Sorry for not keeping up with some current posts. I have been spending most of my computer time on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/21228831@N05/ Anyway here is a post from my friend Andrew Enjoy curtis
Wednesdays in June can only mean one thing: the start of the Howarth Park Dirt Crits in santa rosa! These are some of the most fun races in the whole universe. Organized by friends in a local park on a really fun course, close to home, cheap entry fee, a great cheering section which we keep fueled with cold beverages and lots of elbow-to-elbow racing! A lap takes only a few short minutes and the whole race is barely more than half an hour, but the pain makes every second seem unconscionably long, especially when scaling the 100 yards of grinder climb out of the start/finish for what feels like the hundredth time.
Curtis and I loaded up the team tour-bus and rolled out after work this week, accompanied by our friend Will Hudson who’s off of school for one more week and trying to squeeze in all the fun he can. We arrived early, registered (I got the number 1 plate, without even earning it!) and went out for some riding in adjacent Annadel State Park. The trails were in perfect shape and we got to ride a few of our favorite sections before looping back around in time for Curtis and Will’s start. Will tried to get around Curtis all day but the big guy was too strong for him and held the 21-year-old off this week. Good work, Curtis!
The A race was stacked with fast guys looking serious in Nor-Cal jerseys and straddling the latest-and-greatest high-tech Specialized race bikes. There must have been ten of them. I felt a little lonely without east-bay-teammate Jeff on the start line to help me heckle those guys, but then the race started and I forgot all about heckling. Still felt lonely though, as four or five of ’em bolted right out of the gate and I spent the rest of the race pedaling solo, trying in vain to reel them in. The course was in great shape, having been raked clean and tuned up for fast times, and I rode clean laps, driving into the bermed corners on the descents and suffering on the climbs, but those guys didn’t get any closer or further away, they just dangled fifteen seconds off my front tire for lap after lap. My lungs felt like they were going to pop out of my mouth and every lap I dreamt about seeing the lap cards announcing three to go, but there was more penance to pay to the church of the spinning wheel. I went by one racer with a mechanical and gobbled up a couple of lapped riders before rolling across the line, done for the week and ready for restorative burritos and beer at the taqueria down the street. Back over the hill in the dark, laughing and recounting the minutiae of the ride and letting the endorphins wash lazily in and carry me all the way to my bed to dream about doing it again next week…..