After skipping out on the Pisgah Omnium TT, I trekked up to Brevard for the criterium taking place downtown. The course ran just a block north of main street, it had a very small race feel to it. On paper the course looked like a normal 4 corner course, pretty cut and dry. It was neither cut or dry, believe it or not, the town that's nestled in the Appalachian mountains had a hilly crit. The course had a very steep stinger of a climb going through the finish and just after the first corner (like little ring climb). Got KITTED up under the threat of rain as is the case down here: every day it's super humid and hot, and it pours down rain in the afternoon. `Monty also made the trek from Winston Salem, so I had one teammate for the day.
It immediately started raining, the field split within a lap of the rain on the very difficult course. There were less than 10 in the group that went of the front, driven not by anyone in particular, just attacks. I went for some primes, thought I won two, but got one (I have bad luck with primes). We lapped a few guys and it came down to a field sprint with some lapped riders. I opened up my sprint a bit too early before the last corner and ended up giving a great lead-out to Bobby Sweeting from 5-hr who got me at the line by half a wheel.
After cooling down and DE-KITTING we headed to the newly opened Oskar Blues Brewery, which makes Dales Pale Ale in NC!!!
Had a brew and a pretzel and started heading home, drove down Caesars Head and headed along US276. It was dark and what not, came around a corner near Moody Br Rd and I saw a young buck on the right of the road, just poking out of the woods. "Oh deer" I said to Kathryn, who came up to watch the race. Just a moment before we passed the dear it jumped out into the road, I had time to swerve and start braking but it was too late. The deer jumped up just before we hit it, smashing into the passenger side of the car and tearing the bike rack and bike off the top of the car, fortunately the windshield or pillar held up and no deer actually entered the car.
A passerby helped me grab the bike rack with bike still attached out of the woods, still covered in mud deer fur and blood.
Amazingly the bike turned out to be fine (Thanks Wilier for making a sturdy bike). We headed to the gas station just down the road to wait for a tow truck. The police were too busy to stop by and take a report, and the AAA tow truck was in Georgia and 3+ hours away (still waiting for AAA to call me back and tell me they're ready to tow my car). I called another wrecker and we waited at the now closed gas station till about 1am for the truck.
Now cyclists in Greenville know the Sunoco in Cleveland, OH just off Greer highway, what they don't know is that is apparently THE hangout of Cleveland, OH. I've never seen so many people just hanging out at a closed gas station. There was beer, music, dune buggies...generally the works.
Anyway Saturday's post race meal eventually consisted of some Waffle House at 2am.
I spent Sunday morning cleaning/fixing up the bike. For being torn off a roof of a car at 50mph and thrown into the woods, the bike was remarkably fine. Just a bent derailleur hanger, torn bar tape, and an out of true wheel.
It was a beautiful course though, really in the middle of nowhere, right of US 25 across from the Saluda reservoir area.
It was a fun race, good workout, and I finished 4th. I guess I should've signed up for the omnium since I would've made a little more money, but oh well.
On the way back, we stopped by the scene of the collision, found some antlers, parts of my car and skid marks, but no deer carcass.
From here on it's resting up and watching Le Tour to prep for the next big trip out to Oregon for the Cascade Cycling Classic.
At least it'll give me some time away so the car hopefully gets fixed, in the meantime I'm getting around on the motorcycle and bicycle. Just living life on two wheels.