Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reclaimng OECR

Yesterday I had the day off and decided to drive up to the CAMBA Monthly meeting. It was a neat experience and it was good to be part of the behind the scenes action. A nice bit was when Brian was asked for a report on our race team. Brain answered "where racing" which was about true. Brett (el presidente) commented that we seemed to have a lot of podiums at the races, to which Brian said "Yep, and we are going to have a state champion" while nodding at me. After the meeting, we all went out to ride around the OECR (Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation) trail. Which John aptly described as a more intense Quails Hollow. We splintered pretty quickly as some where just leisurely riding and others where going fast. I fell towards the faster category. Truthfully, I didn't feel it was a good ride for me, but when I looked back at my numbers from my Garmin I realized I had kept a steady pace and a steady heartrate. I was pushing hard but wasn't over doing it.

Today was supposed to be a ride with Johnny P at Mohican State Park. I got to his house and he remembered he had left his shoes at his moms house in North Royalton, a 40 minute drive in the opposite direction. Kinda bummed but his moms house happened to be a mere 12 miles from OECR so we decided to go there again.

We arrived there about 2ish and set out after getting ready. The first lap I led to point out some trouble spots, those pesky blind decreasing radius turns that can shoot you towards a pretty nasty slope. He seemed to like the course so the second lap we stopped and took some photos, which are posted here.

After this we decided to do four laps at race pace. I wanted to see where I stood against him and it would be good training. I led off the line trying to burn some of his energy, I had gears so I know that the lead up on the parking lot would be my best chance to get ahead and maybe put some hurt into him. If I could lead into the single track I was hoping to push the pace on the climbs to wear him down. To my dismay on a short double track section right before the start of the trail he got around me. I kept him in my sights for the majority of the lap. During the lap I noticed my chain skipping. Towards the bottom of the ravine there's switch back with two lines, one carves to the inside of a small tree, the other to the outside. The inside line is safer but slower, the outside lane is faster but puts you in between a tree and a log on the outside. To be fast you have to stay to the inside of the outside and get as close to the tree as you can. The last two days I had done this, the lap before I leaned in and caught my shoulder on the tree. Not enough to do damage but enough to remind me it was there. This lap I forgot, and my hip barreled into the tree at full speed, hitting right on my pelvic bone. I stayed on the bike but was in immense pain, after analyzing the situation and making sure nothing was broke, I pedaled lightly back to the car. I fixed my chain and got bored waiting for John so I set out on another lap.

I kept an easy pace and turned an easy gear. Since nothing was broken I knew that the pain was from my muscles tightening and the best thing to do is stretch it out. John caught me towards the end of the trail and we rode out to the car together. I urged him to finish last lap as I would sit this one out and gain my wits about me. A little accident in a training ride can really take the drive out of you. There's no adrenaline rush you get at a race to mask the pain, so it's best to sit out the lap and regroup.

John finished his last lap and went over the bars and hurt his shoulder so both of us knew the end of the ride had come. So we were tooling around in the parking lot. John popping some mad wheelies and I practicing my skinny riding skills on the berms of the parking lot. Did about two until my front wheel slid into a gap between the curb and the grass, as my rear wheel slid off the curb in the opposite direction. My front wheel was stuck and my weight was leaning towards the pavement which is where I ended up landing on the same hip I had just injured, DOH! That officially ended my ride.

Over all it was a fun ride, good pace and good practice at cornering and learning where I need to be to be competitive as a sport racer. Tomorrow, is either Quails Hollow or a road ride depending on how the hip feels.

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