Lion of Fairfax—Vallejo
So this past weekend would be one in which I raced both days, and it would be my first time doing so. The only hiccup in the whole plan was that Monday I crashed hard on the road, leaving me with two elbows on one arm, a huge hip, and some troublesome road rash on my right palm. Super bummer. The rides I got in during the week all were mellow, and all ended with the word, “ouch.” So, Laurel and I headed out to Vallejo to see what racing would be like after a few sleepless nights. The course was great, lots of grass, minimal pavement, no gravel, a real flowing course, and if you had rhythm, you could really kill it. My start was rocky, dude next to me leaned into me off the line, causing me to panic and nearly stop, so by the time I was going, I was nearly last. I felt ok, legs felt decent, and I made up some time but I noticed quickly that I was braking a lot, and losing a ton of time on the downhill sections. I had a great battle with a Taleo rider, I would pass him on the up-hill and flat sections, he would blast me on the down-hill sections. On and on it went until he finally conceded. I finished 15th out of 24 riders. Kyle was also out there and he killed the field, scoring an awesome 3rd place and winning an awesome oven-mitt-apron-beer-koozie combo.
BASP Round 2—CandleStick Repechage
After Saturday, Sunday I was optimistic but things went from ok to not ok pretty quickly. First warm-up lap of the course and I realized Saturday’s damp grass had yielded to Sunday’s rocky, rutty, sandy course, and ultimately my pain. Every bump, bounce, rock, or rut that caused my elbow to even slightly move would send a jolt of pain through through my arm that was unreal. Add the continued early braking to my riding and it was all bad. The start had that massive pile-up and from the fourth row, I was able to dodge it cleanly, and fonce underway I just went backwards, and then back some more. The one great thing about the race was being out there with the team. I kept taking an inside line through the sand, and after the first two laps, I then started crashing every time but doggedly I kept attempting it. On the last lap I heard Leah yell, “Jon goto the outside, go outside, GO outside” and I listened and yes… I didn’t crash, so thanks Leah. Additionally when you come in at the end, and everyone is stoked, your wife is there telling you good job (and has sandwiches), other dudes are smiling and enjoying the whole thing, its hard to act like its the end of the world, its much easier to just appreciate the good times. Ultimately I finished 36 of 46 at CandleStick, a race with a finish which eluded me last year when the BASP crew didn’t record my finish, and eluded me at race 1 this year, when I flatted on the penultimate lap.
All in all I’m stoked I pushed through it all this weekend. See you out there soon.
*Photo by Pamela Palma