Weekend Roll: Everyone has a plan...
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
It’s a quote from boxing lore, but this past Saturday it was relevant to bike racing as the squad headed to Brooklyn for another early morning of racing at the Prospect Park race series. For those of us joining in the festivities from uptown, this meant another 4AM alarm clock and another dose of the early morning NYC race rituals: bombing down 2nd Avenue toward the Manhattan bridge, enjoying a breakfast sandwich on a dark street corner (Lisa decided she didn’t have time to eat before our rushed departure and had shoved it in a jersey pocket), amassing with a couple hundred fellow weirdos from the cycling community just as the sun was rising, and of course a long wait for the porto-johns (90% of the reason I get to Prospect races so early is to avoid the longest of the lines, the other 10% is the pre-race hangs).
As for the racing and the getting punched in the mouth bit… We had a full squad in attendance and a race plan to match our strong numbers. My assignment was to serve final lap lead-out duty, but we were also planning to race aggressively so when an early move with Erwin got pulled back and no one countered I dutifully (but reluctantly) shot off the front with Paul from Rockstar in tow. Approximately 30 seconds into that first pull I realized that my lingering cold from the work week wasn’t entirely gone and my legs were garbage (sorry about that Paul). I suffered through a few more pulls but thankfully the break was short-lived (I wanted nothing more than to be back in the field - sorry again Paul) and I was able to hop back on the caboose to spend the next two laps attempting to recover.
In fact, I probably spent more than a few laps hanging out on the back - in part because I knew my big effort was going to come at the end of the race and in part because of the aforementioned garbage legs. This positioning decision became a bit spicy when the entire field nearly split after one of the sprint points - suddenly I found myself TT’ing past dropped riders to get back on (sadly our TBD-MDC teammates didn’t make the cut).
From there the race became a bit of a blur up until the finale when a late race break snuck away just before the bell. Scott (who is both Australian and really good at bikes) made the move. As I clawed my way back to the front for a potential leadout effort we assessed the situation: with the gap at ~15 seconds we decided to sit on and force others to chase. The first few chase efforts brought it back down to perhaps a 10 second gap and we again faced a decision whether to chase or try to let it go. Ultimately we gambled on the latter with the hope that the gap would stick and Scott would be sprinting for the win.
As you might guess given the opening line of this journal entry, that hope proved short lived as cooperation in the break broke down and they were recaptured on the final climb. This late catch generated a messy 8+ person wide field sprint and we were caught out of position after our decision to sit on. In the end Corey was the best placed rider for the squad, but we missed out on the result that we were looking for. But so it goes with racing - sometimes you have a master plan that the race just winds up tossing to the wind.
Thankfully post race coffees were more than enough to refuel our stoke after a great morning on the bike.
With the race over, Lisa and I headed East to the Hamptons for some much needed R&R after Saturday’s very early morning alarm clock. In the end it wound up being the perfect mix of beach and bikes as I had the opportunity to get my Moots Vamoots RSL on some of my favorite backroads (unsolicited opinion: the bike remains an absolute blast to ride). A few mostly non-bike photos to wrap up this latest weekend roll: