Monday, September 22

The Portsmouth Criterium

I must have gotten about a hundred text messages from bewildered local friends that stumbled out in the streets on Sunday afternoon to find that there was a major cycling event going on in Portsmouth and immediately texted me to ask if I was racing or what?

Well, no, I was not; my category is not eligible. I could upgrade, but then I wouldn't be able to sandbag the category fives any more, and frankly that's more fun. Also I was totally exhausted after riding over 100 miles in the Seacoast Century the day before the Portsmouth Criterium.

Honestly I was so exhausted I left the races midway through the last one. I really wasn't up for the whole "being outside and interacting with other humans" thing. So I have no idea what happened in the men's professional race. I'm sure it was awesome though.

Neutral Support Provided By . . .
I was there for the category four race though, since everyone I knew from my team, NorEast Cycling, was in it. As the riders were lining up, I happened to be standing right by the pit, where riders come in if they get a flat or something during the race. Andrew from New Hampshire Cycling Club came in, and mistook me for someone that knew what I was talking about, and said "hey, can I get a wheel change? I've got a flat rear tire." I must have looked official or something with my Portsmouth Criterium t-shirt. THE USA Cycling official nearby said "it's wheels-in, wheels-out. There's no neutral support this year." I happened to have my bike with me though, so I offered him my rear wheel. Just then, another official called "thirty seconds to race start!" We got the wheel changed just in time for the start.

There were a couple crashes in the Cat4 race, one pretty major. A guy from Northeast Bicycle Club* got taken away in an ambulance. People were going pretty fast and in a tight formation around turn 4, where the crashed. I guess there was some bumping going on--it happens. Crashes like that enforce my lack of enthusiasm for the criterium format of racing. Why do we need that much tight, high-speed turning? Give me a road race any day.

Also notable was the absense of cycloblogist Chris Adams from Connecticut. My plan was to soften him up on Saturday at the Century so he wouldn't be a threat to the NorEast Cycling team on Sunday's criterium, but I guess we over-did it, and he did not start. Heh. Oh well.

Post a Comment