Thursday, May 30, 2013

PIR ITT #2 - Epic Fail

The second race in the two race ITT series held at PIR took place on Memorial Day. Leading up to the race, the weather had been spotty, but all weekend had been dry. Upon waking up on Memorial Day and looking outside ... it was wet. The closer the start time to the race, the wetter it seemed to get with a consistent rain taking place up to the start time of the race.

Driving out to the track I questioned my sanity racing in conditions like this. I'm guessing some auto racing took place during the weekend, which likely put some oil on the track, which the rain brought up during our races.

Riding around before my start, I could tell conditions on the track would be sketchy since my bike already felt like it was sliding around a little and I wasn't even going that fast.

At the start of the race, things felt ... OK ... I was hitting speeds around 28-29 mph down the front straight into a head wind. Around the first corner I could feel my bike moving around a little but overall it wasn't too bad. My though was to go really hard on the straights and easy through the corners. Down the back straight we had a tailwind and it was easy to get up into the 30+ mph range before the 110 degree hairpin turn. My first trip through the corner took place around 26 mph and again, it felt sketchy as did the following two corners.

Down the front straight again I was a little slower, hitting more wind down the straight. This helped through the first corner as I wasn't going as fast.

Down the back straight I picked up more speed than the first time and came up on two racers just before the hairpin corner. The combination of passing riders and having a tail wind made me think I was going slower than I actually was. I entered the corner at over 30 mph and about 2/3 of the way through the corner the front wheel went out from under me at 31.8 mph (according to my Garmin).

When I hit the deck I rolled over onto my back and must have slid for a good 40 feet ... long enough that I could look back at the riders I passed and give out a loud "Woooo" as I kept sliding.

When I got up, my chain had fallen off and it was taking too long to get back on, so I walked to the side of the track out of the way of other racers. Once moving, my chain kept catching when I would coast making it difficult to continue. I made it through the corners and pulled in for a DNF since I didn't see any point in continuing.

Assessing my bike and body after the crash ... I had a minor scrape on my left elbow and very, very minor road rash on my left hip. My bike had scraped up left brake lever, base bar and skewer. I ended up replacing the brake levers and using nail polish on my base bars to make sure the exposed carbon didn't have issues. The rear skewer is toast though, but that's OK since it was the cheapest part to get damaged.

Overall both myself and my bike made it out very well for a crash at over 30 mph.

Next race up is the State Championship TTT, which I'm really looking forward to. The long term forecast only reaches to the day before, but it's looking really good so far with dry weather and warming over the next 10 days.