Someone in Portland is putting a curse on me. Someone is doing their cross-Pacific rain dance. As I stood in front of the giant kitchen window this morning with Walker's dad, watching the hail pound the palm trees and avocado trees out back, he said "I have nver seen weather like this here. It doesn't even get this bad in the middle of winter." Well gosh, glad I could be here to witness it. And ride in it...
The weekend actually started out peachy. Friday was great track weather, sun and65. Did an easy 50k then headed out to Manukau for the evening's racing. Track racing at Manukau velodrome is a touch different then back at home. When people were chatting about throwing on 94 inch gears I thought they were joking. 4 Laps into the scratch race I was breathing through my eyeballs going mach 10 with 25 laps to go thinking "this is a very mean joke..." I suffered like a dawg through everything only to find out that the guys sticking it to the field were all juniors fresh from the Oceania games. Punks.
The kierins were fun, kiwis are much more willing to put a shoulder into you in the interest of holding a spot than Portlanders, but a few fancy manuevers and 150 pounds of fury kept me chillin' like a villain. My fatal error was in the semi-final... Thought I was safe with 10 meters to go so I let off the gas and some stealthy bastard stole it on the line. Rode the point-a-lap and elimination to much the same result as the scratch, Walker came out with a few second places and a handful of cash, so all was not lost. From there we proceed directly to the all-night kebab stand, devour a mighty feast and sleep the sleep of the dead.
SATURDAY. Oh saturday. If there's anything that makes you nervous about racing a national championship crit, it's getting your lunch handed to you the night before by some punk junior. This crit wouldn't just be the punk juniors (although there would be some in the field for sure), this particular race had the best riders NZ has to offer. "Sure, whatever, I'll ride it anyway. Can't puss out now right?"
Then the hail storm hits. All day, Auckland gets soaked through by rain and hail, and all day I am looking out the window thinking... well... shit. The race doesn't even start untill 8pm, so I have plenty of time to think this. Anyway, in the interest of keeping my bike and skin intact another day, I save 30 bucks and Walker and I do some lawn-chair secret training on the sidelines. I feel sorry for those poor guys that weren't in the finishing group of about 8. Scratch that, I feel sorry for everybody who froze thier asses off only to get pummelled by a trackie who didn't even break a sweat. Long story short, the four guys capable of wining tear the field to bits in the first 5 minutes and nobody has any fun (except for scratch race world champ Greg Henderson, who won).
Post race parties are good, we start out at a barn (seriously) and later upgrade to a bling house on the beach in Takapuna. The previous has a boombox blaring eminem and 50cent, and the latter has a killer deck overlooking the water and people screaming Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at full volume. Guess which one was more fun? No one sang Born In the USA for some reason, probably just forgot it... DT
2 years ago