Spring Break Trip and Racing

16 Mar

Well I’ve finally had some time to catch up after a great spring break trip.  The trip started two weekends ago when Nat, Kyle, Nat’s puppy Emma, and I all piled into Nat’s car along with all of our gear and three race wheelsets.  We started the break by racing the SB&T Albany race weekend put on by Swagger. As usual we had a cold and rainy weekend with the downtown crit on Saturday and a nice long road race on Sunday. Many of the usual Georgia teams were present at the race along with some familiar faces from Florida and most of the Realcyclist team. I managed to finish 11th in the crit despite slipping and sliding through several corners. Realcyclist split the field early in the hundred plus mile road race with me bridging up to the lead group shortly after it was established. Tommy Nankervis and Frank Travieso got away early and finally with around twenty-five miles to go Oscar Clark and I got away from the split to finish third and fourth with myself taking 4th.

Racing in Albany

After leaving Albany, GA we headed to my cabin in Highlands, NC as has been the norm for the past two years. Fortunately this year we had running water because the water pump had been replaced since the last trip. However, it took a while for the water heater to heat the water for showers, so we drove to town to shower. It had been 48 hours since we last raced in Albany, and we were still dirty from the race. Unfortunately, the community center that we had showered at last year was closed for a special event, so we were out of luck. We next tried the fire station around the block, but it was a volunteer station, so no one was there. Nat, however, got on the phone and called around and finally got in touch with a lady who was in charge of an historic inn in Highlands. She let us use the shower in an vacant room, which was incredibly nice and made us all feel human again. The highs were in the low 50s each day, but the riding was awesome as always. It seemed like each ride was fueled by bacon in the morning and either enchiladas and margaritas from Mi Casa or barbecue. We had nice long rides each day and climbed several mountains. It actually snowed on us during one of the longer climbs on our ride Thursday.  It’s always nice to test the climbing legs in the Smokey Mountains and get away from the flats of Florida.

My Cabin

After the week of training in the mountains we loaded up again and drove to Newnan, GA for the Georgia Tech collegiate race weekend.  We lucked out this year, because this race weekend is infamous for being freezing cold and rainy, however we had clear skies and relatively warm weather both days. David, the Kyles and I managed 2nd in the team time trial on Saturday morning. We had a few hours to recover from our morning effort before the road race.  After the neutral rollout, there were a few attacks to which a group of us countered and got away. We rolled it for the rest of the race and whittled the break group down to two LMC riders, Brian Sheedy and Nathan Larson, and myself. I made a dig on one of the climbs and ended up soloing the last twelve miles of the race to take the win. Kyle took sixth to add to our point total for the weekend. On a strange note, the night before each race we ate at Tacomac and I had a stout with dinner. Afterwards we went to Publix and I got a mini cup of Ben and Jerry’s, a York peppermint patty, and a few chocolate chip cookies. This is an odd combination, but it seemed to be the right snacks for success this weekend. I just hope I don’t have to keep this up to do well in the future.

Sunday was another road race and as before an attack came early and stayed away for the first lap of the eleven mile course. Once this break was captured more attacks came and finally I got away and was joined by two riders, one from Clemson and one from Cumberland. We were eventually joined by Andy Baker (Furman) and Bradford Perley (LMC). The break eventually split up with Baker, Perley, and me forging ahead. The race came down to a sprint after dodging a van that pulled out in front of us just before the final turn. Perley took the win with me taking second and Baker rounding off the podium.  After the races, we drove back to Gainesville, FL thoroughly exhausted from a long week of training and racing. I caught up on my homework and took my last midterm today, and now I am enjoying a much needed recovery week before I get back to training.

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