Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend non-CX racing... hopefully to be followed by the Cross reports.

On Sat. several SpeedTheory Cyclists headed out to Banff for the Ekiden relay. This is a unique event set at the Banff Conference Center and one that I always try to attend. It is a marathon split into 5 unequal legs all starting and finishing at the center (yes, at the top of that brutal hill). Our SpeedTheory team consisted of Jeff Krar, Ken Myers, Marilyn, Trev, and Fast Legs Frank. We were completely discounted by the elite Strides and Bow Valley Harriers (BVH) teams, however, after one of them actually told us so, the fire was lit in our bellies and we all had solid legs. Jeff is on fire these days and laid down an insane first leg (7.0km) and came into the hand off area first. This set the stage for the 4 remaining runners (me included) to leave everything on the race course to preserve the lead! The nervousness set in as Ken went out for the second leg (the longest of them all at 13.8km). Ken is a pure runner with pure talent and enviable palmares. I used to race Ken in the XC winter race series and it was always awesome watching his leg turn-over as he widened the gap between him and me with relative ease. The only reason I know what his face looks like is because of the chili lunch after the events. We knew Ken would be coming into the hand off with the lead maintained. Next it was up to Marilyn to do battle with the Strides and BVH male runners (both these teams were all guys). She rose to the occasion and didn't let their runners overtake her on the 4.3km leg. However, the Strides' team was now only 20seconds back! Next it was my turn. My leg (5.4km) started (just like leg 1 and 2) with the drop down surprise corner as the first kilometer! I spun my legs as fast as I could and eventually arrived at the bike path along the river where I ran out of pure fear of hearing the breathing of another runner. Luckily I made it to the hand off area with the lead intact and we now had 55seconds on the next team! I passed off to Fast Legs and screamed encouragement through the taste of blood and coughing. The wait was excruciating. Frank's leg (11.3km), being the second longest, was estimated to take at least 40min. We had no idea of the battle that was being waged out on the road. The Strides team had saved their best for last and we could only hope our team had given Frank enough of a lead to hold off 'The Fairmont Firestorm'. As the crowd cheered like crazy, the Strides team came through the finish only 20seconds up on us in what would be a hard fought victory for them and a great race to 2nd for us! It was great being part of such a solid team.

Sunday was the Confederation park relay. This was 3 person teams with all legs running over the same 3.5km XC course. The route included two creek crossing and enough off-camber hill running to fill your seasonal quota. I was on a team with Fast Legs and an excellent XC veteran Curtis Sampson. We had a pure ladies Speed Theory Cycling team (running as 'Undercover') represented by Tanya Soloman, The Hopper, and Marilyn. For our open men's team, we had to contend with Jeff Krar's astonishing leg 1 opening time, but our consistency as a team prevailed and we took the win! Our ladies team lead from start to finish and easily secured the Women's division. Other ST Cycling members there included, Ryan Murray, Carson, Bob Woodward, Shelley, and I am sure I have forgotten several more.

So an exciting weekend of racing of the non-wheeled kind, let's hear some stories of what we're all really interested in!! Cross !! Shawna? Keith? Rob?



Shawna said...

I vote Darcy to do a write up - he looked like he was keeping close tabs on everything!

Robert said...

The Cross for Kids race was pretty fun this Sunday, cool and brisk conditions but really a good time.

After the careful planning for my first cross season completely crumbled into dust this would wind up being my first race ever.

Lots (Tons) of Speed Theory Jerseys, and lots of people (50ish?) in the Sport category.

I pre-rode the course a few times and it was pretty slick with the frost. Lots of twisting, turning, jumping. grinding, climbing slipping and sliding in what I thought to be such a small space.

At the starting line I had no idea what to expect but just went for it at go. If no one has done a cross event I high recommend it just for the chaos that ensues during the first lap.

I felt I was holding in fine for the first two laps all things considered, but at the start of the third lap I earned my "Wobbly Wheel" trophy again with three consecutive spectacular wipe-outs. Each one allowing a parade of racers to pass my disheveled mess along the course.

Never the less each time it was fun and fine (no injury) to hop back on and keep moving forward, learning the flow of a cross course and having the pleasure to push Darcey with a few bets climbing some of the run-ups.

Quite an event, with tons of comradeship, fun, and laugh's. Racers were kind enough when passing, and going around when fallen which I found to be completely unexpected and in stark contrast to behavior in some of road racing this year.

Overall I realized how out of shape I'm in, especially when it comes to race intensity and reaction. Sitting on the sidelines for almost two months really does dull the instincts needed to win as Trev continually reminds us in the spin classes, and I am guessing it is that type of intensity needed to preform to your best in these type of events.

I really look forward to the remaining races, and encourage anyone who has not tried it to come out and give it a go. I'm going to attempt to finish in the field and avoid getting lapped by Thomas Y.

Oh yea, that won't happen since I'm sure he got bumped up for finishing 3rd in a close sprint that I had a great vantage point of watching from his rear.

Good job Thomas!

Keith Bayly said...

Thomas was the best man and racer in an ST kit on the day. Thanks again Thomas for helping out at the road crossing.

After this weekend I really need to point some things out to our membership.

Over the last year I have heard a LOT of negative comments about the conduct, riding skills and general behavior of the ST squad.

This weekend, the organizer was very frustrated with a group of ST riders who continued to chat while the sport class was being addressed by both the race manager and the officials at the start line.

ST riders are at all levels being blamed for crashes and sketchy riding. Justified or not it's perception that matters.

This is my attempt to address the group about this issue. I'm not gonna point fingers or name names.
Please don't make me confront you one on one. I'm proud to wear an ST kit. Ride like you are too.

So my race report is "Smarten the fuck up!"

Dallas said...
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Sandra Yaworski said...

I agree with Dallas and Keith on the comments they have made. My message is simply this: Having a big engine does not equal being skilled or understanding strategy. There are many talented athletes on the ST team that come from different sports; however regardless of how good you are there is always something to learn in the sport you are an expert in and in the sport you are new to.

Guys lets be positive, learn from each other, and take advantage of some of the experienced riders in the club. Keith and Dallas are a wealth of information.

Robert said...

Wow. Good comments. I like the idea of approprate training and skill seasons. It would help (and be fun) if the team can develop some formal and informal sesions (that actually get attended).

One comemnt on the coruse is that it was slick and with all the best intentions many times all kinds of people slid out. (ie me and for the record they involved no one else).

It is unfortunate that people put blame on the ST team, but think of what might happen if 20 other different riders all wore the same jersey. I think they would be equally accused for the same actions as well. Small or large, individual actions colectively pile up and contribute to reflect upon the larger group. Which is why over anything else I find it useful to remember to be courtious and polite to other riders as anything can happen when thier are so many other variables in play. And really being nice goes along way.

Dallas said...
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Jared Green said...

Without responding specifically to any of the comments above, on behalf of SpeedTheory, I am very proud of what the SpeedTheory Cycling team has become. Trev and a handful of very dedicated team members have transferred their Vision into success by hosting a number of innovative races, honored an old friend of ours through the Jason Lapierre Memorial Stage Race and brought a largely new demographic of riders to Alberta cycling.

Like anyone new to a sport, there are always learning curves. We try to learn new traits by trial and error and by observing our mentors and listening to their advice. If you are an elder statesman of a sport, spread your wisdom, but do it respectfully.

As far as the cross race on Sunday. It was great to see all of the ST guys and girls out racing and cheering.

See you at the Brian Kullman Memorial race on the 30th.

Keith Bayly said...

Thank you Jared, point well taken. The last sentence of my comment was not very positive or respectful I'll admit.

I'm just trying to put an end to the hate out there. I don't have the answers.

Trev said...

For the record, I am leaving the comments intact on this blog solely because I believe in 'open discussion' and think having a place we can express our opinion is important.

Personally, I don't agree with many of the comments made above as I don't think they reflect this club and I don't believe this was the correct venue to express these particular issues.

I don't believe in censorship. I do believe that people can make their own decisions on how they feel about an issue by being informed.

Even though controversial comments are left on this forum it does not reflect any endorsement or agreement whatsoever by the club from its ringleader or as a whole.


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