Sunday, August 24, 2008

Downtown Sioux Falls Criterium

There is empirical evidence that the number of conversations a person engages in when shopping at a farmer’s market far exceeds the number that occurs at a grocery store. Saturday’s veggie run proved quite “fruitful “. I had a conversation with Lindsay. You may remember her from this MinusCar Essay. Better yet, there’s the time she passed me on the road during a sub-zero winter bicycle commute.

That’s her on the right begin crowned the third fastest woman criterium racer in this state.

She laid bare some fine racing tactics. Her field of six (I didn’t want to imply there are a lot of women criterium racers in the state) split into three and stayed that way until her group got lapped. When that happened Lindsay latched on to the lead group for long enough to blow apart her group of three and solidify her race finish position.

Enough about her, let’s talk about me for a minute…

During our conversation I admitted that I had briefly pictured myself racing Cat 5. She said I should. I said I’m supporting the event by volunteering all day. She said I should race. I said I shouldn’t.

I also asked her about what kid’s races are usually like at these events. The Boy 11 ended up participating in the kid’s race. I’m pretty sure some of the other boys had gears or something on their bikes. Apparently that’s legal.

The Boy 6 may have stowed away and enjoyed the Cat 4 race with The Owner from the front seat of the lead vehicle. I’m not sure. He was certainly gone for a long time.

Enough about them, let’s talk about me for a minute…

I got up bright and early (it was still dark), rode into downtown, stopped off at Starbucks, and joined SD_Pedalpower on his assigned task.

Together we taped off every driveway on the mile long course. By the time we finished the corner marshall volunteer meeting had long since finished and I was without assignment leaving me with little to do but ride the course pretending I was a racer.

I knew from the night before there were 14 registered to race Cat 5. After perusing the registered riders I knew I shouldn’t be racing. Half of them were from the hosting cycling team. Of the other half I only knew one – known as The Muscle - I knew I was out of my league.

I registered – figuring the 30 minute race would be like riding as fast as I could to work with 20 of my coworkers. My goal became to last as long as possible before getting dropped, then last as long as possible before being lapped. Official instructions - lapped riders exit the course with under three laps to go.

I hung with the big group for the first three laps. I even managed to pass a handful. Wow that was fun, perhaps life changing.

The next three laps I was on my own trying to remember if it was that windy earlier in the day.

For my final three laps two guys that I had previously passed rejoined me and we thankfully worked together until we got lapped right at the start/finish of the bell lap.

The kErnEl snapped a few sweet photos of me. Here I am with my two riding buddies at about 30mph.


I spent the morning riding downtown, going the wrong way on one-ways, ignoring traffic signals, and generally riding like there were no cars on the road. There were no cars on the road. Occasionally I had to focus to ignore traffic signals. There was one particular vehicle parked off the course - just about every lap when I was on my own I checked to see if it was safe to perform my left turn without yielding.

I averaged a little shy of 22mph for 26 minutes. My max speed was just under 30mph.

FAB is awesome. During my race every corner was staffed with a FAB volunteer. I never had to go far before encountering a friendly face.

Big thanks to Sam in The City Planning Office and Central Plains Cycling Director Dustin Baker for putting this event together.

Thanks also, Central Plains Cycling Team. It’s true, the Downtown Sioux Falls Criterium/South Dakota Criterium State Championship doesn’t happen if people don’t participate and cycling in South Dakota doesn’t happen if there aren’t people cycling in South Dakota.

I'm looking forward to "second annual."


Tomorrow: The votes have been counted. What James Howard Kunstler has to do with the Shape Sioux Falls Visual Listening Survey. Part 1.


Tez said...

You did a great job Mr Minus Car! Next time make sure you tell your parents you are racing! KUDOS to you getting out there and racing!

eayste said...

Had I been in shape , I would have been there with you.
/Miss riding my bike more.
//Wont be missing it for long once my life is back together.
///That is a 2 year process from what Mr. Bite has told me.

Happy Rider said...

What sort of hoops did you have to go through to get this started? I think it'd be great to get Crits going in Rapid City as well as SF. You obviously got the ball rolling. I don't know where to start.

Snakebite said...

B is for Bar-mitzvah

mytzpyk said...

Happy Rider - I had very little to do with this. I'm just in a good position to jump when an opportunity presents itself by giving what I can, or taking advantage of opportunities.

I don't know Central Plains Cycling. They are a USA Cycling registered team. A requirement for being a registered team is hosting an event. That is the motivation for them to do this. The only person I know is Lindsay - and her husband - and I have The Owner to thank for that introduction a few years ago.

I've had a few conversations with the team director Dustin. The most meaningful one was at our July FABRAD where I told him that if he wants money and volunteer help from FAB he must come to the next board meeting and ask for it. Miss that meeting it might be too late. Arguably that was a, "please come, we’d really like to ride your coattails" conversation.

I also had a telling conversation with him Sunday at the race. When he told me to go help SD_Pedalpower with taping the course he started with - "I'm sorry, I don't remember your name…"

Hopefully I’ve dispelled any thoughts that I have any credit to take for this event.

SD_pedalpower said...


You showed off that FAB jersey like no other could. Great job racing. You are not just a commuter on fat tires. You are now a Cat 5 racer. You go......I will eventually catch up....

DIRK said...

Awesome job on the race. I was proud to see everyone on that course. Leading or laps down and just trying to finish. Doesn't and many others tried and had a good time.
If I stay on my trainer this winter, I may run a Cat 5 next year if there is a SF Crit.
Racing looks like fun, might be worth a try.