DePauw Racing Madness

Another weekend of bicycle racing has come and gone. This weekend’s race took place at DePauwUniversity home of….. I really don’t know. DePauw is an hour south of West Lafayette, which afforded us Purdue kids the luxury of only driving an hour to the races and sleeping in our very own beds. Saturday’s race was a very emotional one for me, two years prior my very first bike race took place at this very venue, a rolling 8 mile loop around a lake, I was choked up. In retrospect it’s amazing how quickly this bicycle racing went from nothing to me but a hobby to the reason why I don’t finish my homework, skip the occasional class, and fear getting a real job.

This race happened to be slightly faster than my previous edition averaging about 26 mph for 40 miles. The race went well; I attacked a bit, no biggie, but no break for me. A 3 man break got away with John Meyers in it, which is all you need to know. About halfway through the race IU finally finished counting their 10ish riders and realized none of them were in the break, so decided to make chase. They may not know how to ride a bike with anything but coaster brakes but they can certainly sit on the front and hammer a high tempo. Incredibly enough, under the power of IU and one or two OSU riders, the breakaway was brought back within striking distance. But this is the point when the race went from the tight pack style racing to bumper car racing. Behind me I heard the all too familiar sound of skin, helmets and the road all trying mesh to one. Then not 2 seconds later and IU rider directly in front of me decided to crane his head all the way around to observe the destruction of thousands of dollars of bicycles. As he turned his head he turned his handle bars, and when his handlebars bumped into the handlebars of the rider next to him he got all excited and swerved back over slamming to the rider on his opposite side. This incredible swerving can only be done for so long before you and the asphalt become really good friends. Sitting in the middle of a pack with nowhere to go watching a crash happen right in front of you is a pretty strange experience, thankfully we were traveling pretty fast so he slid a considerable distance allowing me to slow to a near stop before running him over, (if you are reading this nameless IU or whatever school rider, I am sorry). The race was lost for me and the whole second half of the pack. Derek Laan attacked at the end and passed the breakaway for the victory.

Sunday’s race was a little less eventful. In the B’s race Jack Stewart lapped the field on a 1.25 mile course which is nothing short of incredible. My own race was blown to pieces with a four man lead group and a second group of nine which I occupied until the second to last lap when my rear wheel picked up a tooth shaped rock. I swapped out my tires and finished 13th. Derek got the double by attacking the breakaway before the last corner to get his second win in as many days.

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3 Comments

  1. Nice racing this weekend, man. Too bad you flatted today—it would have been sweet to rock it those last couple laps with you! Better luck next time….

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