The boys getting ready to do battle!
Sheldon in the mix!
Climbing can be so much fun!by hummingbirdscc
It is the day after the road race. All is quiet.
We are all relaxing after the demands of race day and assessing all that went well and what needs to be improved.
The writer is happy to have had a chance to compete as a Hummingbird and to share the camaraderie of being a part of this club. My sincere thanks, on behalf of all the cyclists, to our totally engaged supporters, whether it was cheering at the beginning, offering encouragement on the climb, or cooling us with water, all of your attempts to help us to get over the finish line were appreciated and will not be soon forgotten.
Congratulations to Peter S on a fourth place finish in the Masters 55-59!
Congratulations to the rest of our team in putting a ‘best effort’ in representing the Purple and Gold!
Below are some pictures of the boys working together, coming down the highway.
Today is a rainy day. Thunder continues from the dark skies. Plans for even a short limber up ride are fading.
This is one of the few mornings of no cycling. We are relaxing looking at the Premiership Football League.
We are ready to roll on Sunday. Prayers are that it does not rain on Sunday, especially on the hill section. When the hill is wet, it is almost completely necessary to remain seated to avoid wheel spin.
Tomorrow’s race starts at the Lara stadium, heads south and turns back north at Corinth, and exits at Claxton Bay to climb the Tortuga hills and loops back down to the highway and then back down to the Lara Stadium.
In reflection, it has been a good week of preparation. We have done 450 km of riding, enjoying the heat, the friendship, the almost total immersion in cycling.
Thanks to all who have helped, supported us so far. Tomorrow is the time for the Purple and Gold to shine!
We got up for an early ride. We had a ride of just over 60 km in a loop around to Erin. The boys were trying their legs – Martin looks super ready!
Now who is going to believe this … it looks like were chased by a goat! When I realized what had happened, a goat was scared onto the roadway by a dog that was coming to chase after us!
We stopped for some pictures in Erin and had … you guessed it … Solo Apple J!
Pic 1 shows Marlon, Peter, Martin and Vernon, Pic 2 – Steve joins in.
Note the road sign in the back …Point Fortin, Cedros and La Brea are not far away.
Martin took a bike and a wheel to repair in San Fernando. We have been less than fortunate this trip with the bikes.
We do not anticipate riding this afternoon as two bikes are out of commission. We will rest and recover for tomorrow.
We did not do a morning ride One bike was out of commission. We went strolling into Siparia and visited a friend who had taken a tumble into a pothole. Watch out for the drivers!
We stopped into a bakery and had some fish and beef cakes … very tasty! It was so good that on our way home we bought a repeat order and added some sweet bread and coconut bake to the order.
In the afternoon, because of rain the area, we had to change our plan to ride a part of the race course. We headed off to Penal and enjoyed most of the ride, with the exception of multiple dog attacks! This is turning out to be a major pain! It is difficult to believe that people will stand by and allow their dogs to come at us!
See Event Results for the Hummingbirds CC performance in the Time Trial …
In the Elite, Sheldon powered to an 8th, while Robin came in 14th.
In the Tiny mites, Lorenzo placed 3rd.
In the Masters 40 – 49, Fitzgerald placed 3rd.
In the Masters 50 – 54, Martin placed 4th.
In the Masters 60 – 64, Peter H came in 3rd.
We were on the road early again, before the sun got hot.
We headed through the oil field roads passing along the oil gathering and main lines and pass rows of pump jacks. It was nice to see the wealth of Trinidad and Tobago silently working to provide resource for the nation.
We went through San Francique, Palo Seco and Los Bajos. More geography lessons.
We rolled easily along stopping in Erin for the now mandatory Solo Apple J, by the time we got back to Siparia we had covered just over 60km.
We got together in the afternoon to ride through Penal. As usual the packs of dogs interrupted the peace of the afternoon. Steve rode over on of the dogs but managed to stay upright … nice bike handling skills.
We had an early morning ride again. We had a nice easy roll of nearly 60 km. The riding was easy and once again there was lots of talk and laughter.
Places that I only know from my geography texts books blew …. Names like Penal Rock Road and Moruga Road.
Once again we are attacked by dogs in every village. They did not look like they would bite and seemed more intent on letting us know that this was their road.
More rain again … the good news is that it allows the boys to stop and talk with the folks in the area.
Unfortunately, one rider took a little spill, but there was no damage, except mostly to pride.
We did not ride in the afternoon. We were content to lime and old talk.
Morning came early. I awoke to a rap on my door. It was 5:20 am. It was time to get a quick bite and to head out onto the road for a long club ride. There were about 8 of us. Nice to see so much purple and gold on the road!
The objective was to head down to the road race course for the coming weekend. Some riders have not seen the course and wanted to check things out.
We got on the road at about 6:30, picking up riders along the way. Sunday morning can be a busy time on the roads and many times we found ourselves wending our way through the cars that were lined up in both directions.
We climbed the major hill for the road race course. Riders were trying different gear combinations, assessing which gearing would be most appropriate for the upcoming race. At the top of the hill we met at a rum shop, waiting for all to get up the hill. No folks, no rum, just water and sports drinks. After some laughs and conversation about the climb we were on our way to complete the downhill and head back to the highway.
After completing the course we headed back to Siparia. We stopped along the way for ice cold coconut water. This cycling can really be social.
Unfortunately the weather changed very quickly and the rain was pelting down. We took shelter at a road side parlour and where we got some snacks, but mostly sheltered from the rain. We had a long stop as the rain was non stop, falling in torrents. We could see the rain hitting the puddles on the ground, creating large splashes as it landed. After what seemed like forever we headed out on the wet, flooded roads; our bikes creating large rooster tails of water of the back wheels. We got back to Siparia close to noon, hungry, wet and covered in road grime, We had covered approximately 100 km.
Not being pros, we had to clean our own bikes. It was quite a job – the bikes were a complete mess.
Saturday was a flurry of activity.
We were up at the crack of dawn to get down to San Fernando to get a bike repair done by an A class mechanic by the name of Chris Pitt, the owner operator of Parkside Bike Shop. In a matter of minutes he was able to diagnose the problem and make the fix. We did spend a fair amount of time at the store though, talking about racing and the finer art that is bike maintenance at major world level events. We left the store having made another friend in the brotherhood that is cycling.
Before heading back to Siparia, we decided that we needed something to eat and stopped at a recommended road side vendor. We had a choice of bake and salt fish or smoke herring. All went for the salt fish and coconut bake with hot coffee. Marie, the owner of the little operation was a happy soul, telling jokes and thanking us for our business.
We left San Fernando, grateful for a tasty meal and hot coffee and lots of laughter. When we got back to Siparia it was time to get organized to head down to Port of Spain for the criterium. We packed up the bikes on Peter H’s car and, yes you guessed it, had something to eat.
We arrived at King George V Park in lots of time, even before the officials were set up. Registration was quick and painless. There was enough time to get changed, get the bikes set up and then go get warmed up.
The races got underway rather quickly.
In the masters 60+ Peter H managed to break away after a number of spirited attacks. He stayed away and easily won the event. Kelvin C was able to manage 4th place behind some highly favoured cyclists.
The Hummingbirds were prominent in the many events, the purple and gold showing well!
The boys getting ready to roll in the Masters – Steve, Martin and Peter S
Peter A in the bunch, exiting the top corner … Kelvin keeping an eye on the competition
Peter S showing the effects of the heat … Team Meeting!
At the end of the day we hung around the race venue with some other cyclists dissecting the events of the day. Pretty soon it was time for us to head back on the long drive back to Siparia.
Our sincere thanks to our supporters and our suppot team who drove us to the event and who helped us with equipment set up. Preparing for an event is so much easier (and less stressful) when there are folks to lend a hand with whatever is needed.
We arrived at Piarco International Airport at 5:15 and relatively quickly got through the “red line” (something to declare – the bikes).
We were met by friends of the club and a significant downpour.
We were on the road soon enough after loading the bikes and covering them with tarp. We had a slow drive as we experienced the traffic congestion that Trini’s have to deal with on an ongoing basis. The roads seem a little worse than last year – potholes galore.
Good news, we stopped for a healthy breakfast of bake and salt fish in San Fernando. Oh it is so good to be back in Trinidad.
We are at Vern’s mum’s home, chilling out, perhaps a little too wired and a little too tired to sleep. The plan is to take a short rest, assemble the bikes and go for an easy ride this afternoon to get the legs rolling for tomorrow’s criterium.
10 days to go!
Just 18 more days before we head off to Trinidad to participate in the T&T National Crit and Road Race! It seems pretty far away and still very close at hand. Peter A, Peter S, Steve and Vernon (see picture below) are preparing for the events … sharpening for the opportunity of riding with teammates from Trinidad. We are looking forward to the purple and gold showing well in this high profiled event!
Stay tuned for more updates!