontiac Lake Time Trial. It was sloppy, I crashed once and didn’t really ride very competitively. I rode with a bunch of sandbaggers who really belonged one class up. But I was out on my bike and driving it into the red for the first time in 2011 — literally and figuratively. This was my first race as a Red Jacket, though our kit hadn’t arrived yet.
This was immediately after the finish. What I noted so much about this photo was how fit and trim I looked. Compared with so many other pictures, including since I started cycling, I look like a completely different person.
This is the WORS Iola Bump and Jump race, just two days before my birthday and just one week after the Pontiac Lake TT. What a difference! Whether it was the conditions, my fitness or people actually riding in their proper class, I posted a top-10 in my age bracket and top 1/3 overall. It was a last minute decision to go down, but I’m really glad I did.
I have a version of this photo from 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. You can watch the bike change, you can watch the kit change and you can watch the Kit change. I get smaller and smaller and look more like a bike racer.
This was my first race in my Red Jacket kit, the 2010 Chain Drive. It was also the first 32-mile Chain Drive I had done. I finished under my time goal, but discovered I’m not really good over that kind of distance.
This photo of the Superior Bike Fest Criterium was taken by Chris Schmidt, my Red Jacket teammate. It was the first road race of any kind I had entered and may still be one of the single hardest things I’ve ever done on a bike. My heart rate was pinned for 18 minutes and I still nearly got lapped by the field.
This was also taken by Chris and is also from the crit. I was killing myself to not get lapped by the field. I knew if I could make it just 100 meters more, I would be safe. If you didn’t know I was wearing mountain bike shoes and riding a cyclocross bike, you’d think I was a roadie. I even look as fit as one!
I don’t have any great pictures from the two races between the Bike Fest and this, the Copper Harbor Fat Tire Festival. They were fairly unremarkable races. Even this isn’t a great picture, but at this point in the race, some 12 miles in, I still felt good. Very shortly I would be climbing the famed “Stairway to Heaven”, during which I still felt good. I finished this race quite confident of a good performance at Chequamegon.
However, this is how I actually felt after the 40 miles of Chequamegon. In short, I felt wiped. I was struggling with cramps in my knees that were making it hard to pedal, I cramped badly getting off the saddle, I was tired and nothing sounded good to eat. I really had to just sit there for around 5 minutes to stop feeling awful. All this and I didn’t even come close to meeting my personal time goal.
This is the group that finished the Gentlemen’s Ride in September — my first century and my last really long ride of the year. After this, I transitioned into cyclocross mode. I don’t regret doing this ride, but it really confirmed to me that I’m not a long-haul cyclist.
There was nearly a month between the Gentlemen’s Ride and this, the first day of BayCross. I had a great result during BayCross 2009 and had been anxious to go back. I finished 3rd and was very pleased with my form.
Then there was day 2 of BayCross. This was my very first win. I love the pictures from this race, with the Chequamegon Bay of Lake Superior in the background. This also explains a whole lot about cyclocross to people.
There were very few people who did a proper shoulder carry up this incline. I beat them all. Coincidence? Actually, I think I just like looking like I know what I’m doing. Chris Schmidt does that with his pictures.
Another picture from Chris Schmidt at the first day of the Keweenaw Cup. At this point, I was racing my heart out to catch back up to the leaders after dropping my chain. I finished 3rd and was pretty happy with that.
My best sprinter’s throw. Chris Schmidt grabbed this image of me winning day 2 of the Keweenaw Cup. I have no idea how far second place is behind me — all I know is that I passed him at about 30 MPH less than 100 meters from the line. I almost fell off my bike 10 seconds after this picture was taken. Part of what this win convinced me of is that I recover better than a lot of my fellow riders. Two weekends of back-to-back ‘cross races and I still had some good legs.
This might be my favorite picture of them all. I use it a lot of places, like on my Twin Six bio. Chris captured a lot of memories for me here: riding hard in the big ring (because my chain was jumping and skipping in the little ring), in second place and representing the Red Jackets.
The day of the U.P. State CX Championships was cold, snowy and wet. This is Heidi trying to keep warm, wrapped up in her spotted blanket. This is one of the only pictures that made it onto the UPCROSS website that didn’t have a rider in it. I think it defined the day for a lot of people. This is, of course, another shot from Chris.
It wouldn’t be complete without at least some picture of me riding to my biggest win of the year, the U.P. State CX Championships in Men’s B. At this point, I’m free and clear, with some 30-40 seconds back to 2nd place. Everything was cold, but I didn’t care. I was going to win. Something tells me upgrading to Class A this year will lead to far fewer occurrences of the word “win” on this blog, but I don’t want to be one of those sandbaggers like I ran into at Pontiac Lake.
I’ve almost finished my schedule for 2011. Lots more CX, lots more short races, since that seems to be what I’m good at. And this year there should be more variety in the kit, since I’ll at least occasionally race in METAL.