February 2, 2009

Stupor Speed Race

My Speed Race Recap

This year's Stupor Bowl speed race was huge. In total 24 stops.
The race started at Kenwood Park (the organizer's keep the start location a secret until it's time to gather and start the race) and right up until start time the route was still in debate. Having found no good way to route the course that didn't involve doubling back we decided to clear out uptown first then head cross town for the long haul to the Sunrise.

The start took place on a snowy hill which meant we had soaked our shoes before the race even began, it was 42 degrees out and the streets were all wet. We ran down the hill and I was second on my bike, Austin was first to the bikes and was in front of me by about 20 feet as we climbed the first hill. The first stop was Mortimer's, after which we busted ass down Lyndale to Loring Park and the 19 Bar. The next stop was CC Club where I was first to the bikes. We were side by side going into CRC and back tracked to Lake Street, ran into heavy oncoming traffic on Lake and after mistaking Carna at the boat docks for the stop, made it to the Dude's Fishing.

Next was Al's in Saint Louis Park and to the sledding hill. Up until this point Austin was riding about 10 feet to a half block ahead of me. I tried to catch his wheel but the wet roads meant I got a spray in the face anytime I got close enough to gain any aerodynamic advantage. At the sledding hill you could either ride your bike down (mine was at the road) or wait for a sled, Austin was just going down the hill ahead of me, so I ran down the hill until I could jump on the back of his sled(there was no way I could afford to wait for a sled and I was way too tired to run back to my bike). As I ran back up the hill my legs were on fire (I'm no runner) but once I was back on the bike, I started to feel much better. We took the Southside around Lake Harriet and caught 42nd street across town, I rode with Austin for most of it but it was clear that he was running faster and stronger than I.

By the time we hit Hiawatha he had put at least a block on me and was out the door of the Sunrise as I was pulling up. He headed down Hiawatha and I crossed to Minnehaha. Their was a fierce headwind on Minnehaha and I was suffering like a bastard, my legs were dead and progress was slow, and I thought about heading home and getting some warm clothes (the Hex is in my hood). Austin popped onto Minnehaha about three blocks up, but by the time we crossed Lake ST I couldn't see him anymore, and he had come and gone by the time I reached the Hexagon.

We had routed together and I knew there was no way I could beat him if we continued to ride the same route. He was just plain faster than me. The dude's a monster and likely the fastest alleycat racer on the planet, he's got two national championships, and was without a doubt the fastest thing on the streets this weekend. I decided to pickup the T-Rock and Palmers on my way to Grumpy's DT, Austin was arriving at Grumpy's as I was leaving and he yelled "What stops have you got?" I had no breath or time to answer as I headed for Huberts. At this point I figured I still had a shot at the win, as I knew he didn't have Palmers (across from the finish line) yet.

I knocked out Huberts and made a decision to get Mckenzies then Nick's then back downtown. The original plan was to get Hubert's, 1X1, Luce, Mckenzie's, then Nick's and cross to North East from North. I wasn't sure of the route from North to NE and didn't want to risk getting lost and blowing it all. I stuck with the sure thing, but definitely lost a boat load of time. So from Mckenzie's I went to Nick's, then Luce, and One on One. I crossed the river at Plymouth and hit University to Behind Bars. I asked if they'd seen Austin, and they said they hadn't. I still had a chance.

On the way to Stasiu's I passed Austin going the opposite way. As I came back from Stasiu's on University he popped onto Uni with about four blocks on me. Knowing that I had Palmer's and he didn't, I knew I could still win it all. Unfortunately for me I didn't take the best route to the Spring Street and had to go around the block at Bulldog NE. I crossed paths with Austin as I was making my way over 35W on 4th st headed to Varsity. He was turning onto Cedar and I knew he had it. I picked up the Varsity and crossed the river back to the Nomad for the finish.

I came in second and I feel great about it. I made some mistakes, but I absolutely rode my heart out and gave it everything I had. There were several times when I wanted to quit and give up and go home. It was perhaps the longest hardest race I've ever done. It was warm out, but the wind was vicious, I was soaked, and muddy and sore. I finished second to a world class racer, had a ton of fun (in hindsight), and achieved my goal of a podium finish.

Much love to Austin, for riding a phenomenal race and being the first in several years from out of town to take home the top prize. You're a fucking monster on that bike and I have no trouble saying that you were the strongest rider in that 400 rider field.

To Skinny and Leif: Thank so much for the awesome course, the great party, and allowing Bike Jerks to sponsor this event. It was awesome and as always I feel priveleged to have been a part of it.

7 comments:

boojit said...

Thanks for the great recap. Really enjoyed reading it and comparing your route to my own.

Huge congrats on the win -- that is a massive accomplishment and you should be proud.

ViciousG42 said...

kick ass. that was a lot of fun, despite my heart attack and chain breakage, and veldys getting hit by a car. lol.

Prolly said...

BOOOOM that's 2 out of the 3 big Winter alleycats for Horse. Will he win Monstertrack too? STAY TUNED!

Ed said...

There is only two ways he won't.

Its Me...VINCE!!! said...

YOU'RE A BEAST JEFF!!!
#1 in humans...austin is not human...

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