Frustrating & Sad End To My Season

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Photos by David Ford

This was it. I’d started my season of training in February and seven months later I was ready. All year I’ve been thinking about two races. The first being the Bloomington Criterium and the second being Chequamegon 40. This past Saturday I rolled up to the start line of the criterium, which happen to be the 2016 Illinois State Championship. I felt good in the hours leading up to the race and even better as the race went on. I was riding smart. I could stay with the attacks and sat in where it made sense. I stayed in between third and fifth conserving energy and watching for breaks that may stick. I was riding well physically and mentally. About 30 minutes into our 40 minute race we were going around turn six as we’d done so many times…

Then it happen.

At first I was confused. I knew what had happen, I was laying on the tarmac watching people run into me and my bike, hearing the horrible sound of carbon and metal scraping the ground at speed and bodies desperately looking for hope in chaos. In the apex of the turn at about 25 miles per hour my front tire went flat. I felt my tire not hold the angle and turn I’d asked it too. I knew in the split second before I hit the ground my front tire was flat and then I heard the rim hit the road followed by my body. I say I was confused because it didn’t feel real. I’ve crashed on the dirt plenty but until that moment, I’d never crashed on the road. I’ve thought about it, hoped I’d never know first hand what it was like, but I found my mind realizing that I was living in a moment, I’d spent so much time hoping to avoid. I couldn’t believe it happen.

When my front tire went flat, it didn’t feel normal or right. Something felt off. I walked to where my team was at, sat down and was trying to come to terms with what happen. My wife who is a nurse was tending to my wounds and my good friends that own my local bike shop were right there making sure I had everything I needed and was alright.

Then I heard about the tacks. People were finding tacks on the course. Handfuls of tacks. To be clear, my race was the third of the day on the course and no one from the previous races had any tacks or flat issues. The Sram neutral support found something like 15 tacks in tires from my race (cat 4), my teammate alone had three tacks in his rear tire. My rear tire still has a tack in it. To me the abundance of tacks in tires in the cat 4 race but none in tires from the previous hours of race course use makes it probable someone threw tacks on the course after the cat 5 race but before the cat 4 race.

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This next image is a little graphic, sorry if it makes you squeamish. My hands are just one part of my body with skin missing now. My left hand is pretty bad. My elbows, my left hip, thigh, knee, shin, and both ankles. My right shoulder. My chin.

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Here’s a video of the crash. It happen so fast and from my perspective out of nowhere.

Video by Patrick Murphy

I still don’t know how I feel about all of this. I’m typing this with bandages all over my body and hands. My body is banged up, my bike is pretty bad, and my season is either over or will have a different ending than I would have had if someone hadn’t decided to throw tacks on the race course. A frustrating and sad end to my season.

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2016 Cobb Park Criterium

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I raced a back to back crit weekend with Glencoe Grand Prix and Cobb Park Criterium this weekend and had great fun. Glencoe was rainy but awesome while Cobb Park had beautiful weather. Both courses were fun and left me smiling! I’m enjoying racing crits more than any other kind of racing this year!

I took some pictures of the Mens Cat 3 race and the Women Pro 1/2/3 race before heading back home with my family. There’s about sixty pictures of people doing what they love.

I’m posting the pictures for free, enjoy them, if you could show some love to my blog when posting them on your social, I’d appreciate it.

READ MORE & FULL GALLERY >>

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Today On A Bike

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My wife, my amazing wonderful wife, got me a GoPro Hero 4 Black for my birthday It’s been fun learning how to best use it for what I want out of it. The mountain bike pictures are from yesterday riding Wildlife MTB trails in Peoria Illinois with friends. The trails are rocky and offer both tight tech as well as flow, a great time if you’re in the area.

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Bonus pictures from last week on the road bike. I bought a couple of K-Edge GoPro mounts on the advice of a friend. I bought a saddle rail camera mount as well as a mount for under my Garmin mount, allowing me to shoot video or take pictures facing forward or backward.

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I’ll post more thoughts about the GoPro and mounts as time goes onFor now, I’m enjoying summer.

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What My Tuesdays Look Like

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Tuesday evenings during spring and summer host one of my favorite weekly rides. It’s a throw down on road bikes that range in mileage from about thirty to over fifty depending on how much daylight we have. We ride the same route every Tuesday which includes several hills and turns. Having twenty people there to ride is commonplace. Everyone knows the sprint points, everyone knows the contented hills. It’s the best kind of friendly race, and it happens every week. It’s great, in a painful kind of way.

Just over a week ago, one of my awesome teammates David decided to skip the ride in favor of resting his legs and also to break out a camera to capture the action. The camera brought out the attacker in all of us it seemed. I’m grateful to have some nice pictures of this weekly ride, it’s nice to have them documented to look back on.

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The full set of pictures from that day are available here.

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2016 Giant City Trip

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This weekend I joined my teammates in southern Illinois for four days of road riding. It’s my fourth year going to annual trip, and it seems to get better every year. The weather was beautiful all weekend with temps ranging from mid 50º’s in the morning and mid 70º’s in the afternoon. The rain stayed away every ride and the winds were manageable.

The roads around Makanda Illinois are great for road riding. Lot’s of elevation to go up and down, what feels like turns and hills every quarter-mile or less make it a roller coaster all weekend.

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The breakfast every morning at the lodge is one of my favorites. Hearing about moves from the previous days rides, tales exaggerated, or stories of shenanigans from the previous night are the perfect complement to the good food.

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Our lodge was great this year and served as the hangout most evenings including the second annual wine tasting party, a favorite of the weekend. The breathalyzer that shows up every year adds some excitement to the evening.

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Friday’s ride had a little extra gasoline added to the fire with the help of eight of us representing our Illinois State Champion jersey’s, something that seems to draw out more fun fierce riding.

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My weekends riding totals tallied to 211.9 miles ridden, 14,101 feet of elevation climbed, in just under 12 hours pedaling. I love cycling trips, I love this team, I love this yearly thing I get to be involved with. It’s the type of weekend for me that I know I’m living in one of those moments that you’ll look back on and tell stories and smile about.

Day 1 Ride Data
Day 2 Ride Data
Day 3 Ride Data
Day 4 Ride Data

2015’s Giant City Trip
2014’s Giant City Trip

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