Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Smiles and Frowns of Princeton/Stevens Weekend

For starters, Princeton and Stevens... hell of a job. Great races and toilet paper, so thank you.

A bunch of things happened this weekend that made me really really happy. But to keep me even, some things rubbed me the wrong way... few though.

About mid way through last week I was avoiding homework and stalking facebook when I got a notification from Miss Rose Long stating "are you going to Princeton Stevens?" This is where the great weekend began. Because this meant Rose was coming. Rose and I are a pretty good example of how biking allows you to 'make friends out of enemies.' Me being on Northeastern and Rose on UVM both racing mountain pinned us against each other, but at heart we're both Vermonters and have a common respect for 'getting rowdy.' This weekend was my first Road race with Rose and we started it with a win, leading out the crit for the first 100yards both yelling "we're winning!!!" and causing some hostile emotions with the more serious racers. As the race continued Rose and I held together in the same packs. My favorite part of the course naturally was the downhill, as I started sitting up and easing off on the hill to the start/finish Rose began to carry my ass, literally. I felt a bump on my hip, turned to tell some girl to watch it and realized Rose was yes, pushing me up the hill. So, thanks for the lift Rose. It was great to race with you on skinny tires.

Within that same hour, another great thing happened. Jess Kutz. Thank You. For the last few weekends it has been the same names holding down the Women's A races and I began to fear that a pedestal would form that eventually, no one would challenge. But Jess came to my rescue and pulled the mat right out from under that whole production. Pinnin it to Win it, my mountain biking home slice, Jess Kutz won the crit, with the rest of the field huffing in behind her. Way to be.

There was also Intro Clinic. Sully wasn't at the races this weekend so I helped out with the Men's intro too. Getting a flat tire (bummmerrr!) Anyway, Bruley recommended running a "Bump" Clinic. Which was the best idea, and ended up being a blast. I mean ramming into people on bikes with grass as the landing area, what could be more fun? The intro men and women keep on surprising me with their insightful questions and their continuous attendance, it is awesome. Having a real pack of riders to practice and race with makes intro much more beneficial. So thanks for coming out.

I want to give a little shout out to Allison from UMass, this girl has guts. She did the whole mountain season, after never having ridden a XC course and now she's a rock star in Road season too. Unfortunately she and Tia got pushed out in the left turn of the crit. They were Bumping and holding it up like pros and just ran out of road, luckily they're both okay, but I was glad to hear how much Allison had benefited from the clinics and her Mountain biking to be able to 'crash safe'. So, here we are: Allison rocking the clinic:

Plus the NU Women were rocking out, no so much myself but Katy is quickly moving through the points to apply for her A upgrade and hopefully we'll be sporting a sick group at Nationals this year, the first NU Road Team to ever go!! Also Ashley a new racer to the group upgraded from intro and although nervous managed two top 10 finishes in Women's C this weekend. YEAH HUSKIES!!!

So, I still haven't addressed the bugging issues. Here they are, I will try to keep as anonymous as I can while still being quite clear who was in error.
1. YELLOW LINE RULE BREAKERS! Really? It's bring Yellow, not that hard to miss, if you can't steer straight next to it, check your headset, it may need an adjustment, or maybe your brain. The yellow line rule is not just to limit space for passing and moving within the pack, that is the least of the issues. When racing on an open road and crossing the yellow line you are putting everyone else in the pack and in the Biking community at risk. Especially the girl, from an Institute of Technology located in Cambridge/Boston area, when on a hill drivers in the oncoming lane have limited sight, they fly over the hill and almost hit you, you swerve into a pack of riders, this is what you are risking. So like I said in our race, "Buddy, I'm not joking don't cross the yellow line"

2. People who cut the starting line.
It's one thing to slowly weasel your wheel up a row, but to walk out in front of the whole field and try to back-in or reverse into the pack, oh... you've got to be kidding me. This was another reason I was glad to line up next to Rose, the girl who has done this every race so far tried to back in next to Rose and what was the response, "NOPE!" so, either show up on time, or get to the back, we were all standing in the cold while you were relaxing in a car or warming up, so beat it.

Other than that, SWEEEEEEET Weekend.

OH right, y'all should pack up the cruisers and head to Bucknell because it is going to be the best Easter racing you've ever seen!


  1. I am glad that you are illustrating how important the race before the race really is. I think I spent my collegiate career trying to figure out how to roll up to the line at the last second and still be on the front.

  2. PS: Thanks to Greg W for the photo of Jess and to Garrick D for the others.