Daddy, I’m tough


Woke this morning to the steady timpany of rain on the roof as the remnants of Tropical Storm Barry sped over southeastern Virginia. (See radar image above.) Ellie and I had preregistered for the VBW Smackdown out in Suffolk earlier in the week, before Barry was a glimmer in the eye of some meteorologist. It was to be Ellie’s first junior crit. She’s 9 (racing age 10). I woke her, told her it was pouring and that she didn’t have to race if she didn’t want to. She rolled over and said: “Daddy, I’m tough.”

And off we went. It rained hard and wind blew throughout her 20 minute race, but she persevered, rolling up 7 or 8 laps on the kilometer-long course. The one other 10-14 junior, a 14-year-old boy racing for Snow Valley, was well ahead of her, but second place is great. She got soaked and earned a $30 gift certificate. And she said she had fun. Ellie wrote it up here.




My Cat 5 race ran right after Ellie’s. Only about 9 riders showed up, not including preregistered long-distance ironman JB. (Where were you? My daughter raced. šŸ™‚ ) After pouring on Ellie, the rain eased a bit for our race, but the course was slick and the turns would have been hard even if it was dry. (Maybe even harder because we’d have been diving into them.) Three Kitty Hawk racers outnumbered Fireman John and I plus a couple of JRVS racers and Joe from AAB. Fortunately we all knew each other and were fairly competent for Cat 5s, so it was a smart race. We took it easy in the corners and mostly stayed upright, though two of the Kitty Hawk racers slid out on the corners.

One of the wrecks broke up the field and it was Joe, two Kitty Hawk racers and me in the final laps. I was third wheel going into the final turn (thinking I was well-positioned), but the two Kitty Hawk guys got a good jump out of the corner while I was still turning. That five meters gave them 1st and 2nd. I was closing, but didn’t have enough road and got third.

I must admit, I’m not a fan of that course. I’m almost glad it was raining because it kept the field small and made us all race carefully. Those two 110-120 degree turns would have been crazy with 40-50 racers diving for the inside line. And that off-camber turn before the finish straight would have created carnage on the last lap of a large Cat 5 race.

The biggest deal for me today though was that Ellie rode in some of the hardest conditions imaginable and still had a good time. Ellie, you are tough.


8 responses to “Daddy, I’m tough

  1. Wow, Ellie, another feather in your cap! Second place against an older boy is huge! Congratulations! I’m glad you both had good races albeit adverse conditions, and had good luck with the gods with no crashes or scrapes. Great day though with the much needed rain. I settled for 25 on the elliptical.

  2. Hello, Ellie, and excellent job. You combined your two favorite sports – swimming and biking. I didn’t know that was possible, but you did it. Moreover, you look pretty cool on the bike – all wet and mean! I bet that’s why that boy was ahead of you: he was scared. Maybe if you smile next time, the boy will stay behind. Keep up the good work. By the way, we had a sunny, warm day here. Bring your bike to Munich, dear.


  4. I was one of the DNS for the 5 race. I raced that course last year on dry conditions and those 2 turns took several riders down including Ryan Q. (Fat Frogs) who won the race and wiped out on the cool down lap. I knew I should have driven out there so I can assure myself of a top 10 finish.

  5. OK OK. You shoulda called me. Woke up, saw the rain and figured you’d be typical roadies and bail. Actually you shoulda had Ellie call me, what inspiration! WTG on all your accounts.

    I feel like a wimp………………..

  6. I’m a mountain biker and Ellie’s a swimmer, so a little rain doesn’t mean a thing. And you’re no wimp; I’m just needling. Now update that blog.

  7. I think you’ve got a potential district champ on your hands. As the father of the 14 year old in the race I didn’t exactly get a “daddy I’m tough.” Instead I got “Do I really have to get up at 6:30?”, and “They can’t actually be holding the race in this weather can they?” Once I dragged him out there he had a blast though. Enoy your time before she becomes a teenager!

  8. Ha, yep, these are the energetic–er, tough–years for sure! She strikes me as one who will still be rising early when she’s 15 though.

    Looking forward to cheering Ellie on at AA race.

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