Steve, Chad and myself all loaded up into Z’s Ford for drive down to Buckley for the Kermesse race directed by our team mate Michael Pruitt. A kermesse is a mulit-lap bicycle race that incorporates both paved and gravel sections – kind of a hybrid between criterium racing and cyclocross. Most racers choose to compete on road racing machines equipped with heavier, more puncture resistant, and oftentimes wider than usual tires. I elected to ride some old 25mm Continental Gatorskins that have been lurking around the back of my garage. Tire pressure was a topic of wide discussion; I went with 80 psi.
I took two warm-up laps and was feeling pretty good about my tire selection – they tracked well through the loose gravel, I had no flats despite riding the gravel hard and I rolled good enough on the road. Three minutes into the race I got my front wheel flatted; remembering my flat at Ballard I wasn’t about to quit so I jogged the mile or so to the finish line (which wasn’t the start line) and got a neutral tire. I’d seen a lot of flats, and figured that I had a good chance to get back in the race by simply riding a steady ninety percent effort. On lap two I flatted – rear this time – in roughly the same spot as before so once again it’s run time.
By the time I made it to the pits there were no wheels, no tubes, no nothing so I dejectedly remounted my flat front wheel and began the two and a half mile walk back to the car. After ten minutes of walking I hit the pavement where the race director offered me a ride to the parking lot. Back at the lot I unlocked Z’s car and started to change clothes when I noticed the spare wheels Z had brought along. I popped on the two wheels and took off.
The question was should I wait for the pack to come around or would that be bad form. That’s what you do in crit races, but this is only an eight lap race, I figured I’d better get moving and perhaps the lead group would catch me. I rode until they officials told me to stop. I think I was only one lap down as I only saw the lead group once, but I did take a ride in a car so I figure my DNF is justified.
|Da Boyz post race- as bad as my kids with those phones|