While I have been having a great time riding and exploring Colorado, I haven’t been writing about it. So here is a little report of the Firecracker 50, but first I need to tell you a little about the preride. Sunday, A little bit of a late start but we got going about the same time the race starts. Steve, Jake and I rolled up the first climb at a pretty mellow pace, I did a few surges to see how the altitude felt and it wasn’t too bad. There were a ton of people out riding the course and we took our time and chatted with a few of them. The course was a lot of fire road climbing the steep loose rocky fall line descents. Not the best designed course but what do expect for a USA cycling National Championship event. At the bottom of the first descent I realized I had a slow leak in my rear tire so we stopped again to fix it. More climbing and fire roads and decided I should adjust the angle of my stem so we took a few minutes to do that while we caught our breath at the top of the course. After that we managed to stop only 3 or 4 more times to talk, wait or tighten the centerloc adapter on Jakes rear rotor which came completely off. So with all those stops it took us a total of 2 hours and 53 minutes. Considering the pace we took I though I would be able to pull off a first lap of about 2:00 to 2:05.
The week before the race I did all my priming the legs rides and I had the bike dialed. Unfortunately there were a few things I couldn’t control, I had horrible allergies which was interfering with the little sleep that I was getting and got some kind of intestinal tract issue which to put it politely, left me dehydrated. Nun the less I was still motivated.
Race day came and the Firecracker went off with a neutral start following a guy on a bike caring a flag or something similar… after a couple hundred yards the dude went down hard and took out a few riders behind him. He ended up being a pretty strong rider and came sprinting past us to get to the point where the neutral start ended and it was on. The pace was high from the start and I soon realized that it wasn’t my day, and soon after that a bunch of people I have beaten very easily this year were passing me after making up the gap from the different categories. Some made up the 7-8 minute head-start I had with in the first half hour. I wanted to have some fun so I made it through the first lap and called it a day.
So I guess my Firecracker 50 was a dud.
At least USA cycling is fair to all it’s members and I won’t have to worry about the unfair advantage of the altitude for a third year in a row at the Marathon National Championships, as I’m sure they will move the venue some where else ; )