Somerset TT

May 10, 2015

As usual I headed up to NJ early this morning for a TT. I had never done the Somerset tt before but it is known as the most technical one around. It is a circuit with about 12 turns, several of them coming on fast descents and onto narrow roads. With some rollers thrown in it is a great course and a lot of fun. Most of the race went well for me and I was keeping a good enough pace that I thought I would easily win. But then my own stupidity, and then another's cost me the race. It was raining and I made the bad decision to use the visor on my helmet. By about half way through it was coated with water and I could barely see. I stupidly tried to rip it off my face while down in aero and the motion of yanking at it while on the aero bars caused my bars to sharply jerk to the right. I almost went down but stayed up, but found myself heading for a curb at about 28 mph. I hopped the curb and wove my way through someone's front yard narrowly avoiding some trees. Went back out onto the course but probably lost a good 10-15 seconds minimum on that mishap. Started working to make up the time and rode the rest of the course fairly aggressively. With 1 k to go I started emptying the tank. There was a junior up the road that I was quickly gaining on. The a car pulled around me, pulled next to the junior and slowed down to his pace for some unknown reason (I think she noticed us and panicked). I became trapped behind her car going at about 20mph. After a few seconds I started screaming at her at the top of my lungs to go (I hope the junior knew I was yelling at her and not at him). So she hit the gas and so did I. Then, as she crossed the finish line (which was only one lane wide) she panicked and jammed on her brakes and came to a complete stop on the line.  I screamed thinking I was going to do a high speed header into her car, then hopped the curb and rode across the finish on the grass. Wound up getting second by 5 seconds, which is upsetting given that if I hadn't ridden this race like a cyclocross race I would have easily won. But that's bike racing, and at least I stayed upright and didn't get DQd for the bad word I yelled at the car as I crossed the line. 

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