I am no longer so down about yesterday's race. Basically, I need to improve my handling and get used to my equipment before I ride it. I am still not convinced that the Vittoria's are the way to go. Frankly I think that there were several errors on my part. I didn't have enough tire pressure. I hit the rim way too easily. This caused me to slow down for fear of damaging the rim.
Since the race I did a little roadbikereview investigating and found that some people reported that with these Vittorias if you ran them with too little pressure they tended to fold in a bad way. That is what happened to me perhaps during my final crash of the day--the one hurt the most at high speed. There also seemed to be some that disliked the tire but in general this tire seems to be close, though not equivalent to the Challenge Grifos. Having never run the Grifos I have no idea. All I can say is that I feel that I have had better traction both up hills and in corners with the Mud 2's than with these Vittorias. I can't compare the Tufo Flexus tires because I haven't ever run them in the mud or on wet grass. I loved them on the dry stuff though. I am going to let Spears borrow them and see what he thinks.
The other thing that I had suspected, and Spears ribbed me about as well is that I didn't crash much before because I was so dang slow before. My skills outclasses my fitness. When I had a larger gut holding me back it was easier to control myself as I was not going as fast in general. This is a nice thought. Whether it is true or not I will hold on to it as a possibility. I do think I am going faster even though yesterday it didn't feel like it. But regardless, I need to get better in the handling department. However, I am not sure how to go about this with my schedule. Maybe as the next couple of weeks go on I will have a chance to get out and practice on some wet grass. My turns need work for sure.
Even though the tires were not a good thing yesterday, either because of improper tire pressure or because they suck, the wheels work great. They felt very stiff. I did freak out once and pull over to the side because I thought a spoke had broken. Instead the noise I heard was only the end of the rear derailleur cable hitting the spokes as the wheel turned. Whew! But that stoppage cost me time and several places as well. Oh, and I will be putting my chain retention device back on. It is a 3rd Eye I think. I hope I can find it in my parts box. Losing a chain twice is inexcusable. Again bad equipment choices cost me places. But those wheels were great--knock on wood--hope they continue to be great too. Cheers to Neuvation.
Over 24 hours later the body tells the story of my poor choices. My left calf is quite painful at times if I use it in the wrong way. It hurts to run, but I rode for over an hour and it never bothered me. My rib cage which hurt a bit yesterday is just a little uncomfortable. The inside of my right ankle is bruised and slightly swollen. And the inside of my right thigh is bruised as well. My neck is the main problem. On that high speed crash I must have gotten a bit of whiplash. My neck as been very sore since about mid way today. This is a common thing to happen about a day after a neck injury. Still, I was able to ride even though I wasn't really feeling it. I am sure that all will be well by next week though.
Finally here is a couple of pics from Oregon Velo. In the second one I can tell that I know longer gave a crap from my body language. First one it looks like I am charging pretty hard.