Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Swany's

Alright, we've all heard about the Oscars, the Emmy's, even the ESPY's.... well, it's about that time of year for the Swanys.

With any luck a couple of installments of odds, ends and notables of the year going by. The content of which will be varied and attempt to exploit no single individual or effort -- but offer in humor and light heartedness with an occassional dash of sincerity a recap of the varied slices of the cycling related world that crossed my path this year.

But before that... what's been going on that so limited my entries of late. Well, of course. I left off with a 3 week past due recap of BayCross racing, the second day of that race is now 2 months past and with it any residual memories. Ah, no, that's not exactly the case. It was like Day 1, less Jesse Bell & his UP compatriot, instead Nic Anikin from Duluth showed up. What was interesting about the race? It was a great course at Ashland's BayView park overlooking Lake Superior, great weather and even proved to be respectfully fun racing. Out of the blocks I had some hangover effects from the solo shot the previous day's race. Nic showing up after skipping the first day wasn't exactly reason for a grand harrah. Even so, I was certainly looking to do the best I could, winning the overall title for the weekend was the primary objective, seeing what I could do in this race was number two.

After the heavy solo effort the previous day I was content to see what pace others wanted to take things out at. Early on it was 4 person lineup, myself, Shawn Gort, Nic Anikin & another guy I wasn't familiar with Bill Kuster. The pace wasn't slow but it wasn't fast initially either. I generally have a ton of juice in the early minutes of a race so as I recall I went to the front in part of lap one & two to move things along but also felt like I didn't have the all out power of the day before. So soon I was content to mark anyone else's moves and react instead of instigate. Within few laps Bill dropped back & it was just Shawn, myself & Nic. Now without going into alot of history, I'll just say Shawn's a guy I respect alot and coming in behind him fair & square I'd never have any issue with. Nic as a far as I know him sure seems like a nice enough guy, suffice to say, I can't say I've always been happy with his racing tactics. And I guess you could say having commisserated with Shawn the previous day, I took the approach of siding up with him. I felt I had nothing to lose Day 2, I'd put in the hero's effort the day before and didn't have anything to prove. Nic was going to have the upper hand of the three of us due to the fresher legs so I was satisfied with sitting in & covering his race. At different times he eased up looking for a pull through, but because of what I'd done the day before I felt I didn't owe anyone. Shawn & Nic took turns at the front, once or twice when Nic was likely trying to force my hand it gave Shawn the opportunity to get away -- which if would have been successfull , yes, would have taken away the chance at the overall, but it would have been worth it.

I almost dropped off once when I took a digger on the barriers, but got back into position soon enough before Shawn & Nic turned on the jets. As it turned out, in the final 3 laps or so, Shawn had a replay of what happened to me on the barriers only Nic took off & I was able to stay with him.

In the second to last lap, Nic put in a big surge and my legs just couldn't put out the effort they had the day before. It was strange because the previous day I could bury myself in an effort, but this day I totally had a limiting switch that never let me dig dip. It was like I never got tired all race long, but even so I couldn't go any harder. I did manage to crawl back to within a few seconds in the last lap but it proved to not enough to finish it.

Even so 2nd on the day was good enough to take the overall title & $125 purse for the weekend. Huge thanks to Paul Belknap & Sara Hudson for putting the weekend together as well as the sponsors, especially Ideal Market/Rivers Eatery in Cable. Shawn had flipped flopped positions with me in the two races for the same number of points awarded but the tie breaker was based on shortest cumulative time. In other words I had a bigger gap on Shawn day 2, than he had on me day 1.

Despite all my best of intentions to race again, after successive weeks of falling prey to flu's, colds & food poisoning, I opted out. However I must say, I really would have loved to join the fractious at the UP year, PB & I will keep those guys on their toes. Otherwise MN's State Championship is always on the radar.