Wednesday, April 8, 2015

CMWC 2015 - Qualifier

Date: Saturday April 4th, 2015
Distance: 32 miles (15 miles while racing)
Song of the Day: One By One - Deep Sea Diver

I got up with Yoshi and had breakfast. A few of his friends were going to come with us over the the qualifier. We wanted to get in early and ride the track and get used to it. It was actually a really nice ride over there. There was a decent bike path from Fooscray down to the Docklands. Melbourne is a little bit like Portland Oregon in terms of being bike friendly.

The area the race was set up in, The Docklands, is just like what it sounds. It is no longer the shipping and transportation hub that it used to be. The container terminals are gone, replaced by high-rise luxury condos. Almost all of the old industrial portions have been paved over and polished.

The course was still being set up when we got there though. We took a few laps around the place. Trying to guess from the map what they intended to do, and how the routes would go. I went to visit all the checkpoints at least twice though. So I got a very good feel for things.

The qualifiers were supposed to start at 11:00 AM. That didn't happen. Messengers can get you a package on time, but they can't seem to organize their own events with that much punctuality. That said, putting something like this on as an amazing feat in itself. They have closed streets. Put up hundred of cone and barriers. Strung miles of plastic ribbon to mark the boundaries. Organized crews to man all of the checkpoints. Frankly I am surprised it went so smoothly. If it was a few hours delayed, well that is understandable.

They let people go in groups of 2 every minute. I was in the second group, and started at 1:31 PM. The qualifier would last 90 minutes. Again, if you don't remember this race is to see who can make the most "money" in that time. To make the cash you have to complete jobs. Each job has a pickup location, a drop off point, and a price. There were also six rush jobs that were worth more, but had to be done in 10 minutes. I thought I did pretty well. I really did know the course. I started doing the rush jobs while there weren't that many people on the course. I was a bit foolish in that I wasn't always picking up the maximum number of jobs when I stopped though. That meant I would have to come back to a checkpoint when I didn't have to. I was just getting used to it though. By the time I started picking through the regular manifest of jobs I had gotten into a groove. I did make one mistake at the end. I was trying to complete 2 jobs before my 90 minutes were up. At the NACCC last summer I missed qualifying because I didn't push hard enough. This time I tried to do too much and ended up coming in over time. I thought that might cost me qualifying. I wouldn't find out until later though.

That afternoon one of the Melbourne guys was organizing a race. I wanted to try it, but it was an old school sort of race. Only for people on fixed gear bicycles. Ah well. I went to the start and hung out with a bunch of other guys who weren't racing. Just talking and swapping stories.

From there we headed over to the party. It was in this weird warehouse. They had some dance music upstairs and some other stuff. It was a lot of fun. After a couple hours of milling about there someone noticed the results for the qualifier had been posted. The top sixty were going to race in the final. I placed 45th! I qualified.

I was so excited about getting to race the next day I promptly crashed my bike on the way home. Durg. The bike was okay, but I hurt my shoulder pretty good. I didn't notice until I got home that I had also scratched up one side of my face. Sometimes I am really good, sometimes I am really stupid. It is really painful when the two come so close together, though.


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