Monday, April 21, 2008

The short and long

Short: racing while still sick does not yield good results. At least it was a fun weekend.
Long: Up early to pack and get some errands done before heading up to meet with Alex at his place near Montreal. Got a few new team items from Alex before heading off on a "milk run" of a few errands of picking up licenses and the van before meeting up with the boys on the edge on Montreal. Now would be where I turn from mild mannered english speaking Sandy to french immersion, mildly confused Sandy. I will say my french seemed to improve over the weekend, though I think my mouth still moves faster than my brain works in french. Other than an incident involving poor Charles forgetting his wallet (see passport and other ID) in Drummondville, things went quite smoothly. We hit the road and the border getting ourselves about 3 hours from home (30 minutes from the race start) and finding a nice little hotel. I roomed with good ol' JS Perron. Good man. A quick round of laughs with an episode of "jackass" put us right to sleep. Up at out for breakfast to a little diner type place down the road. With a little confusion from the non english speakers, I now became translator and coffee ordering person for the boys. With my incredible knowledge of menus and how to get the most food for the buck, I spotted the best item, much to the shagrin of the rest of the crowd. $10 got you 2 pancakes with 2 strawberries and half a banana, while my $11 got me the same 2 pancakes (minus the fruit) with the addition of 2 pieces of toast, 3 eggs, hash browns, & bacon. Not bad for the extra dollar. An enraged Stephane promptly inhaled his pancakes and hit the local McDonalds up before the rest of us could down a coffee. We then continued along to the race site and got ourselves ready. Poor Simon and Stephane of course had no licenses apparently so it involved a little extra convincing to get them into the race. The race went off with a decent pace and an incredible course. Mostly paved, but with many climbs (some much longer than expected) and plenty of hard packed gravel. I had much trouble breathing with the sickness and got dropped post haste. Though to be fair, I didn't give up and held the gap over the top of the first long climb, chased back on for some time before finally catching back on at the end of the next section of pave... where we promptly hit a gravel wall. Pop. I did manage to pass quite a few riders walking up the hill but soon resigned myself to not making it back on as my legs were feeling absolutely awful and I was coughing up my lungs. Caught up to David from the team and spent the rest of the race day as a training day, and crushing the cat 4 and 3 packs that were scattered all over the road. A quick shower and a Coke left me feeling refreshed if not mildly sunburnt. Back in the cars, drop of Perras in Montreal, drop off the rental van, pick up my car from Alex's and then lead the boys (minus JS, Alex, and Dom) to Ottawa to crash at my place for Calabogie. 2am arrival was made worthwhile after the massive Dunn's breakfast in the morning and a nice cup of the brown stuff from S'bucks. Packed up, printed out some licenses for Simon and Stephane and then headed off to the race course with plenty of time. Luckily as Stephane managed to somehow have 3 flats before the race even started. I felt a bit better and was convinced that I at least had to avenge my showing from the previous day and help out the boys. So I got myself into a few early moves, screwed up my tactics a bit and then spent the rest of the day trying to convince the pack to chase the break, or trying to find people to work with me. Got some pretty bad cramps in the second half so had to spend a little extra time recovering between efforts. Finished in the pack. No results, but some good feeling from the legs and some serious burn/tan developments. That is the long. Exams are started, the weather is brilliant so I'm out.

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