TACO Ohio State RR Championships

June 5, 2010

 Rider Team Place Field
Backroom Coffee Roasters Cycling Team 
  Mitch Tallan: 2nd, Masters
Mitch Tallan
Like last year the turnout was sparse. It was raining. Much like Wilkesville, it amazes me that Tym can get so much support not just from the paid deputies, but also from fire department volunteers. The city of Danville's finest were all over the course with meat wagons at each corner. It was fun seeing the substantial Amish community going past in horse and buggy. Danville's IGA has a hitching post for the horses. Gotta love it. You know you are getting old and desperate when you see a passing buggy and wonder how the Amish lady of indeterminate years might look nekid.
Tym was forced to change the course yet again this year due to a bridge being out. 8 laps of a five mile square done counter-clockwise to last year's course. All up and down on the first three sides and only the fourth side of the square back into town being flat and fast with a tailwind. After the third turn past the third meat wagon emitting plenty of sulfurous diesel we were greeted by the hard climb and it was a long grinder bee-aaatch. By lap 4 our field was down to six. Ignoring the 4s, it was just me and the formidable Rick Toler. Ah, Rick. The guy is like a miniature version of Smiling Mig, that Indurain guy, just siitting pretty on his little bike all smiles. But unlike Big Mig, little Rick dances like a butterfly and stings like a bee, he surges, he sprints, he drifts back, he hides from the wind. I can't say I have ever seen any solid veteran racer do the dreaded zig-zag up the hills in a bike race, but Rick was overgeared (not enough low gear is overgeared, I think) as was I and he would surge up the hard hill each time and then at the steepest section he would do the ol' zig-zag taking up the entire road, but damn, and this is hard to believe fo sho, but he did it FAST such that he gave up no ground. Not me, I will never ever do the zig zag without a gun to my face, so I was standing and grinding. If there is anything as disconcerting when grinding up a steep section as wondering if a zig-zagging rider ahead is going to knock you off your stride, I don't know what it is. Well, by lap 7 my spine felt like it was being filleted out of my old body like the expert fishmonger cleaning a crappie but without my being dead or on anesthesia and my legs were beginning to feel crampy. Didn't help that after racing in the rain, grit, and horse droppings for the first half of the race, the sun came out and made things steamy for the second half. Geartrains were sounding like sandpaper blocks everywhere.
Well, the finish line was at the end of aforementioned straightaway back into town and not at the top of the hill. Eighth and last time up the hill I outclimbed little Mig by quite a margin but he was back on my wheel halfway into town and I new the jig was up. I settled into second by a matter of five yards or so and was happy to finish a brutal forty mile race.