Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Iron Horse Classic, Hours 25-60

With no racing to do on Saturday, and the food-coma quickly wearing off as restlessness creept in, we started to look for things to do. By noon, the weather was starting to clear up enough that we were able to sneak out for a ride with Doug Manno and his gang from HART. It was gloomy, humid and you still needed most of the clothes from the bike bag, but we only had to dodge a few bits of rain and snow along the way. We went out to check out the TT course, which definitely looked like it was going to be both fun, and painful. It was a relief to get out and stretch the legs a bit, I wouldn't have wanted to see what they would have felt like on Sunday going into it without at least some proper riding.

After riding we hit up the swimming pool and hot tub at the hotel for some recreation. Then it was off to town for some "sight-seeing", and of course, by that, I mean "people-watching"! After some meandering along the streets of Durango, and checking out the local housing market in the windows of the realtors, we set-up camp at Steamworks Brewery. It was the least we could do, as they had gone to the trouble of creating a special Face-Plant Ale, sold with a commemorative pint-glass just for the Iron Horse event. It was actually a very tasty beer, so several were had. We also met up with Seth's friend, and local Durango resident, who took up the duties of our personal tour guide.

Though we didn't need a guide to point out people worthy of watching... yes, that is his real hair;

After that, we returned (without being chased out of town mind you) to our hotel. It was a cool night still, and we had another fire log to burn, given that our room was graciously appointed with a real working fireplace. If there is one thing I believe in, it's using as many amenities at your hotel as possible. I mean otherwise, you are just throwing away your money! Our crackling fire log made from recycled coffee beans was quite a performer!

Sunday morning we had a long wait for our crit, since it wasn't scheduled until 5.30pm. At least the weather was world's better. So we decided to take in some tourist-activities. The Durango to Silverton narrow gauge train seemed a lot smaller than what I remembered;

Oh wait... there is the real one...

We took in the 30+ and 35+ criterium races in town, and then did some more exploring, including a stop at the train station. Jessica was overjoyed;

After another nap, it was finally time for our race. I know all three of us were sick of waiting around for it (you're a real trooper Jessica!). The race was fast right from the gun as expected, and quite "argey-bargey" with guys pushing and shoving for every spot. The course was pretty fun, with a short power hill, bunches of turns, and incredible turnout as far as the fans go. The entire finishing straight and the climb were completely lined with boisterous fans. And there were plenty of groups along the rest of the course as well.

After settling in for a couple laps, I was feeling better and I was able to cover a couple moves, tried to get some other rolling, and did a fair amount of work to keep things together and countering moves from others. Finally I did one yank too many, but at least it was a pretty "angry" one, and regrouped some dangerous individuals, before I cracked. My crack was just a couple seconds too long, which allowed a gap to open, and I had to chase for a bit, but finally gave up the chase, and called it a day with just a few laps to go.

Sorry for the blur... I must have been going too fast... (sarcasm intended)

Joey went with a late move, giving the team a 5th place finish in a group of solid bike-gamers.

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