Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gumball 3000 - Carrera de San Rafael - Poser Ride

I got out on my bike exactly 2-weeks after the crash. That was last Friday. I wanted to see how the whole shoulder/collarbone area felt when taking normal bike riding abuse...the shock you get when you hit a bump/crack/pothole and the stress you put on when pulling on/stabilizing the bars during a sprint or hard effort. I passed!!!

What did I earn by passing this test? Confidence to go to the Carrera de San Rafael Crit on Saturday evening. But first, let me explain Saturday...

Saturday was pretty fun. Because my race wasn't until 5:15pm and only about 30 minutes away, I didn't need to wake up early and focus my entire day around bike racing. Instead, I was able to check out the start of this year's Gumball 3000! Click on that for more detail, but it's basically a bunch of wealthy mo-fo's with sweet cars that "race" from one city to another...this year's Gumball started here in San Francisco and ends in Beijing, China. Yes...that's right, China. They go from SF to LA to San Diego, to Vegas and then fly over to China to drive from city to city...pretty insane.

Here are my pics: (keep an eye out for Hasselhoff and Kitt)

Click HERE for my photo gallery (larger format)

Dino picked me up around 2pm and we were off to the races.

This course is deceivingly tough. 4 turns (all easy), one steady downhill side and, conversely, one steady uphill grind. We had Dino, Carmi, Murat, Aaron and myself at the start line. They were all running strong and I just wasn't there this time. I couldn't see too much from my "back of the pack" view, but I know they took turns off the front and/or chasing down breaks. Murat snatched up a $100 prime. Aaron grabbed 2nd place in the sprint finish. Warning: Here comes my excuse - My day in the back just sucked. The pack was heavy on the brakes and the back end suffered the accordion effect from that, therefore everytime up the hill I was playing catch up to the rest of the pack that flew through the turns...by the time we were back together, the front would pick up the pace on the downhill. With about 4 laps to go, I just rode off the course and made my way to the finish to see the end.

We celebrated Aaron's 2nd place finish with plenty of beers while watching the women's and then the men's pro races...then after that, we had a few more at a nearby bar. Good times hanging with the teammates.

Sunday called for a "Poser Ride." AKA: "Cafe Ride." We pimped nice equipment, pro-looking odd ball kits (I wore my old VOX Vodka Kit and got lots of compliments...love that one) and just cruised easy with lots of stops for coffee, food and even a beer.

I'm just happy to be back on the bike and ready for this Sunday's race: Suison Harbor Criterium.

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