Speed Week Day 1: In Which We Leave For Athens

The sky was overcast and grey when I left my apartment Friday morning. It began raining when Richard Rainville, Alexander Ray, Jake King, and I left Greenville in a car loaded with bike racing accouterments. Rain is a good sign. It implys a successful trip. Don’t ask why, its just how it is. And then as soon as it began, the rain dissipated and the sun appeared. Rain is a good sign and thats all I needed.
We are entered into a journey, an adventure, a traveling circus. And we are in the main act, endeavoring to be the stars. Saturday in Athens. Sunday in Roswell. Wednesday in Walterboro. Friday in Spartanburg. Saturday in Gaffney. A veritable Holy Week amongst the US’s top criterium riders, this is Speed Week.
Come along.
All of these crits start late at night so instead of bingeing on the final season of Breaking Bad and Louis Theroux documentaries, I am setting myself up for a challenge: blog each day of Speed Week – with race updates, stories, little tidbits about the towns we visit. And pictures.

Nightime Racing
Nightime Racing

Jake King told me if he top 10s one of these crits, he will pierce his ears. I like that. So I am giving myself a second challenge: no shaving my mustache until I top 5 a race. And yes, I brought a razor and shaving cream.
Things got off to a smooth start yesterday. We participated in the computrainer qualifiers. Riders get on trainers and race each other over 6 virtual laps of the crit course. Riders are then given starting positions based on the fastest times. The top 8 riders overall compete a second time at night for 500 dollars. The last time I did a computrainer qualifier, I performed horribly. This time, however, I won my heat and finished 17th overall, a mere 7 seconds from the top 8 cutoff. Another good sign for the real racing.

Trainers are never 'fun'
Trainers are never ‘fun’

And speaking of, its time to eat a little something before kitting up and headed downtown #nobrakes.

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