Monday, June 16, 2014

WestSide Dirty Benjamin.

I had guessed the WDB would be a dirty, wet one...and was I right!
The drive down was in rain, but once there it had stopped. In fact the ground was dry. But as we stood at the start line a few lone sprinkles could be felt. 

The new start/rollout was a hoot. It had a little of everything. Roads, paths, trails, drainage ditch crossings, mud, sand, and tall grass stands. I managed to keep myself up near the front for most if the start. Once clear of all of the above and on gravel the lead group of riders quickly formed. It was still mostly dry but the clouds were indicating that was about to change. 

Not sure at what mileage it happened but a split of the field occurred and about 12 riders were off the front. I was in the second group and it too had about 12-15 riders. With this course being pretty flat breaks usually don't occur till the first checkpoint. It was also raining pretty good at the point, making drafting less than desirable. Then the wind came!  I bike a lot and bike in a lot but never had I been in wind like that. 
Our group was now down to 4 riders, ironically 3 of us were on single speeds. Maintaining any kind if line was impossible. The wind had control over us. The roads were littered with tree branches and such. But like that it passed and it was done. Just a light rain and nominal wind. 

Almost to the checkpoint our group went from 4 to 3 to 2. One off the back and the geared rider off the front. Before the checkpoint Parker (other SS) and I put in some solid, steady efforts and caught up to 3 riders. At the checkpoint I was in and out in no time. I was no alone. Eventually I saw a rider coming up behind me. I recognized the kit as Corey so I was happy to have him join me by the Luce Line Trail. 
The conditions stayed pretty good. We had moments of rain and eventually the wind picked back up, but nothing like before. Corey (geared) and I just road solid, about 17 mph. Which, for the conditions, was awesome. We picked of a few more riders. 
After suffering through 102nd street we were stoked for the paved home stretch. Despite a headwind and pouring rain. 

We crossed 7th and 8th. I was 8th and 1st SS. Avg was just under 17 mph. 
An gnarly day on the bike...a fun day. 
Thanks WDB Crew!

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