Sunday, July 19, 2009

MOB at Operation Red Sleigh

MOB was well represented in Seagrove for the Sleigh Ride charity ride on July 18th. Operation Red Sleigh is a charity that raises money to buy Christmas gifts for Randolph County kids that might otherwise do without. It is headed up by (National State Trooper of the Year) Greg Seabolt, and the bike ride is their primary fundraiser for the year. Lining up at the start was Mark Jellous, Grant Lawyer, Paul and Julie Paisant, Frank Mullins and myself. Carolina Masters was also well represented for the 110k with Ryan Jenkins and John and Jamie Fender among others. Pfeiffer, Flight Club and a few other teams were also represented. This ride is a sister ride to Tour de Kale and is similar in that they do "chip" timing and give some awards, so it has a competitive angle to it.

Over the first climb that came only 12 miles in, there were a couple of attacks that went nowhere, until Mark attacked and only Ryan Jenkins responded. The field hesitated for a moment and that was enough, as those two were gone and wouldn't be seen again until the finish.

Meanwhile back in the chase pack, the two strongest teams were represented in the break, so it was fairly easy to keep things under control. For the next hour or so, it was just rolling around Randolph County on a Saturday morning. It was pretty pleasant except for having to listen to complaints about the lack of an organized chase.

Once it was obvious the front two were gone for good, the hard riding started back. Through Tot Hill Farm and down Lassiter Mill Rd, Grant and Frank did a great job of keeping the pace high and putting pressure on the chase pack, whittling it down to about 12 riders. All the while they kept encouraging me to save energy for the last big climb up High Pine Church Rd.

A couple miles out from the climb, Frank put it an attack that caused the strongest remaining riders to chase, while I latched on to Grant's wheel for a free ride as he followed the chasers. They were only able to get to Frank as we made the turn to start the big climb. Frank's move worked to perfection because as soon as they made contact, I countered at the bottom of the climb and was able to ride away. From that point, I just tried to get as much time as I could on the remainder of the climb, and then put my head down and dug deep maintain it for the remaining 12 hilly miles. I knew Grant and Frank would be controlling things in the already worn down chase pack, so I knew I needed to ride hard but didn't need to risk blowing myself up on the hills.

At the finish I found Mark had ridden in with Ryan for 2nd place about 3 minutes ahead of me, and Grant sprinted in for 5th about a minute later with the rest of the chase pack, including Frank.

All in all it was a solid day for a great cause and a great low pressure opportunity to practice team tactics. I can't say enough about the effort Frank and Grant put in to help me have a good showing in my hometown ride. It is a great source of pride to be associated with the MOB team. The MOB team is well known and respected in Randolph County thanks to our representation in events like ORS and Tour de Lions.

Looking forward to reading reports from French Broad this weekend.

Steven B

1 comment:

DOC said...

Steve, you are the man. Great job. Thanks for getting the team involved and helping the charity as well.