Iowa Spring Classic road race, Good Night Gold Dust, gravel ride with Tim

Great weekend overall.

Saturday I spent a ton of time in the Mini Cooper in order to be able to race the Iowa Spring Classic.  My first race as a Cat 3 (remember, last year that these same races were my first road races at all).  I wasn't sure what to expect.  Conditions were amazingly warm at 65 degrees or so, but the wind was blowing extrememly hard.  The course was basically 7 laps of a large rectangle.  I knew that the same guys I rode with at CIRREM were likely to do well and I hoped to sort of take their cue so far as what to do. 

Things went well for the first half of the race and I felt I solidly belonged in the group.   A couple of the gravel sections were a bit sketchy though and I didn't feel quite comfortable sitting out to the right in the softer stuff with the crosswind which I noticed some of the more experienced people doing and taking advantage of that positioning to hitch a very free ride through the wind.  The down wind "half" of the course was primarily pavement and the pace was very high thoughout it.  That said, the group collected together fairly easily on that paved section over the first few laps.  Long story short-  I didn't get enough rest in the draft down the cross wind side, pulled around the group pointlesly right before the turn onto the downwind, drifted to the rear of the group and then when the whole group really laid it down in 53x11 (literally at 40+ downwind) and the guys at the rear of the group with me got blown out the back I joined them.  I gave hard chase too late, didn't catch back on.  I was able to beat the other people who were dropped, but suffered for 20+ miles mostly solo in the heavy winds.  This wasn't the outcome I had wanted, but it also wasn't far from my honest expectations.  I feel I had ridden strong, gotten a great workout and learned something.

Saturday night Tim came down from the cities and we did some random wrenching..

Then rode downtown for a show at Kathy's.  Sadly, the band we wanted to see didn't come on until much later than expected.  They were great though for what we did catch.

This morning we were up early to ride.  I wound up with almost 70 miles on the Caffeine.  One of the big highlights was our stop for lunch at The Huddle in Elgin.  They were very friendly to us with regards to our having ridden there etc. they even let us bring our bikes inside while we ate.  They have a large banquet area and it got me thinking about how it might be a good place to start/host an event.

Here is a random/scenic spot later on our route-

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