The Lowell 50 saw it’s best day by far on Saturday. Beautiful weather, warm temperatures and a soft breeze made the area west of Ada idyllic for bicycle racing.
The neutral roll out to the covered bridge kept things civil until the field broke over the first two climbs of the day. Like a scythe in a wheat field, the two ascents, taken at a quick pace by riders from WAS Labs and M-22’s Sean Kickbush saw nearly half, and then half again, of the race almost immediately knocked from contention. Ahead, WAS Labs put in move after move to get a trademark break formed. Burke, Cruikshank, Young and York were always in the front, with the full weight of the peloton bringing them back each time.
Young and Kickbush did finally lengthen the tether, but were reeled back in as the race came into the final 10 miles. It was a diminished group of nine that blew to pieces over the rolling hills of Biggs Road. Huy Tran, Kickbush and others were swept aside in the finale, with WAS Labs going 1-2-3 in a show of force unseen since last year, and the year before that. Cruikshank, Young, Burke, York and Adams were on a very different level today, and they each could have won.
WAS Labs took the Team Competition by a comfortable margin, with the trio of Tran, McWiliams and Jones giving second place to Ann Arbor Velo Club. Einstein Racing settled for third in the competition with Sovis, Ellis and Sovis.
Tarra DePrato won the women’s 57 ahead of Beth Collins, as both went solo again the wind almost the entire. That’s gutsy, tough, and rad.
SPRING BREAK 2015 presented by Grzanka, Grit and McDonald
Now, we’re driving to Asheville, North Carolina. If you’ve ever looked at an old school printed map, that’s like three inches from Lowell, Michigan and even further than THAT from Traverse City.
We popped off from the Lowell 50 without checking results and in good spirits, as neither of has had crashed or died. All according to plan, so far, so very good. After handing over my cyclocross bike to my brother for return to the Great White North, I settled into the green Jeep with Pilot Tim Pease, Party-Starter, already at the wheel. I failed in one GOAL, which was to get a picture of Sean Kickbush brushing his teeth at the Red Roof Inn, but we also stayed in a Red Roof Inn, so it’s cool.
We made it 15 minutes before I realized I forgot:
1. My normal walkin’-’round-town shoes.
2. Contact solution.
Two of those four things were I was explicitly reminded of before I left, but did that help? No. Not a bit. You tried, Mom. You tried and failed.
The (Car) Ride:
Let me give you a brief version of the first leg of our drive to Lexington, Kentucky. First, you drive dangerously close to Detroit, and past a lot of khaki pants and rugby shirts in Ann Arbor, then you hit Ohio. Ohio is mostly road construction and seems really proud to have a Panera Bread at every exit on the highway. We indulged, I got a Greek salad, Tim got a panini and soup, and we moved on like nothing happened, like we didn’t give in to the idea of Ohio as a whole, what the state is built on fundamentally. I also got TWO compliments on my Giro Republic bicycling shoes.
I also noticed that there is a better indicator for temperature and the general changing of environs than just the wide, expansive greenery than makes up the medians on Interstate 75. Not just the presence of bugs again, but their demise. It’s the body count. Bugs are stupid and they don’t even take evasive action when a three-quarter ton JEEP that is florescent green comes barreling down on them at 80mph (70 when Tim is at the wheel). I started an auditory Bug Body Count and switched to a mental Bug Body Count because I could tell it was annoying Tim, and finally gave up entirely when I had 85 smear-marks on the glass. We’re going leave them on there and see if there is less driving north. I think there will be.
It took all the way to Cincinnati to hear my first Southern accent of the trip. The man was wearing so much camouflage he stood out and was ordering tuh grilled cheez-uzes for himself and his wife. I don’t get out much and this scene was exotic to me.
Tim Pease’s Outfit:
Tim tucked into a flattering ensemble of gray t-shirt and tracky pants for the drive. These pieces are functionally perfect for the task of heading south in a car. Of course, an entirely different wardroom would be suitable for going in the opposite direction.
Deep Thought of the Day:
Would you be the same person 150 years ago that you are today? Would your personality survive, intact, without being assaulted by the media, by social pressures, by your occupation, opposed to life in a more solitary, agrarian society?
BONUS Deep Thought of the Day:
Have you ever seen the sun set in Kentucky?
We are staying in Lexington before getting up really early and finishing off the last 4 hours to Asheville. I love getting up at 5am. Tim loves getting up at 5am. Everyone is on the same page.
Once in Asheville, I’m gonna climb a mountain just about as soon as I can find one. Chosen to serve in that task is my Focus Cayo. It’s HI-VIS, it’s carbon, so I don’t see any reason why it can’t happen.
I am also going to go to a bike shop and try to find some socks.