Fire in the gut

That’s even better than a stomach full of anger.

So awhile back, I did the post on Tour of Utah… Yeah, that’s not happening. Even though I had the Eye of the Tiger and everything. My form isn’t bad, I’d give myself a shot at winning most any local race, but trying to do six days of pro racing is a bit unrealistic atm.  I will be bummed when the race is on for sure, but for today… things are good. Really good.

Not that I’ve been miserable, because I’ll be the first to say I’ve got a great thing going on…but for the first time in a long time, a few things that I’ve been working on look to be coming to fruition. Change is in the wind. And I feel a bit more like myself all of sudden.

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Stomach Full of Anger

Alarm bells rang in my head as I looked at the flyer for today’s local road race. $40 entry fee, $495 pay out. Oh, p.s.- $15 day of fee. It was worse if you were in any of the other categories- $37 (plus late fee if you are a slacker) and no pay-out. No, I don’t race for money… That said, I don’t race to lose money either, whether it’s my own or from the team account.

Probably should have gone with the gut and ridden the Alpine Loop and then hung out with the family, but you know, you’re a bike racer, you want to race.

On the start line, the alarms got louder. Actual instructions from the officials “they were not allowed to paint the roads (?), so hopefully some of you remember the course and can help direct others”.  Later, “They could not get a permit unless they said you would ride single file, so if you see police you might want to keep that in mind”… Maybe it’s best to not get a permit then since a bike race involves a fair amount of non-single file riding?  Please note, I am not blaming the officials… their job is to score the race and as far as I can tell they did a fine job.

So, we start and everyone is joking about it, but you know, I left my wife and kids behind to go race and I want to race, so I attack.  Oh, I should add in, we had no lead vehicle and we went through at least two stop signs with no corner marshall of any sort.  Not safe!  Anyway, I get a decent gap and am out of sight of the field.  I come upon a turn and am waved the wrong direction by a volunteer (not blaming improperly trained volunteer either!).  I go about 4.5 miles the wrong direction before a teammate who was out supporting drove up next to me and gave me the news.  I flip a U and motorpace back up and find the group has waited for me.  This was not required by officials, but was simply a very sporting gesture, which I appreciate immensely. I was tempted to just ride back into town and ask for a refund, but since I was back in the race I rode it out.

Blah, blah, blah, there was a race and the winner certainly deserved to win. 

I have tried really hard to see things from all angles and not be a whiny bike racer. I do support people who put on races.  And I understand, it’s not easy. I didn’t write this just to bitch. I had a conversation with a former teammate the other day and the conclusion was simple.  I am getting older.  I don’t HAVE to race every weekend.  I love racing, but I am going to be a little choosier with which races to do.  I realize that everyone is trying to promote a quality event, but I can’t help feeling a bit done over with basic safety concerns unmet, lack of course marking/marshalls, and disproportionate entry fee to pay-out.

Tooting My Own Horn

And not in my usual fart-y manner.

The local paper in Idaho Falls (Post Register) gave us a nice write up on the AB Memorial Crit… It’s a pay site, so the author (Zach Kyle) was kind enough to send me the plain text.

Allan Butler’s former teammate returns to criterium                                                                                                                                                                 Ryan Barrett has competed in the Allan Butler Memorial Criterium each year, winning it twice and taking second Saturday.

For cyclist Ryan Barrett, the Allan Butler Memorial Twilight Criterium is the most important race of the year.

Barrett, who was pro rider Allan Butler’s teammate when the Idaho Falls native was struck and killed by a Las Vegas taxi in 2005, has participated in the criterium in each of the four years the race’s inception.

“It’s really important to me to do the race, to see his daughter, to see the family is well and keep those connections,” the 33-year-old Provo rider said. “It means the world to me.”

As a tribute to Butler, Barrett has dominated the criterium, winning the most competitive men’s category the past two years, and working in tandem with Barbacoa-Mi Duole cycling teammate Dustin Eskelson to hold off the pack again this year.

The criterium knifes in 90-degree turns through the blocks of downtown Idaho Falls.

Eskelson, 21 of Ogden, Utah, saw his teammate “Turbo” make a move in the hectic first turn and closed space to join him. From there, the tandem worked its advantage to fend off the pack for the rest of the 60-minute race.

“There was a gap, and as soon as I went around that corner in the backside, I turned across it,” Eskelson said. “Turbo and I just drilled it and held it the whole time.”

Eskelson and Barrett broke from the pack. A lone rider, Daniel Bechtold of Boise, kept pace for 40 minutes before falling behind.

Eskelson and Barrett lapped the group but remained in the front of the pack for the remainder of the race.

Bechtold rode by himself for 20 minutes to finish third.

With the win in hand and his teammate holding the lead, Barrett turned to Eskelson with five laps to go and signaled he wouldn’t risk a crash to try to pass Eskelson.

“He was pretty cool with it,” Eskelson said. “It’s my first win of the season, so I’m pretty stoked.”

After winning, Eskelson accepted the microphone from the race emcee and said he was happy to win and wouldn’t mind if somebody bought him a beer.

Barrett chatted happily with the other racers with a grin stretched across his face. They will split the $650 prize and get to race today at the Jackson Hole Downtown Criterium.

Barrett said he misses his old teammate Butler but is proud of his current running partner.

“I don’t want to sound like I gave it to him,” Barrett said. “He earned it. But the way it shook down, I told him, ‘Hey, this is all you. Don’t get caught up in the group. We don’t want to crash or anything.'”

Snake River Omnium

I’ll do a real post on it soon, just kinda wiped out tonight… Not surprisingly. Short version, the weekend was awesome. Dustin crushed it and won the AB Crit, the Downtown Jackson Crit, and the Snake River Omnium. I was 2nd in all three, so yeah, pretty successful weekend!!

Kelly has all the family stuff, which was great too… Except for the drive home!!

Dustin posting it.

Some old guy. “Check, please”

They were tearing stuff down and moved the podium under this thing, but we tried to get a pic all the same. Nice undies!!

AB Crit Tomorrow

Yaaaahhh!! Good stuff from back in the day.  The pic is small, so you can’t see our packages so much.  Green shorts, maybe not the best choice.

Anyway, yeah, we just got in from CA night before last, but hey, gotta throw down for my man AB, so we are loading up the wagon once more.  And you know, there’s a kids’ race, so we might as well get the girls started early. Super amped.  Gotta give it up to Kelly for her willingness to get back in the wagon so soon.  The event is important to her too, though.

Pretty psyched about Jackson the following day as well as I’ve never been there.  Wish it was a little earlier though as we won’t make it home until quite late on Sunday night and then, ya know, back to the grind-er.

Now that I think about it, I could have my own mini-Super week by doing AB Crit Sat, Jackson Crit Sun, UVU Crit Mon, RMR Tues, DMV Wed… Not that I would, but you could.

Kelly did a great post on vay-cay, so I don’t have to.

It turns out LA has a traffic problem…

Got keep this short, but um, yeah, way too many people on the roads around here.  The drive in was good, save the last hour or two when we were pretty much all “at full capacity”.  That said, overall the kids did great.  Since then, I’ve done a couple bike rides, took the girls to the beach, and a park and generaly hung out quite a bit.  Nothing too unusual, I s’pose. It’s been overcast at the beach, June gloom. 

For the unitiated, June gloom is what Baywatch and those governator “come to Qwal-ee-for-nya” ads don’t want you to know about and basically involves overcast conditions by the beach… and last about 9 months out of the year, despite the name.  Maybe not quite, but it’s not all hot days running in slo-mo on the sand, either. And the water is always cold.

And despite all this, I am a big fan.  I could probably live here again.  If I made a bundle of money.

More hot road tripping action

Loading up the family wagon and busting tail across the desert tomorrow for the land of fruits and nuts.  Hopefully, we’ll avoid this scenario.

Pretty psyched to get back to the beach. Still feels very homey there after all this time. Speaking of homies, I mean, homey, we went and looked at a couple houses tonight.  Yeah, we are back on that again…

I guess I should pack or something… this involves a 5:1 ratio of chamois’ to civies, for the record.