Arriving in Annisquam on Thursday night I set out for a spin and was greeted by a pretty stellar New England sunset.
Annisquam is a small little village north west of Gloucester. As you enter, you’ll notice a house that was built in 1710 and not much further past Annisquam a house built in the 1680’s. I think it is safe to say there is quite a bit of history in this area. I mean its been settled since before America was even an idea!
Friday I wanted to get on course and check it out because it looked different than last year but it was just stakes in the ground by mid afternoon and I had to be done riding to go pick Jamey and his soon to be wify up at the airport. So I hit the coastal roads.
Traffic… Boston is wicked fahken crowded! (read with a really heavy New England Clam Chowder accent)
Friday night was great. Everyone was in good spirits at our team dinner. We settled around the table to a team prepared meal. The house we are staying in is pretty old and was built before insulation was invented. Therefore, the cold New England nights seep into the hollow, creaky, dark rooms, which lack over head lighting because the original inhabitants of this house were keen on candle light (not like they had a choice). ***I am not trying to make this house sound unsatisfactory. I actually really like it compared with the cookie cutter homes in today’s col du sacs.*** Also, because of the cold were got some fire wood and gathered around a fire after dinner, which was great.
My only complaint is that I am pretty confident there is a ghost in this house. I mean how can there not be?! This thought has lingered in my head as I woke to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night the first two nights here. To avoid any unfavorable encounters I pushed thoughts of my distended bladder aside and delayed a bathroom trip until the sun rose. I would like to point out that have overcome my night time terror and haven’t met the ghost of 17 rockholm rd yet.
Saturday was comfortably sunny and bone dry. By the time we got to the venue the course was a whirl wind of dust being kicked up by the category racers who were racing and not flatted out. Some newer sections of the course yielded some loose rock, which resulted in many flats throughout the day.
Caroline ended up having a great day. She got to the front early and played it smart. Her, Katie Compton, and Ellen Noble were off the front from about half way through. Caroline made a good move at the end of the last lap and pushed through for the win!
I was feeling ready to go. After Vegas I needed some redemption and I was looking for it on Day 1. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the best start and I was chasing for the first half of the race. I managed to make it up into a chase group of 5 or so gunning for 4th. Then I flatted. Coming through a section of loose rock I was very vigilant and staying loose on top of my bike to prevent any hard rim hits. As soon as I cleared the rock section I relaxed and “whack!”. I hit my rim. I guess you can never let your guard down. This occurred about 30sec after the second pit so I was in for half a lap of running, I wasn’t about to destroy a rim just to finish the day. I weighed some options in my head and pulled out. I figured this would allow me to have a little bit more in the tank compared to the other guys still racing and I would just smash Day2!
Jamey’s mom and dad came down from Vermont and brought with them the legendary Squash rolls and slider burgers for some tailgate action!
Sunday was the same story… The sun was out, not a cloud in the sky, and it was actually some what hot.
At the venue we were all glad to learn that the course was back to the classic set up. So now there were less chances to flat. However, I wasn’t taking any chances and after my pre ride I significantly upped my tire pressure from 24f 26r to 27f 29r, this would prove to be a bad decision…
Prior to racing though Jamey, Lance, and I were asked to help out by corralling the kids together for the kids race. It was pretty cool to see so many little ones pumped about bikes! I was glad to help out.
Caroline was off the front again half way through the race and Rebecca was having a better day as well. So the women were doing their part. Caroline ended up 2nd taking the Verge series lead and Rebecca was top ten.
We toed the line. I had a much better start and found myself chasing down the front group of three on the second lap. I think I dug a little too deep though. I had to sit up and fall back to the second chase group, which included Jamey. I had to sit up in that group to and regroup some more.
Photo Credit: Megan McMahon
By this time I was riding for 9th with Ben Berden and Anthony Clark. This is where the increased tire pressure hurt me. The cumulative effect of racing was taking a toll on my handling. Then adding in the higher tire pressure I was riding really squirrly! I ended up tripping over the stairs, catching back on, then crashing in a corner pretty hard and that was the end of my day.
I stayed in 11th. Below is the Day 2 Mens highlight link from Thom Parson at Dirtwire.tv he does a great job at highlight videos. Go to Dirtwire.tv for all the coverage from the GPGloucester weekend.
I was definitely looking for a better result. I felt good and had a bit more rest then some of the other guys but I guess I got too excited early on. On the other hand. Jamey had a good weekend and went 4th on the first day, which was impressive because he was back in the 30’s after a terrible start. Lance was a trooper all weekend too. He is first year u23, so no UCI points. Therefore, he is pulling a number out of a hat for a start spot. Day 2 he started on the tenth row and finished top 20! Bad ass!
Racing was followed by more bomb sliders and squash rolls. We should hire the Driscolls as our nutritionists. I think the majority of our food would be tailgate friend food and maple syrup, which would be fine by me!
We capped off the weekend by watching the sun set followed by the SuperMoon Blood Moon Eclipse.
We will be in Annisquam all week. Hanging out in our old house off of the Diamond Cove inlet. The riding here is pretty good and I just can’t get over these New England sunsets. So I am looking forward to the week! Below is James going for a bit of a swim in the Diamond Cove inlet.
Now its time to cock and load! Shooting range after training today. Stay tuned for updates!