Monday, April 9, 2012



This collegiate season has not been terribly kind to me so far, unless you think of it as some sort of serious tough love!

What it has been is a learning experience.

So far I've overcome an ankle injury, started collegiate competition in a higher category than the normal pathway (category C as opposed to D), sorted out some major electrolyte issues, and survived a few close calls with crashes/nasty pack dynamics.

This weekend I crashed out on the final switchback of a moderately long descent at the Lux et Velocitas circuit race. I was able to pedal through all of the previous switchbacks, and was trying to close a small gap in the pack. When I approached the final switchback (which was a tighter near 180, off-cant turn than the previous few) the marshal started yelling "inside! too fast!". Once in that kind of turn it is too late to brake. I apexed it, had my line, thought I was going to make it through... and then I felt my rear wheel lose traction just as I was coming out of the apex. Then I was down and sliding through the turn and across the road.

At some point I tried to get my bike off of me, only to have it come back to me and catch my right leg through the left side of my frame triangle. The bike and I ended up tangled in a bush, on the guard rail off the side of the road. The next thing I knew I was being disentangled from my bike and stood up by about 6 people. And, my problem right ankle didn't want to bear weight.

For what it was, I have amazingly few injuries. Just some road rash and a newly achey right ankle.

I rode the criterium the next day, finishing with a group but second to last. I started at the front of the pack (second wheel) for the first half of the race, until stomping on my pedals to stick with a surge and feeling my ankle twinge in a bad way. After that, I reduced my gearing so as not to increase any injuries by over torquing my ankle. But, I'd be damned if I was going to DNF (did not finish) two races in one weekend, so I continued on - hoping for a mercy pull from the race by the officials (it counts as finishing if you are pulled by officials). I was practically - no, litterally- begging to be pulled every time I came around the lap line: pointing to my ankle, making various mercy and please kill me now signs, and finally shaking my ankle at them. This got a lot of laughs from the crowd, and gained me a cheering section because it was clear what was going on - that I was refusing to DNF the race despite serious pain- but did not get me pulled. The race officials even said "Travis, we are not going to pull you!".

But, all in all, it was still a fun weekend despite the crash and the miserable criterium finish.

I am sore today. But looking forward to the beginning of the local crit series starting tomorrow evening!

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