Monday, July 4, 2011

Whole Wheel Fireworks

What an amazing day! Put simply, I would say that this trio performance is unmatched by any other Whole Wheel effort at least this year. (I say that because I've only been here for a few months, but I would contend that we have set the bar a bit higher with today's effort.) As you'll see, having multiple water bottles amongst teammates to share while effectively striking matches to start a blaze can really come in handy - we were feeling the heat!

The corse was relatively flat. There was nothing beyond a few rollers and we were pleasantly surprised at how fast and comfortable we were feeling. Knowing the course profile was the best we could do without being able to actually pre-ride the way (not that we'd want to in this case) and each of us knew just how to drive the front. I believe I can speak for the three of us when I tell you that comfort and efficiency were all in effect on today's ride where teamwork proved a dominant and about hot enough to light a fire.

Chris (Derf), Andrew, and I made quick work of our competitors as we cruised our way up the left side of the road from the get go. I had my means of navigation for most of the way and with their help we made sure our directions were sound and without hinderance as we cruised by without noticing much more, to the effect of course marshaling, than a county sherif's vehicle to our left (good eye, Andrew). Golly, I'll bet he could have written us a fine for how fast we were leaving the rest in smoke behind us! #amirightfellas ? Derf, Andrew, and I each had our time-checks and everything was pointing to better than expected results. However, breaking from the rest was not the most surprising part of the day. It was after we stopped for a nature-break and taking on some food while still ahead of where we thought we would be that had our spirits well intact for the rest of the way.

Yet, not all was to go as planned. I made note of an initial warning sign I was experiencing, but got the optimistic go-ahead nod from my teammates and kept up the pace at the front. I was happy to have reassuring teammates there and though second flare of warning was noted by myself and Andrew, Derf was there to keep us right on schedule and well assured that things were still pointed in the right direction with our heads up and doubts down to not let up as he felt we had more than enough in our favor to take a few risks. That wind screaming by and slight smell of burning we are all accustomed to when we think bike racing with carbon tubulars was nothing to be alarmed about. Unfortunately, as we rounded a corner all we had going for us was up in flames as smoke billowed from under my car's hood and through my air conditioning vents.
Andrew's photo here shows Derf all about the fireworks display and me not digging it so much, but it was a good time for sure!

That might have to be the last drive my '03 Toyota Camry can give and though I was hoping/expecting that stubborn vehicle to last me to settling down with a family and a swap for a true yuppie vehicle after running out in a blaze of glory a few years down the road, I could not have asked for a better day (July 4th) or teammates for it to catch fire with. Teamwork really showed its forte as the three of us quickly shared those aforementioned water bottles to extinguish the fires and cool the engine after popping that hood. After pouring those bottles to my engine's content, our thoughts were quickly slapped our bikes as we had them off the rear rack and at a safe distance as we waited for the various tow-trucks and the ride back to NoVa. All is well aside from my car and I will know the extent of the disaster, at the earliest, after work tomorrow. And though the bikes collectively were worth more than that Camry from the start, I believe I can easily place my bike as my most valuable (for the $) vehicle.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoy your 4th fireworks as much as we did earlier today (planned and sparkly or otherwise).

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