Riding This Week


Chainbuster MTB Racing Series - Georgia's friendliest MTB racing. 6 & 9 Hour Endurance racing for solo or teams.

Dirty Spokes - Duathlon and Trail running series. Love these guys. First class events.

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012 Dingo Days of Summer

Lead vehicle crosses Start/Finish and heads downhill.
I drove home from our beach vacation with my family on Saturday evening. You know how tired you feel after driving for 7 hours? I was tired. I helped unload the van and then re-loaded the van with my bike and racing stuff because I planned on racing the Dingo Days of Summer Crit the next day. I prepared for the race even though my body was telling me not to.
You see I have the mind set that how I feel today should not dictate what I plan to do tomorrow. That's not how some guys work. Some guys call it off early for no good reason. I like my wife Lisa's new favorite quote: Last Place is better than Did Not Finish, which trumps Did Not Start. So I saddled up my horse and after church we headed for the races.

A prayer before trying.
This is the second race put on by my friends Nathan O'Neill, Betty Hodges, Michael James and John D. Strickland. (Dingo Race Productions) The first race in Gainesville was so great I couldn't miss this one. The crit was held at Allen Creek Soccer Complex in Gainesville. It was the perfect place to race. Plenty of parking. No traffic. A painful climb to shell the pretenders. I was stoked.
Me and Lisa Kelly Hayes
Once we arrived I backed into a nice spot under a shade tree and we broke out the chairs. My girls were ready to cheer for Daddy and I was ready to give them a show...for as long as I lasted. We watched the PRO1/2 race and cheered for those guys. It was so hot I was sweating just sitting in the shade. I'd brought plenty of ice and water to try and keep from overheating. Probably the worst energy sucking thing that happens to me is the heat. Lisa and I have worked on it for a few years now. The latest thing we do is to place a zip lock bag of ice on my back under my jersey. We poke pin holes in it to allow the cold water to drip down my back during the race. There's also the Trace Nabors proven technique of placing ice cubes in the vents of your helmet just before the start. Finally, during the race Lisa actually tossed ice water on me as I rode by.

To my right = 3 riders half my age. Great.
1st Lap with Brandon Pruett behind me for the last time.
The start went as planned. Yes...a plan. I asked Sean to keep me at the front so that on the first lap I could try a breakaway. I wanted to get out ahead of everyone in the desperate hope of winning a prime or at least having some cool stuff for the girls to cheer for. Like me off the front.
It worked! I came through on the first lap at the front. But the second lap I found myself behind a CAT3 rider who was just a tad stronger than me. On Chad's scale of sarcasm a "tad" means that he was a monster. I found out later he's 16 years old. His name is Brandon Pruett and he placed 3rd in the National Road Race in Augusta this year. He's raising money to go to Belgium and race over the summer. The kid slowly motored away from me on the second lap. I stayed on his wheel as long as I could but I was at my absolute limit. The back side downhill offers around 20 seconds of relief but that wasn't enough. I decided to quit chasing him and back off a little.
Sean Philyaw suffers in the heat.
That's when my body said "Oh good, your done, I can shut down now." On the 3rd time through the finish I felt Robert tap me on the back as he went by. My mind said "Get on his wheel!" But I literally could not get there. I spent the next lap trying to get my act together. In that time I was passed by almost the entire field. It took me another lap to "reset" and then I started to chase. I caught another dropped rider and we worked together for the rest of the race catching several riders before the pain ended. With 2 laps to go we were lapped by Brandon and then by Robert Loomis and another guy who were off the front of the race together. Because we shared the race with the CAT3 racers that meant Robert was racing for the win as a CAT4. As I topped the hill I saw the sprint and Robert took 2nd Place.
CAT4 Podium
I managed 12th Place and not to puke or taste blood. A good race by my standards. And the girls had a blast cheering and watching their Mom throw ice water on their Daddy. It was 98 degrees by the way. After that we took the girls to Mellow Mushroom in Gainesville. They were a sponsor and I like supporting sponsors. Plus the pizza was scrumptious.

To regress a little I want to tell you about riding with the Monkey Wrench shop ride in St. Simons.

Monkey Wrench Bike Shop ride, St. Simons, GA
They have a Saturday morning group ride that leaves promptly at 6:30am and goes all the way to Jekyll Island and back. It was a great group of locals who were intent on taking their time and enjoying a long ride. 50 miles were on tap but I didn't have time for that. After we reached Jekyll and spun around to the back side I took a short cut across the middle. Another rider joined me and we hammered our way back. It was really neat riding over the bridge and back.

After I got back we packed the van and headed to my new favorite restaurant Palmer's Village Cafe for some breakfast. It was delicious. They were very friendly even when we showed up with 10 people. The food was chef prepared and very reasonably priced. I only had one problem. The kids ate all their pancakes. I ordered an omelet and bacon with the assurance only a father could have that my 13 and 10 year old little girls would have some blueberry pancakes left over. No dice. In fact I could only pick at some scraps left over on another table to satisfy my need for sweetness. Sad...I know.

Palmer's Village Cafe, St. Simons Island, Georgia
That's a wrap for this edition of Chad's News. Stay tuned next week for the exciting news from the Georgia Cycling Gran Prix. It's 6 races in five days. But not for me. I've done that once and I'm done.

Read: Pretending to be a Bike Racer

But Robert and Sean are doing the whole thing. Can't wait to see what kind of suffering goes on.

Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

Chad Hayes

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