Madison-Basco-Madison Spring Classic write-up-
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  1. #1
    Sweep the leg!
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    Mar 2005

    Madison-Basco-Madison Spring Classic write-up

    From my blog...

    The house is silent. The girls are soundly sleeping. The cats... Fella's patrolling the 'hood for bunnies, Pallisades is scanning for squirrels from the window perch, Mavic is cuddled with Karen and Merlin is nestled on my sweaters.

    I have a "race" today. Madison-Basco-Madison starts at 2pm from Orton Park. I'll finally meet Kittens and the others from the BKB. The route Kittens came up with doesn't look too challenging, mostly railroad bike trail. But there's the human element that will result in me seeing stars and feeling lactic acid burn through my body.

    There's no specific bike requirement so anything goes short of a RATO assisted beach cruiser. I'd love to use the Seven. But the **** of the bike trail and the unknown portions of the route make me wonder if I'll be carrying it instead of riding it. The Rig would be good but what gearing? A 34x15 is the tallest I have if I end up trying to keep up with 'cross bikes. M900 has been sitting idle for 18 months since being cannibalized for the Rig. So yesterday I broke my cardinal rule. Never build a bike the day before a race and expect it to work perfectly. It's been years since breaking that rule but still, gremlins will lurk. It's a Tomac-esque ride now. Drop bars, rigid fork and 8 gears via a barend shifter could make it perfect for today.

    At least Wednesday's snow has melted and made conditions just marvelous.


    At 2:05 the frenzy began. I counted 20 (maybe) riders at the gazebo at Orton Park. Most were astride 'cross bikes. Jesse had a fixed gear 'cross bike. There was a fairly eclectic contingent of single speed fixies of all shapes. There were only two bonefide 29ers, a Rig and a Paragon. After Kittenfactory gave us the route... nobody moved. But then somebody uttered the word "Go!" and the mayhem began. The until we hit the pave any route was fair game. Everyone scattered like roaches. Most of us took the bike trail under/around the Monona Terrace (where Sephie & Karen were watching the Dance Expo) while a few of the craftier and faster riders took the path through campus to Nakoma. I took what I thought was the direct route through Brittingham Park and the Arb. Kittenfactory was on my wheel the whole way until we hit that relatively steep but short hill up to the Beltline, where he dropped me. Jesse whizzed past and taunted "nice day for a ride." But thir lead would be short lived. As I crossed the bridge I caught Kitten. At that moment a Ford F150 came out of a driveway just after we passed. When it came by I was dropping throught the gears and was keeping pace with it so I thought I would take a motorpace. I said to Kitten "I want that truck" and I punched it. Next thing I know I was close enough to reach out and touch the tailgate... So I grabbed it. He accelerated smoothly up to 35 or 40 and we were off! I caught and passed Jesse and two others but I had to let go at the Capital City Trail so I could stay on Kitten's route. A little while later Jesse caught me and Kitten started to bridge up to me.

    Once on the pave of the abandoned but unfinished rail bed I found a pretty good tempo. The M900 was set up pretty good. The tires didn't bog down into the soft mud and puddles that occasionally appeared. I started to gap Kittens while keeping the lead group in sight just on the horizon. Just as I hit Basco my cell started to ring. I couldn't answer as I had my hands full with the trail. On the way back I saw the other riders headed out and everyone seemed to be enjoying the mid-50's and sunny day. There was a "how'd I miss that the fist time" moment on the way back. There was sizable tree across the trail that required a dismount and hurdle. On the return trip across I hopped off but paused... when I nearly tripped over the carcas of a decomposing deer.

    I managed to keep my head down and hammer all the way back to Orton Park. I did a quick head count and there were 8 or so other riders, though I think some of them took an few short cuts. I know I was behind the Paragon rider so when it came time to figure out where we finished it turned out I was 7th. The 4th place guy had left so 6th & 7th got bumped up a place. For 6th I got the 2007 Discover Cycling Team Official Guide and post cards with all the riders... which I think is pretty cool. We hung out and talked before heading over to the Weary Traveller for a bite to eat.

    All in all I'm pleased with my performance. No body problems, no bike problems and it was fun. Including the milage from home the distance for the day was 45 miles, 38 of which was pure hammerfest. Average pulse was 167 and an unofficial time of 2:20.
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    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Nice writeup. m900, the Tomes, and the Weary Traveller all in one! Ahhh, home.

  3. #3
    Now broadcasting from CO
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    Feb 2005
    Very nice write up man. Looks like a fun little race thing... nice signature by the way... Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!!
    Brought to you by rocks.

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