Chasing A Dream Articles - New England In The Spring

Posted: Jun 7, 2002

Hard road races have been the name of the game for the past month here in New England. I got back from the south at the end of April, after Twilight. I was expecting to have some kind of form with all of the hard races and training I'd been doing, then reality nipped me in the arse. My first weekend back was Jiminy peak. This race usually goes all out until the break forms, then the field just kind of cruises around. Well, somebody forgot to tell the whole of New England Category 1's and 2's this year. None of the combinations were good enough, so the break never went and the race stayed hard for 95 miles. I suffered needless to say, I guess those hour and a half crits didn't do it for me. Oh ya, Svatek....your the man, two in a row at Jiminy. My big goal in May was Housatonic. This 120 mile, hilly, hard race is one that I would love to be on form for. Last year went really well for me, so I wanted to have a good ride in 2002. I planned on doing a few long weeks of training to get ready for it, hoping that I would come around for a long road race, despite the fact that I missed all of the "New England Classics" in April. I felt strong, got in lots of long rides, 5+ hours, and felt good about the race, really focused. The week after Jiminy Peak would be the Sterling Road Race and Bear Mountain. Sterling went good, finished easily in the bunch, felt strong for the next day. We woke up Sunday morning to pouring rains and fairly cold temperatures. This 120 pound body does not do well in the rain, believe you, me. I'll give the shortened form of the race. I get in break 10 miles into 100, rain starts, I freeze, I hang on, my rear wheel breaks, get new wheel, my chain drops off, I get dropped, get caught by field, lose chain again, dropped by field, ride home 10 miles in pouring rain at about 7 mph, near hypothermic upon arriving at car, Myerson laughs, I get more pissed, I warm up, now I laugh, then we both laugh at all the other poor, poor souls slowly riding to their cars after bagging the race. So, in a nutshell, Bear Mtn. could have gone well, but I obviously don't do so well in the rain. Note to self - Wear rain jacket in the rain. OK, another weekend down, only 6 days until the Hooch. Despite my death ride at Bear, I was strong. I wanted to totally recover from the weekend and try one hard ride during the week, to stay open. Saturday came around, I felt recovered and looked forward to opening up for Sunday. SNOW kept me from doing that....yes....SNOW. Inches of the nasty white stuff. I had not seen snow all year, and now its the middle of May and snowing. Gross. I opened up on the rollers, another first for the year, an indoor ride. Sunday arrives. Housatonic Valley Classic. Finally. Everything is hectic at the start trying to sort out feed bags, etc. Race begins.........oh boy. 53*11 on the flats, 35 mph. All I can think about is who the hell is on the front driving it. The first KOM was to be at around 35 miles. Ryan gets dropped. Yup, all those long, boring rides, and hard training, and I came off after 35 miles. To my defense, I think half the field also popped. It was hard, as hard as I've gone in a while. So I rode back, with some other people, everyone talking about how much they suck. Life will in fact go on after a terrible ride at the Hooch. Stay tuned. RP