Glencoe is the sort of place where people pop out for a pint of milk, in a ferrari. Growing up in the UK I used to watch movies like 16 candles, and think how unlikely it was, all these teens trashing big houses, driving rolls-royces and porsches. Not any more.
One thing the 1% cannot change yet is the weather, and the weather is not co-operating today, on Glencoe Grand Prix day. Its 70 and rainy when I arrive. I number up and ride around the leafy avenues for a bit warming up for the masters 1,2,3 race. The 5s are racing. A cold gust of wind suddenly blows in, the temperature is plummeting faster than the economy with a Bush in the whitehouse. I scurry back to the car for another layer. 50 and rain. Great.
Race underway and the drenched course has to be cornered slowly, and watch for those drain covers. The masters hurl up the straights at quite a pace and braking is late but smooth. Nobody is bombing corners, it’s all very fast and controlled. And wet.
There are plenty of attacks, but its hard to get away before the next rain soaked corner to brake for, so the bunch just gets strung out into a single line and reforms. Holding a wheel with rain and grit flinging up into your face is unpleasant, so I’m happy to be pulling the group round for a lap, making sure I hold it long enough to get a shout out from Kenny Labb on the podium. Then it’s back to some glencoe exfoliating wash.
Its hard to imagine being wetter. Feet are soggy, everything is soaked and dirty, rain lashes down and splashes up from sheets of standing water. I’m shivering, shivering at 160bpm.
Final laps and things are getting a little rawer as the bunch snakes around seeking shelter and advantage. I’m moving over for the narrowing road after the finish line, and a wisconsin rider moves the other way to grab the wheel in front, oh shit. My shoulder and elbow meet him, he slides off me smooth as an eel, we are both still upright. Keep going.
Last lap and I catch a wheel up to top 5 and hold it there, but exhaustion and hand cramp from all the braking are hurting hard. You have to pull the brakes so hard when rims are wet . Theres some jockeying on park ave and I loose a spot, last time round onto the finish and the weather channel boys are up front, and its two wide through the turn, I’m inside and lose a touch of momentum. The long run to the line gets me those places back and 6th. In the money and upright at the end. Next race will be warm and dry, please.