Photography by Steven Nereo
Hot Hot Heat (remember that band?) this past weekend Team Wooly Mammoth, or at least those of us with thin enough skin to brave the elements met up at the Swan Island Crit aka Hammer Velo Crit aka Sweaty Sweat Sweat Crit. We all complained about how hot it was, but upon thinking back, it was impossible to remember this crit not being hot. Maybe it was the competition? Or the fact that Daniel Penne-Like-The-Pasta Penner stayed away to get on the podium last year? Could be anything.
In any case, we were there and it was fucking hot. Thankfully Steven stayed on a couple extra days and was down to ride out there and capture the racing action for us. We opened his show to much fanfare on Thursday night, so it was a great excuse to just keep the party going right on through the weekend.
Who Was There?
Cole, Colin and Myself made up most of the #TeamWoolyMammoth racing action for the day. We kept looking around for resident podium-go-getter Anthony as we lined up for the start. But, our peripheral vision was not failing us. The heat hag had gotten the best of him and he opted to keep his Mammoth Toes on ice for the day. You never know when you're going to need those toes. They're big toes.
Cole and Colin spent a good amount of time near the front of the race. Nay, off the front of the race, making breaks, chasing breaks. Myself? Well, someone needs to stick with the pack and make sure that nothing gets out of control. Make sure that there's still older guys in there yelling at younger guys to hold their lines (not me) and just generally chilling in the group. Plus, if I'm not back here marveling about how fast and fit my teammates are, who will? These are the questions I ask myself in times of need.
Caps Not Hats
"Why do you always wear a cap?" Well, I thought I would try out my theory that if you're wearing a cap and you spray water on it, the cap will retain some of the water for a few minutes. Does this work during racing? Maybe. Unclear. It was hot enough and dry enough that it may have just been evaporating off my noggin too quickly to notice any aided effect. What I did notice was a feeling that felt like my head was going to explode. Is that normal?
Cole went for the ol' bag of ice down the back of his jersey trick. It was short lived I'm sure, but at the same time it was jealousy inducing to see him each of those beginning laps with a small Armstrength like hump in his back that I knew was ice. He's no quasimodo you see. Or he's an iced-out Quasimodo. Whatever, you know what I mean.
The only other thing I could think to do was to continually pour water on my wrists and legs. Sure, it was something that took me about half the race to remember to do (fitness is a fickle mistress) but it actually helps. I remember someone once telling me that was why Andy Schleck wore those crazy bracelets in the tour, because they had ice in them and were cooling. Though at some point anything with ice in it is probably cooling.
But, this is why we do this racing thing right? To get real life R&D beta on the products that work best for the situation. Right? Maybe. Speaking of which...
Oakley EvZero Range (test squad)
Holy crap these glasses are crazy, light, and crazylight (if we're allowed to just jam words together too). They are tall enough on your face to offer protection from the glorious winds of crit racing. And in all actuality it was pretty windy out there the other day. People have said that these glasses are almost too light. That they were whipping straight off people's faces while they were descending. I tried to pay attention for this detail on the last ride where we cruised down Thompson, but honestly I forgot about it. Which kind of makes me think that it's only an issue in a few rare cases.
And just like that the pain was over and when I came to, I was hunkered down under a sprinkler (presumably of gray water) that was on full blast next to the course. Why an office park that wasn't open on the weekends would have the sprinkler running is beyond me, but I was glad for that moment. Then I stepped away and instantly my clothing was dry once again. A very odd sensation that was followed up by another odd sensation where one of the Open Men's podium winners handed me the Breakside Brewery Beer that he had just won. I was merely suggesting that because of the heat we open it TOGETHER and here he was handing it off to me without concern for whether or not I would share with him. (I didn't).
But, I guess that's also probably-maybe why I didn't win. Or at least points me in the right direction. It was only then that we had a Team Wooly Mammoth Post Race Wrap party at Tilt burger barn where Ivy ordered too many fries and I attempted to replace lost and valuable fluids with:
1 - pie milkshake (coconut cream ((two straws)))
1 - tall crisp lager of some sort
2 - fountain drinks (suicide mix of rootbeer/coke/lemonade
1 - glass of water
It worked. For a minute anyway.