Monday, July 14, 2008

My ears are on fire.

Or...I have ear cancer. Sunday I worked the wheel pit for my officiating duty at the Babcook memorial crit downtown. I put on sunscreen most places, but forgot my ears, temples, and backs of my arms. So those places got pretty red. "Backs of your arms??" you say? I slathered on the screen on the already kinda burnt tops of my arms (forearms, hands), however, did not think that I would be crossing my arms behind me for a few hours out in the sun. Which is exactly what I did. Therefore, the backs of my arms, which never get any sun exposure, got a little burnt. I wore a hat most of the day so that's why my ears and temples got burnt.

So enough skin cancer talk. The Omaha cycling weekend was fun but labor intensive. This was my first official race being I did a couple practice crits early in the season, but they were not, officially official. On Saturday, I was out at Mt Michael (216th and North of Maple) by 7:45am for the time trial. That race went ok with only a few communication issues. All was said and done by about noon so I had an hour to eat and get down to Papillion for the afternoon crits. I was a tad late, but all was still getting setup when I arrived. The different crits went well, but scoring(keeping track of who's 1st through last in the race) was difficult/stressful. These sets of races were all done by 9pm. So that was a long day.

Then Sunday I got wheelpit duty. I was just fine with that since scoring is not so fun, but it involved me standing in the sun most of the day. Hence the sun burn opener. This race also went most of the day. There by 8am, leaving by 5pm. After this weekend, I have a whole new respect for organizers, officials, and volunteers. They make races happen, otherwise it'd just be a bunch of glorified group rides. If you've never scored a race (or have ever protested a result) I'd suggest trying it once. Cause keeping track of 20-40 people going by 25-50 times at different intervals is no easy task.

As an official, I'm supposed to stay neutral, so I just want to congratulate all of the racers who came out gave it their all and (hopefully) had a good time. I do however want to mention that, on Saturday night, it was fun watching Alex Boyd hold his own against 4 other breakaway companions who were all from the same team. I've been in a similar situation before where it's you alone against 3 or so others conspiring to drop you. In my situation, I got dropped. Alex did not. In fact he won the race. Quite impressive, sir. My hat's off to you. There were many other amazing feats of strength throughout the weekend, so congratulations to all who participated. Thanks for keeping racing in Nebraska alive and well.


bryan said...

I was in those races, and other than the five or six guys in my group, I had no idea where anybody else was in respect to us. When we passed people, I didn't know if it was the first, third or fourth time we lapped them. No clue.

So thank you, Mr. Munson, for taking care of that. And also for not eating all of the burritos, because I was hungry after my race on Sunday.

munsoned said...

I'm glad I've gotten out of the habit of mawing down an entire Chipotle burrito in one sitting. Those things are almost 2000 calories, which is why I've gone from 155 lbs to 165 in a year. That and not riding much. Oh well, gotta get back on the horse.

Oh, and congratulations on a very successful weekend.

EB said...

Great seeing you this weekend, nice work Mr. Official!

brady said...

It was fun watching/volunteering at the Papillion crit. You were looking quite official up there, Munson. Just don't get too comfortable as I hope to see you racing again soon.

As a rookie, I have some racing questions:

1) Why were so many racer pulled during last year's CAT 4 race -vs- allowing everyone to finish this year?

2) Can a previously unlicensed rider purchase a one day license for a CAT 4 race and skip CAT 5 altogether?

bryan said...

thanks, Mike. I'm trying to get into the habit of eating more Chipotle burritos, by the way.

munsoned said...

Eric, thanks for bringing some true street grit to the game. When I saw you show up, I thought you might try to take on the whole field on a fixie. That would've been illegal, of course, but pretty cool.

Brady, Last year we had 2 people trying to keep track of finishers, and no camera. This year we had 3 of us and a finish line camera to sort things out. It sort of worked. It was still difficult, but it went pretty well, I think. I'm sorry, but there is no direct upgrade to cat 4. There is also no one day license allowed to cat 4s and above. Once you upgrade, you have to become a yearly member. Unlike mtb where you can just start as a Sport rider (low-to-middle part of the experience spectrum), in road racing, an inexperienced group rider poses a much greater risk to all involved, not just himself. The official rule is that you need to finish 10 mass start events before you can cat up to a 4. If you, however, prove you're skilled enough by placing top 5 in a few events, then you can ask the local upgrade coordinator to bump you up. It makes sense around here since there's less than 10 mass start events a year in Nebraska.

Bryan, you start eating more now, and I'll start eating less and training more, then we'll meet in the middle. Ready....go!