Monday, September 20, 2010

Seward Park Season Ender

[this race was 8/29/2010, still catching up]

I've been racing at Seward on Thursdays all year, about 15 times in total this year I think. The 6 PM race is a Cat 3/4's race, so it's pretty competitive. But it's only 45 minutes so not a super long race. Today [8/29] was a Cat 3-only race, 60 minutes long.

The rumor was that last year they had a $5 prime every lap, which would be... interesting. Then I heard $1 per lap, which would still make the race pretty fast, and also hopefully burn out a lot of contenders for the finish. Turns out we just had the usual 3-4 primes, I was kind of glad they didn't do the prime-per-lap thing.

The Race

Not a very big crowd, as it turns out not everyone actually like racing at Seward?! This was seriously news to me that some in the local peloton think Seward is 'boring', 'sucks', etc - don't tell anyone, but my theory is they happen to 'suck' at racing Seward..

So with only 34 riders in the pack we set off. Some people spectating, and the announcer was calling out prime winners and stuff. And of course bad music blaring that I never hear during the race, luckily.

There were attacks, of course, but I've never seen a break actually stick at Seward in the 3's or 4's, so I wasn't too concerned. Though I should have been concerned, since I'd heard they have in the past and indeed that was what happened this time around too.

Eric on my team set off some initial attacks, as usual, but was brought back every time. A WWU guy (turns out he's actually Bikesale?) went off the front and never came back, I don't even remember him sneaking away!

Before too long there were 3-4 off the front, with up to a 45-second lead on us. Not wanting to sprint for 4th I tried to bridge once, towards the end of the race, but it was all for not. The closest we got was about 25 seconds, if only we had more time we could have brought them back.

Fast forward to the last few laps, and I'm sitting on the front trying to chase. Since I didn't know WWU guy was actually Bikesale (so I heard) it makes sense none of the Bikesale guys wanted to chase. And everyone else seemed content to let me do the work..

On the last lap were shifting positions and I rode up next to Josh, a strong team mate, and said, "Let's go!", as in, get on my wheel, I'll lead you to the final sprint. But he said, "No man, I don't have it today.." OK. Plan B. Me.

My team mate Mike was up there too (he always is, super strong), and he had me on his wheel, heading for the front of the pack. We came down the hill, and as we came up the backside he was leading me up the right side of the pack.

In a split second he was squeezed to the outside/left, along with 3-4 other riders, and this gave me a small hole to shoot through. And shot through it I did..

In the sprint for the 140-degree turn, I came into it so damn fast I almost hit the curb on exit! But I came out of it in 4th, and spun hard as I could to hold it. At first scared people were about to come around, but then confident I had it.

My first top 5 in the 3s! More importantly my first Cat 3 points! Two down, 23 to go!! Huge thanks to the team for riding great as usual, and for a bunch of other cat 3 racers for coming out to have fun in the sun.

The sprint for 4th:

More photos on

A great video of the race can be found on vimeo.

Unfortunately this meant the end of the season for me, as cross is too..... obscure for me at this point. It's all about road for me!

Though cross is entertaining to watch, that's for sure. We went out to Starcrossed this weekend and Kira got some great shots of a bunch of the 3-4 PM racers.

1 comment:

Mars Girl said...

I'm so happy that I know where this park is now. I rode the road loop where the race goes on my last day in Seattle. I was staying at the College Inn in the university so I just kind of spent my last afternoon riding around Montlake and such. I took that I-90 bridge bike path to Mercer Island just to say I did. It's kind of a novelty to an Ohioan to have a bike lane along a highway like that.

Btw, I was REALLY IMPRESSED by the bike-ability of Seattle. I've never felt so comfortable on the road in a big city like that. It was like heaven. I'm sure there's still idiot drivers... but you should try the midwest sometime... Love your hills!!