Project 5 Racing

Memorial Day Week-end

A few P5′s headed out to Iowa for the Memorial Day Week-end.

Snake Alley: Q lit up the start of the Men’s 4′s with some screaming laps up the snake giving him quite a lead ahead of the other racers. Once he settled his pace down a bit, the pack did catch up. Q finished a strong 14th on his first venture to snake alley. He’ll be back for sure to take on this course again.

For the women’s race, Ginger and I started our warm-up with a lap of the course. I quickly found out that I was not able to get into my largest cog in the back. That’s when the awesomeness of this racing community came through again for me. I saw Morgan, told her of my issue, and called in the cavalry…Shawn and Jerel, Leah, Mia, and Josh. With quick work, my ride was fixed, ready to roll. Whew! Thanks to you all!

Ginger and I rolled to the start. 50 or more at the line. Only knew a couple handful – wierd compared to racing at home. With racers called up by number, I was on the front, Ginger was at the back – like, you couldn’t get any further back. Heading off the start line, Amanda Miller and others shot off hard and fast. I steadied myself to race within myself and not be enticed by the pack. Man that is hard. Butt in seat up the snake – 1 down, shift, drink, coast, shift, snake 2, and so on. Steady, steady, steady…Cheering was fantastic. The cavalry was spread across the snake from bottom to top cheering for the full Chicago crowd. It’s great to hear shouts for yourself as well as others you know – means we’re all still in it! Starting at the back, Ginger was successfully working her way through the many racers in front of her, passing 4 or 5 each lap. Sure and steady – that’s a good strategy. At the Snake, though, the officials pulled racers very early on – maybe to keep the course more clear for a charging Amanda Miller? And she was charging. I had the pleasure of watching her float up the snake after she flew past me. Pretty cool.

Melon City: A new morning, sun still shining, we headed to the nearby Weed Park in Muscatine. After Snake, you think just about any other climb is nothing – and that is a huge mistake. The climb in this crit will eat at your legs. Yes, you enjoy the descent on the backside and get a bit of a thrill with the speedbump – but then there is the climb – again. J’s Women’ 4′s went off earliest. She toughed it out well, beating the girls in her pack at the finish line. Shawn raced the Men’s 4′s. Ginger and I lined up for the women’s open a bit later in the day. After a few laps, we were both off the back. Ginger caught on the pack again and finished strong. I limped across the line a bit beaten up. After the race, a quick hop in a local fountain to cool off was refreshing! Back at the race park, hanging out watching the Cat 3 and P/1/2 races at the tight turn before the finish was fun.

Quad Cities: Clock-wise figure 8 - lots of manhole covers at the turns. Throw a little rain on the situation and it creates a slick course. Ginger and I had the first race for P5, Women’s 2/3. I again was on the front line for the start with Ginger near the back. Goal for me was to stay near the front. Attacks occurred on the rise coming out of turn 6. At turn 7, the symphony of carbon and aluminum hitting pavement started. Each lap the percussion section came to life at turn 7. Ginger got caught behind a couple of those crashes – but stayed upright. After a few laps, a break representing each of the major teams got away. No chasing today, just survive. On the final lap, turn 7, the racer in front of me went down. I managed to stay upright and finish. Fun course, though – would love to give it another go on a dry day. Great to hear how Kristen Meshberg fought her way to a win later in the day in the open! Jerel’s Women’s 4 race was next. J stuck with the pack, held her position consistently, and finished strong. Fantastic job! Shawn’s 4′s race was exciting. Shawn jumped out and led the race for a couple laps early on. Then he settled into a good position 3rd or 4th wheel back. Then he disappeared – what?! Darn flat tire – and the mechanic’s mangled attempt to swap it out had Shawn chasing to get back on the pack after his free lap went by him. Good to see him show up in the race again – but unfortunate situation. Next year!

Great week-end – congrats to all who raced.


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