Report by Ellis Kim
I arrived at the venue around 10.30am. But i still had to find my bike and clothing which traveled from Philadelphia whereas I traveled from New York City. After a few minutes, we were reunited, and after a few minutes in the visiting team's locker room, I stepped outside to find out that I missed that small window between races to pre-ride. Oh well, looks like i'll get in one lap before my race. After some road riding with old and new friends, I got my lap in, but unfortunately it wasn't at race pace. This may have proved signficant, but not in a good way. Despite my relatively good starting position, 3rd or 4th row (I can't recall) due to my early pre-reg, I lost at least a dozen spots from the start. Maybe I'm not aggressive enough, maybe it was the wedding the night before. Also, i gave a few taps of my presta valves before the gun to drop a little air from my ~40psi tires. This would prove especially significant. At the apex of the first tight, semi-off camber, my rear wheel slides. To say the least, I was having trouble holding lines all race, even more than usual!! This led to me racing very conservative through turns and the loose stuff, so for about 85% of the race, I feathered more speed going into turns more than most while also taking VERY wide lines. Fortunately, i only went down twice!! Ryan passed me relatively early on, but he went down a few times too. Next time we should make sure to work together better since I think our strengths may compliment each other well (his sarcasm with my deadpan humor, unbeatable!). Also, beyond the two sets of barriers, there was no need for running, so no chance for me to work my bread-and-butter :( Anyway, my race ended up being sloppy/slow through the turns, with strong accelerations on the straights. Unfortunately, there were a lot more turns than straights on this course.
After finishing, and moping, I went for a cooldown ride on the road. As I began inflating my tires, it turned out that my rear was at, if not below 30PSI!! I prefer to race on 40psi! A young rider from my alma mater claimed that 30 PSI is what he uses, but then again, he's 135 lbs whereas I'm 190...
Next up, Hill Billy Hustle!