So my final exam for the 2008 year was the ABR Fall Fling Series as a recently upgraded Cat 4. In 2 minutes 2 seconds, here are the cliff notes from each race:

Westlake Village Road Race: 40 miles of rollers, of which I did not see all of. On the 2nd lap I covered an attack by some rider but then failed to cover the counter by a Tati rider up a slight incline. Despite the field being slowed down by a combine, I would never catch back on. Somewhere around my 4th lap I came up on Tamara and another women who had crashed. Will Pankonin was there so I decided to do what I could to help until the ambulance arrived. The women who was injured was okay when I left and I rode in for 38th or something like that. Chris MacFarland would take 9th.

Fall Fling Crit No 1: 40 minutes and 2 laps of riding in the wind. Lots of attacks and lots of slowing into a wall of wind. Never quite got my positioning right and spent too much time trying to fight my way from the back. Last lap when things got strung out I was able to move up a lot, but nothing that would put me in the top 50% of the field. Oh well, there was always next week.

Maple Park ITT: This was my first ITT outside of the FCTT we did this year. I was really looking forward to this and getting to use my new aero bars. Overall, it was a windless ride on smooth country roads. I pushed my self pretty hard but managed to get caught by the Pro 1/2 that was 1 min. behind me as well as the WDT rider who was 2 minute back. Both would go on to turn sub 23 times and I came in with a 25.59.80 for 30th. It was my fastest time of the entire season (albeit with aero equipment) and I think I have another discipline I want to take up.

Fall Fling Crit No 2: 40 minutes and 2 laps of being out of breath. A Tati rider launches off the front from the start, puts time on us each and every lap, catches up to the back of the field and then proceeds to take the field sprint. Boy do I have a lot of work to do in the off season! But xXx gave a good show with Brian Morrisey, Will and Alberto all doing a good job of pushing pace at the front and scrappin’ with other riders. Me? Blew up with two laps to go, but I hung in there in what would be one of “the fastest” races I was in all season (discounting Evanston of course).

So my ’08 graduation ceremony didn’t go as planned. But I can say this, when I think about this season and compare it to my 1st one last year, all I can say is I am not the same rider (by a long shot). So the horses will momentarily go in the barn and I will return to the dungeon (gym) to get back all that upper body mass I sacrificed on the bike. But rest assured, I will be training with a vengeance starting very soon and ’09 will be marked by one rider who’ll be giving everyone 100% reason to remember the name (