What's Cool In Road Cycling

Pewaukee Meltdown: In The Gutter

Holy hell. Kaboom. Wires fritzing out, the screen on your television going awry, the lights on the dashboard of your car dimming with all due haste and expediency all at once. Your legs checking out at minute 25 of a 45 minute criterium. That’s what happened today, in the same darn enemy territory known as Wisconsin.

The little known Pewaukee Cirterium, (I am not sure if Pewaukee means “little Milwaukee”, but it’s right outside the city) held by IS Corp, was the staging area for the latest excursion in pain and suffering. A typical midwest industrial park crit, complete with huge homogenous corrugated steel buildings, and various entrances to said buildings. The ref warned us at the start line “There is one company moving this Sunday, so be careful to watch out for trucks coming and going.” Great, a crit, which will no doubt be fast, is to be complicated by vehicular traffic. Perfect. Luckily that never came to pass, although I’ll admit to afterwards having felt like a truck hit me.

The day before, some teammates and I did the 50 mile run up to Lake Geneva and back, and despite pleas of “Let’s not make this too fast of a ride”, it of course boiled down to a death slog. Sure, it was tempo work, but we went a heck of a lot faster than we wanted to. I paid for it the next day.

Finally, some good warm summer weather had blessed us this Sunday, and it was nice to race in the heat again. However, the 40lb bags of sand put in my legs from the day before made me a short term player in this one. I did my job, stayed near the front and protected my guys (including the surrogate Andy, who’s teammates couldn’t make it due to Fathers’ Day) and when I saw the gap starting in front of my wheel, I did a quick attendance check. Yup, two of my guys are ahead with a group of 12 or so, my legs are starting to threaten me with a divorce, I’m letting this go. I acted like I was pedaling balls, then kind of sat up and looked over each shoulder as if to say “that’s it, who’s next?” The folks behind me were none too pleased, but I had done my job, and let an insurmountable gap form. Job done, head for the time clock. When the lights went out in my legs, they went out in a hurry, and I was soon passed by my other teammate in the race, and just about everybody else for that matter, while I soft pedaled to the start/finish area to find some shade under which to specate from. There was no sense going deep into the pain cave to hang in and take 30th or something, so I called it a day.

Just another day in the life of an amatuer domestic.


About Dave:
DOB: 6/5/71
Residence: Just outside Chicago, Illinois, USA
Category: USCF Road 4
Teams: Project 5 and Evil Cycling
Why I Love Cycling: “Nothing on the planet can hurt me more than my bike.”
Fave Cycling Moment: “Anytime I sit down and trance in front of ‘A Sunday In Hell'”.
Favorite rides: “Any criterium, anyplace, anytime, and of course, Ragbrai.”

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