I Guess I’ll Do the Race?

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Notice the racer types have their handlebars crazy low.

Notice the racer types have their handlebars crazy low.

IMG_0361Talked to Luke last night, he’s made it back to Southern Illinois.  For nearly 2 hours he told me stories about the high and lows of Tour Divide.  I should have taped the conversation because I will never remember everything, but I’ll do my best to tell some of these stories as soon as I get enough time to do the piece justice.

This weekend Adam, Shon and I went on a century.  Well it was supposed to be a 100 mile century ride but we only rode 60 miles.  Rain coming through in the morning pushed our start time back, but that wasn’t what held us back from riding 100.  While trolling the web the night before the ride I discovered a group ride starting from the same location we were starting about 3 hours after us.  This group ride was a scouting mission for the Great Egyptian Omnium road race course and it would probably contain some serious racer types.

I talked Adam and Shon into doing a 40 mile loop then meeting the other group which did contain 3 ultra fit racers.  In fact one is the current Illinois State Road Race Champion, no joke, one does Ironmans, the other dominates CAT3 road races against guys who’ve been racing years longer then him.  In short I have no business riding with these guys.

We took it easy and had a nice time talking and stuff then they attacked the first hill.  I kept up about halfway up the climb then turned to jelly.  This pattern was essentially repeated for the other 2 big climbs on the course.  Meanwhile Adam and Shon completely fell of radar.  We waited awhile but  they had stopped to fix a flat.  After finishing the first 20 mile lap this gave me an out and I begged off riding with the guys for lap 2.

As soon as they were out of sight I ducked into the convience store and bought a Mountain Dew.   The clerk asked if there was marathon in town and I started babling about a bike race.  There was a definitly a breakdown within my brain.  A woman said she thought the bike race was in a couple of weeks and I was like,  “No its at Wal-Mart.”  She was confused why a bike race would be at Wal-Mart and frankly so was I.  “No the race isn’t at Wal-Mart, the triathalon is.”  I explained.  “Where are they going to swim at Wal-Mart?” she asked.   I had to take several deep breaths and slow my self down and finally explain that there was Triathalon in Marion the same day as the bike race in Creal Springs.  I have no idea why I started talking about Wal-Mart or the triathalon but I think I may have rode a bit too hard.

Despite getting dropped on every climb I decided to do the race after this ride.  I was actually surprised that I didn’t get dropped as bad as I thought I would, plus I was purposely riding dumb blowing my reserve  in kamakazee sprints.  The racers praised my riding strength and gave me encouragement to ride the Cat 5 road race.  Plus Adam is already signed up, so I guess I’ll do the race.

Oh and our century… Well when I met back up with Adam and Shon they each had flats and we ran out of tubes.  Since we were at our cars we called it a day at 60 miles.   Consider this:  Our planned route would have had us 50 miles out at Bay City about when they had those flats.  It would have made for a long day.  I suppose we were lucky.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
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4 Responses to I Guess I’ll Do the Race?

  1. rob says:

    I was sincere in praising your strength on the bike. I really think you will do well in the 5’s race. If your interested here is a link to the article about the Illinois State Road Race.

  2. rob says:

    Oops grammar error. Should have been “you’re”. I know educated folks like you take umbrage to mistakes like that. Ha Ho

  3. Matt Gholson says:

    LOL, Rob, no one would ever notice your mistake among my vast landscape of grammatical errors. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Great article, maybe you’ll be next for an ad in velo news!

  4. justin says:

    Did you try the “hands free” aero attack position or are you saving that move for race day?!

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