A year wiser?
One year ago, I penned my "famous" first foray into blogging. And in a single sentence, my style was captured: “The Fall Fling is maybe a brownie that was left over from last weekend’s party and is now a bit stale and hard with some random powdered sugar sprinkled on top.”
Instantly, my readers knew: I’m an idiot who’s obsessed with food and writes pretentiously with grand ambitious analogies that can be reduced to meaningless jibber. (Like this sentence.)
Well readers, little has changed—I’m still your favorite fat idiot. Except a year has passed. So while today marks 365 days since my first blog post, it also marks a year since my first full foray into the Fall Fling.
A year heavier!
Several pounds heavier and a category “better,” I entered this year’s Fall Fling with low expectations. Primarily, I was there to support the IsCorp juniors—Peter Davis, Kevin Lindlau and Kaleb Koch—and the new Northwestern cyclists.
Invariably, George Hincapie decided to rain on our parade. Not only did several of the NU kids fail to show (with legitimate excuses, of course), but the juniorfolk arrived with less than 20 minutes to spare.
As I rushed around doing nothing in particular, I realized my brakes were not functioning. Eventually, I found my worn down brake-pads were to blame—the shoes were gouging wonderfully circular cuts into my carbon wheels.
Thankfully, GH and I have a close relationship (after all, his brother makes my kits). In times of cycling crisis, I prevail. So the mechanical turned out to be no problem at all. I just raced without brake pads, right T-Peng?
Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns
While things began predictably unpredictable, they took a turn for the unpredictably unpredictable when Petey snapped his chain. Thankfully, ABR has the unlimited free lap rule and he was able to find a similar size bike to race—which he did, and race the heck out of.
As Petey rejoined the pack, we realized a Kenda rider was in attendance. Things suddenly got more confusing. As is always the case, every rider in the field followed the one pro guy around expecting him to do all of the work. It didn't matter that there were around 100 other guys in the race. So long as there is one pro, nobody is required to do any pulling.
So when the break went and Mr.Kenda didn’t chase, the break was gone.
Naturally, when I’m supposed to be coaching the juniors, I make the biggest mistakes. As I began to patrol the front following great pulls by Petey and Kevin, I hesitated. Restarting the lead-out from the final corner, I swung right and was trapped between the curb and another rider. Naturally, there was nothing to be done. Kaleb had to go the long way around and was unable to win the field sprint. Good job, coach!
Finally, the TT
Sunday brought its own surprises. With the failure of my SRM to work and my front wheel still flat from the ABR TTT, I was hesitant to race. Naturally, TTs are my strength for when equipment matters more than talent, I find success. Sadly, my equipment was not up to par.
And after having to move and park three separate times, I managed to get on the bike with just enough time to get nice and cool before my start. Regardless, I still threw down a somewhat respectable time.
In comparison, the juniors all rode great races. Kevin blasted through the course and Petey rode very well on his road bike.
One weekend down. One more to go. Watch out world—Kaleb returns. And this time without an idiot lead-out.