Monday, August 08, 2005

2005, Aug. 7th Taipei Pingling XC Race

This was the second race for the RM (Rocky Mountain) part of the Bianchi RM Cycling team. The race started in the afternoon, about an hour after the organizers said it would start. This misunderstanding lead to Fraser doing his best to imitate a rally racer, much to the consternation of the passengers in the car. Annie repeatedly asked about the missing seatbelts.

Pic. 1 Beefcake prepares for the race by sitting with his dog. The lack of lucky headband would prove disastrous.

It was also a concern for team organiser JoAnne that half of the riders were not at the start area, nor could she reach them by phone. Eventually everyone arrived safely and got in a good warmup.

It was looking like it was going to rain but the rain held off for the race. This was not necessarily a blessing becuase the humidity must have been approaching 98% with no wind. These conditions made the race somewhat uncomfortable.

The organiser decided that the first lap
would be a neutral lap and it was lead by a rider with sandals on a Giant carbon fibre bike. You can see him on the start line in the picture on the right. The race started well with Beefcake and Fraser shooting off the front. Ricecake and Tim (who was riding his beautiful new Rocky Mountain) followed closely behind.

Pic. 2 Tim is more intersted in the sights than the race. Beefcake prepares for the pain. Ricecake hides at the back. Fraser decides he wants to ride helmetless.

Eric started to have problems with his shifting on the first lap but still managed to lead onto the second lap. From there on the eight remaining laps of suffereing were all that was left before the happiness of finishing. Fraser managed to take the lead from Beefcake and never looked back. Beefcake suffered greatly with no granny gear and was, at times, forced to push his bike up the steep hill.

Ricecake was not used to the helmet covers and the heat that they trap. He was riding well until he got heatstroke and had to withdraw. He mentioned that his head was going to explode. Note to Taiwanese race officials: The helmet covers are too hot. Give us 2 jersey numbers and one for the bike in XC races. Road racers should have helmet stickers and jersey numbers.

Pic. 3 Tim flies across the lumpy pavement on his brand new ride.

The race sorted out on the steep climb. A few riders were forced to push their bikes while most just suffered in their smallest gear. The suffereing was made worse by the brutal humidity. By the end of the race it look as though the racers had stopped for a quick swim in the nearby river. Fraser won the race, Beefcake squeezed out a third place and time took home a check for fourth.

Pic. 4 A determined Beefcake with his usual, unusual, flat back riding style.

Overall the race was quite a success. The course was pretty tough due to the climb and fun descent. Now we just have to get that skinny Tim out training on a roadbike. He has the perfect figure to win some hill climb races.

Pic. 5 The winners on the "podium" with checks in hand. Notice the pink headband and the 1000 yard stare.


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