Strawbuger's Racing Log

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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby MREJ » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:28 pm

I was up at Bathurst with a group. My wife and I did a cruisy 70k, but many of our friends were in the longer rides.

This has been a wonderful event (weather notwithstanding) but this year, there were many reports of bad riding. Some of my friends made similar comments to those in this report. I saw two crashes during the relatively tame 70k ride!

My brother-in-law, in the 30 to 35 bunch, and a very experienced racer, thought there were too many people who were overreaching themselves.

It's marketed mostly as a sportive, but lots of people treat it as a race. Some of those seem to be ill-equipped to do so, or perhaps aiming for times that are beyond them. It makes me wonder whether there should be a separation of Cycling Australia racing licence holders, with the usual grading system applied. Let graded bunches go first, followed by several non-graded (or self-graded) groups. At least this way, there'd be some hope of more sensible bunch behaviour.
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by BNA » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:08 pm

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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby mjd » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:08 pm

toolonglegs wrote:How much meters climbing in that course?... nice average either way by both of you.
All that crashing sounds like punter city though :shock: .
Or was the course a bit wet?... seeing that no one ever races in the wet in Oz except for Opens! :P .

Never seen bunch riding like it. People jumping from wheel to wheel all over the place.
MREJ wrote:I was up at Bathurst with a group. My wife and I did a cruisy 70k, but many of our friends were in the longer rides.

This has been a wonderful event (weather notwithstanding) but this year, there were many reports of bad riding. Some of my friends made similar comments to those in this report. I saw two crashes during the relatively tame 70k ride!

My brother-in-law, in the 30 to 35 bunch, and a very experienced racer, thought there were too many people who were overreaching themselves.

It's marketed mostly as a sportive, but lots of people treat it as a race. Some of those seem to be ill-equipped to do so, or perhaps aiming for times that are beyond them. It makes me wonder whether there should be a separation of Cycling Australia racing licence holders, with the usual grading system applied. Let graded bunches go first, followed by several non-graded (or self-graded) groups. At least this way, there'd be some hope of more sensible bunch behaviour.

Whilst I did enjoy myself I was on edge the whole ride cos you knew it was a matter of when not if someone was going to bring a heap down.
Definitely needs to be sorted better or I think it will be skipped next year.
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby mikesbytes » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:35 am

MREJ wrote:I was up at Bathurst with a group. My wife and I did a cruisy 70k, but many of our friends were in the longer rides


I think we met, I was the DHBC rider who switched from 160k to 70k due to a broken rib and rode with a beginner lady rider. I had entered the 35-40k group, but I'm now wondering if next time I should enter the 40k+ group to keep away from fit but pack inexperienced riders.

Strawbuger, your definitely ready for B grade and I would say your going to shine at Ken Dinnerval
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby MREJ » Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:54 am

Hi Mike

Yes, that was me. It was nice to say hello to you along the way. At least being towards the back of the 70k ride, you don't have to get tangled up with the messy business.

We had a funny experience over the last 15k or so. Anne stuck to my wheel all the way along that section, after we turned left following the last big downhill. I was happy enough to sit on the front and keep turning it over. Anyway, at the start of this bit, as we made the left turn, someone hopped onto her wheel. And in that formation, the three of us sailed along contentedly all the way back into Bathurst.

This took a while as we were just cruising at around 25kmh. I glanced back from time to time - each time, there was Anne and behind her, the mystery guest in blue. Not a word was spoken the whole time. We picked up a few strays and then dropped them, and still the blue rider was there, silently tagging along. It wasn't an issue - I was happy to do the work and I know it's nice to be able to sit on for a while - but it was a bit odd having this unknown, silent companion for kilometre after kilometre. Then we got back into town, and turned left to cross the rail line, and Anne called a stop so she could adjust something. We pulled over to the kerb. I thought, at last I'll see who the mystery blue rider is, when he or she goes by. But no blue rider appeared. I turned around, to see that he (as it turned out to be) had just pulled in behind us at the kerb.

I was just wondering in an amused sort of way whether he was waiting for the train to leave the station again, when suddenly he threw his bike onto the grass in a cranky sort of way, derailleur side down, and collapsed! Whoah! I asked whether he was ok, and he said he had a cramp. Well, Anne and I were ready to go, and now that I knew we wouldn't be abandoning someone to an agonising death, the two of us left, and rode the rest of the way without our silent blue follower.

Just one of those funny things.

PS blue rider - if you're reading this - I hope you got back ok :-)
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby mikesbytes » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:27 pm

MREJ, wasn't it such a different world back there. Pre ride one of my objectives was making sure that my beginner rider wasn't taken out by another beginner rider, but there wasn't a concern at the back of 70k ride.

Do you remember seeing this guy?
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I worked with him in 2011. Anyway he was suffering from dizziness at the last feed station and I gave him a lecture on not continuing, but just before the end he caught us.

Anyway, I'm hoping that the state handicapper will take notice of my 23.2kph average speed
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby MREJ » Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:04 pm

Hi Mike

Well, I did a bit over 21! NSW open graded events here I come. Actually, I'm feeling a bit off colour as well :wink:

I don't remember seeing your friend. He may have been at the feed station at the top of the hill - we didn't stop there - but I think he was probably just out in front of us somewhere.

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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby Strawburger » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:41 pm

Date: 27 May 12
Venue: Ken Dinnerville 90km Handicap
Conditions: Mild
Grade: Limit +7.5 (+22.5mins)
Result: 113th / 185
Report:

Reading though last year's report it was very similar! Drove down with Mikesbytes and then a laid back warmup before race start. As with last year, the bunch was disorganised. Only a handful of Illawarra riders plus a few from DHBC were prepared to do any work early so I found myself on the front doing a lot more work than i probably should have. Lap one and the legs were not great, but i felt super heading up the hill.

Lap 2 and we were still chasing the limit group and trying to hold off the bunch behind. I found myself near the front of the group on the climb. There were a lot of wheel suckers so on the crest i spoke with the other 2 strong DHBC riders to push the pace for a km or so to shed the deadwood. We pushed the pace but the Illawarra riders took control again and slowed the pace back down. Worth a try :P

On the decent of lap 3 the group behind caught us, i found myself near the back so i sat on and grabbed a bit of food and water. I was struggling with the slight up in pace over the "cobbled" areas (ie the potholed surface) and found myself very quickly slipping off the back. The legs weren't responding and by the turn around point i lost concentration, took the wrong line and found myself spat out :( My race was over, I could only watch as Mikesbytes and a few other groups flew past. Scratch caught me with 1km to go, so not a bad effort to keep them away for as long as i could! I was feeling like junk the whole race so to come in at the same avg speed as last year wasn't too bad. I need to work on my tactics though for handicaps!

dist - 85.9kms
time - 2hrs 33min 31sec (official time of 2:33.06)
speed - 33.6km/hr avg (68.6 max)
cadence - 87 avg
heart rate - 172 HR avg (189 max)

Same avg speed as last year so no real improvement which i was sort of expecting. Avg speed before being dropped was approx 35.5km/hr. Finding it hard to motivate myself with ToC still a while away!
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby Strawburger » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:15 pm

Date: 16 June 12
Venue: Wagga Wagga Classic 88km
Conditions: wet, muddy & cold
Grade: Limit +5mins (+10mins)
Result: 4th last :cry:
Report:

After the disappointment of the Dinnerville and a subsequent flu I had very little km in the legs and wasn't expecting much this weekend. I got to the event early to have a long warm up in the rain and cold and to get the legs moving after time off the bike. It was a bit daunting setting up next to the Suzuki team! Somehow I felt really good in the warm up and it was pumped for the race. We had 30 odd in our bunch and for the first time in a long time the bunch actually worked well. I ensured i learned my lesson by not working too much but i didn't really need to. We were rolling at a pretty reasonable 35km/hr average. We hit Wagga's now famous dirt sections (more road works ensured wet AND dirty bikes/kit). For some reason i can negotiate these sections better than the group and find myself at the front on both occasions. We keep rolling through and approach the limit group just on the hour and outside Junee. For the second year running i get the dreaded wobbles. I pull over and sure enough some glass in the rear finishes my race in that group. I look around and there is no sign of the other groups so i decided to get the spare out. I quickly pump as the next group go past and scratch are on the horizon. I check the tyre before putting it on and my thumb goes straight to the rim :evil: I scream out profanities and put my arm up in assistance. No takers in the motorcade. Scratch goes past and one dropped limit rider pulls up beside Me. "Need a hand?" It was the best thing i heard all day! Francesca from Vikings handed over her spare tube, i changed it and we decide to roll back and finish the ride at about 30km/hr. We picked up two Waratahs riders suffering the same fate but saw no sign of any others. Thanks again to Francesca for stopping to help out. It would have been a slow 60km walk home!

dist - 88kms
time - 2hrs 47min 40sec
speed - 31.1km/hr avg (56.4 max)
cadence - 85 avg
heart rate - 157 HR avg (188 max)
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby Strawburger » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:35 pm

Date: 17 June 12
Venue: Wagga Wagga Criterium
Conditions: cold, damp
Grade: E - 30mins +3 laps
Result: 13th from 24
Report:

An extra hour sleep in was exactly what i needed for a grade jump this year! I wasn't so sure what to expect (except for it being faster :lol: ). Some of the riders from yesterday were in higher bunches and there were plenty in my bunch from yesterday riding F so it was going to be hard! The race started with a very quick 40km/hr lap from a standing start, this threw me straight to the tail and holding on as the surges out of the corners were relentless. I could easily corner faster than the others so I tried to get back up the bunch in between corners (especially the very fast right hander leading onto the back straight). As i made my way up I found a few riders drop out or overtake so i constantly found myself at or near the tail. The laps were sitting at around 37-39km/hr until the first prime. The pace kicked up as a breakaway attempted to get the cash, but it went down to a bunch sprint. Again the laps were hovering around 38-39km/hr until the 2nd prime then it jumped to 42km/hr. After this one the pace dropped so i made my move up the pack and only got as far as the middle once the 30mins had elapsed. From here everyone sat in and waited for the sprint. I got in a good position to contest (ie hold on!) and overtook 2 riders in the bunch sprint finish. Pretty happy with my race considering the grade jump (2km/hr quicker than last year) and learned a huge amount on positioning to take on board for future races.

dist - 23.5kms
time - 36min 49sec
speed - 38.3km/hr avg (51.0 max)
cadence - 87 avg
heart rate - 177 HR avg (190 max)
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby Strawburger » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:25 pm

Date: 22 July 12
Venue: VCC Winter Handicap #2
Conditions: windy, cold
Grade: E +20mins on scratch
Result: 5th from 37 :P
Report:

Found myself down in Canberra for the weekend and was tipped off about a handicap race held by the ADCC & Vikings. Handicaps have always been nasty to me, but thought i needed some high intensity kms in the legs. Started in E grade, with 5 of us rolling out 10mins behind limit (F) which had only 4 starters. The experienced VCC rider got us in tight formation soon after the start and we were working well as a team. We dropped one of the weaker Canberra riders early on and we were down to 4. Still working well we were quickly approaching the limit group and made the catch soon after the turn around point. The wind was picking up and was making it very difficult and slow. The bunch behind were quickly approaching. It must have been the 12 D graders. They were making quick ground on us and with 10km to go they swamped us. Fortunately I got just over a climb when they powered through. I jumped on and fortunately they slowed down significantly so my recovery was quick. I was dragged along for about 5kms and then found myself on the front! One rider jumped and i turned to the bunch and asked who was going to chase? The reply was "you can, we're not!". I sat up and waited. Soon others jumped so i tacked on. 4 were up the road as i attempted to chase on. I found myself in no mans land between a dropped rider from the attack and another chasing me down. I caught the guy in front and attacked. He jumped on my wheel so i slowed. This allowed the guy behind to catch so there were 2 groups of 3 racing for places. the front group kicked again on the final hill and the top 3 were decided. I was sitting in 5th place as it stood but the guy behind jumped. I latched on as best as i could and passed the rider in front of me. The guy who jumped was way too strong and i was maxed out but had enough in the legs to crawl over the line in 5th place. I told the guys who won that they were very strong D graders and way too quick for me. The reply was they were actually A/B! I have no idea how i could keep up with them. :D :D

dist - 49.1kms
time - 1hr 41min 49sec
speed - 28.9km/hr avg (67.0 max)
cadence - Didn't work
heart rate - didn't work (maybe that's a good thing - i was stuffed!)
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby Strawburger » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:36 pm

Date: 4 Aug 12
Venue: Mudgee Mark Dwyer Handicap 90km
Conditions: cold, headwinds when you don't want them
Grade: Limit +10 mins (+26mins)
Result: 80th from 188
Report:

It was a typical handicap race for me. The pre race plan of "do the turns and don't overdo it because you always blow up with a long way to the finish line" lasted 5kms. A guy from my work started the move and suckered me in to go with him and a few others just to lift the pace. Loads of wheels suckers snapped off the back and the group was down to 15. Then 10. Then 8. Then 7. Then 6. We kept a solid 40km/hr pace with great fluency. We thought, man we could catch limit here and power home... until we hit the headwinds. Our average dropped to 25km/hr and with so few riders we were swallowed up by the eventual winners at the 60km mark (at about the same time as we swallowed up limit). I hung on for 5 or so kms until a split in the group up a hill saw me snap off the back. I was one of the last to tail off so i assumed my usual ride solo in agonising pain to the finish line. At least I beat my namesake from the scratch group in the sprint finish (it was a sloooooow sprint). Plus mikesbytes didn't see the agonizing look on my face this race.

dist - 88.9kms
time - 2hr 33min 47sec
speed - 34.7km/hr avg (63.0 max)
cadence - 90 avg
heart rate - 171 HR avg (185 max)
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby Strawburger » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:30 pm

Date: 5 Aug 12
Venue: Mudgee Pieter van gent 42km scratch
Conditions: hungover
Grade: D
Result: 8th from 50 odd
Report:

It was a day of firsts. First time I've been able to get on my bike after the tough Saturday race. First time i led out the bunch sprint. First time my sprint didn't exceed 50km/hr. First time in the top 10. The race didn't really get going until the KOM sprint. Once we got over that, the pack was down to 10 riders. We pushed on but not too fast as a bunch formed behind and caught up. We had about 25 riders and with all the surges and attacks it reformed with about 7km to go. I was near the back and thought there was no chance of getting near the front. A gap opened up round an easy left turn so i punched through and found myself near the front. The pack slowed and i was on the front with 5kms to go. I turned to a mudgee rider and said "wanna go?" He wasn't interested so i slowed down and somehow remained at the front. We rolled onto the finishing straight and i was still at the front. With 800m to go the pack was getting itchy. One jumped so i jumped as well. I couldn't blame myself for choosing the wrong wheel because i was the wrong wheel out in front! We were quickly swamped and I dropped to about 14th place. I thought, bugger this, i want a top 10 so i rode through the pain, passed a few riders and lunged myself into 8th spot.

dist - 42.9kms
time - 1hr 11min 34sec (official time 1:12:39)
speed - 36.0km/hr avg (64.5 max)
cadence - 84 avg
heart rate - 166 HR avg (189 max)
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby Strawburger » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:21 pm

Date: 1 Sept 12
Venue: PDCC Presidents Handicap (Perth)
Conditions: sunny, slight wind for the hills
Grade: C (+6mins)
Result: 18th from 55
Report:

I found myself in Perth for a couple of weeks and was directed about 35km south to Wandi for the Peel Districts CC Presidents 5 lap Handicap race. Asking the commissars which grade i should be in, i suggested B or C, they put me in C however our group of 7 had B-D graders. We had a 6min head start on scratch and quickly pushed the pace. On the first incline i found myself on the front pushing a little too hard. We dropped 3 riders and were down to 4 (one B, 2 C and a D grader). Our line was rolling strong, having a one minute or so stint at the front before rolling back. By 2.5 laps in we caught the front group and powered straight past. By the start of lap 3 we lost one of our riders and instantly our pace dropped ever so slightly - but enough for the scratch riders to get a sniff. midway through lap 4 they were on us. I latched on and held on the back for a bit and passing Nicobec at the same time. On the bell the pace lifted once more as the attacks started. I was well over my limit and dug in to hold on. A few splits were occurring and i found myself bridging the gap at max HR on a few occasions. The group slowed waiting for the bunch sprint. I couldn't match the A graders but did get past a few to hold onto a top 10 finish.

The talk after the race was that is was very fast - criterium like (one suggested a kermese). I was hurting for a few days after that for sure! Had the pursuitist cough for a few hrs. Nice meeting Nicobec & madrapper after the event, putting faces to names. Plus my new (2nd hand) bike frame fits like a glove!

dist - 42.2kms
time - 1hr 06min 18sec (official time 1:06:30)
speed - 38.2km/hr avg (58.3 max) (new PB on avg speed :P )
cadence - Not recorded (large though)
heart rate - 177 HR avg (191 max)
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:19 pm

You may have been out of your depth a little with the higher grades but it will do you more good than bad Strawbuger as it helps you see how much harder, you can push yourself. :wink:

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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby toolonglegs » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:31 pm

Lots of racing :-) ... You need to hunt down some hilly races ;-)
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby mikesbytes » Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:45 pm

Like on Sunday week
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby Strawburger » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:24 pm

foo on patrol wrote:You may have been out of your depth a little with the higher grades but it will do you more good than bad Strawbuger as it helps you see how much harder, you can push yourself. :wink:

Foo


Yes it has really paid dividends, more than I thought it would! My next report (when I get around to it) will show how much improvement there has been this season!
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby Strawburger » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:36 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Lots of racing :-) ... You need to hunt down some hilly races ;-)


Yeah this year ive been able to sneak a few more races in thanks to my understanding wife :D Only two hilly courses in my season though which is a bummer, when the tour of Canberra was cancelled I was pretty disappointed to say the least!

mikesbytes wrote:Like on Sunday week


Thus, the only other hilly race is next Sunday as mike pointed out: kurrajong classic. Been building up to this one, if I can hold my nerve on the descents I'll be in the mix.
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby mikesbytes » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:52 am

We will probably be in the same grade at kurrajong
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby Strawburger » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:29 am

mikesbytes wrote:We will probably be in the same grade at kurrajong


Mike I'm really hoping you are suggesting the 2 lap D grade race.
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:11 pm

Well the gradings ain't up yet
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby Strawburger » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:58 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Well the gradings ain't up yet


waiting for late entries?

... whilst i'm here i better do the reports from the state champs!
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby Strawburger » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:13 pm

Date: 7 Sept 12
Venue: NSW State Championships - ITT
Conditions: Terrible - Rain, large gusting winds, hail at times
Grade: M2
Result: 15th from 20 starters
Report:

This was my first ITT with the right gear - skinsuit, helmet, clip on bars (ok so not all the right gear!) and booties. The aim was to not come last, so specific training before the event could prove the difference in the final outcome. The conditions were terrible to say the least. 4deg (wind factor), headwind on the way out was gusting at (some say) 80km/hr and slight rain made it challenging.

I made my way to the starting booth early, no one was there to check my bike (don't blame them!) so i kept warm by rolling around near the start. What i didn't realise was that the guy off before me was a no show. I arrived back at the start gate with 11 seconds to go. I quickly jumped on the bike and i was off. I felt pretty good but made sure i didn't go out too hard. I got into position well and slogged it out against the winds. Soon enough Mr Tolhurst, Seiper & Milostic flew past at a cracking pace, thus my top 3 placing vanished within the first 6kms! :oops: No sign of the bloke that started behind me though so there was still hope of 2nd last place :D I had to drop into the small chainring nearing the turn point just so i didn't blow up on the slight uphills. On the turn around, i was averaging 29.5km/hr, or 23:22min. Not going to plan, but i had plenty in reserve for the tailwind finish. I got into the big ring and started powering over the lumps. With 5km to go on the flat i was running out of gears. Little did i know that the derailleur must have been bumped in transit as it wouldn't shift further down than the 13. It was a lonely road as i couldn't see anyone in front of me, however i was still holding off the bloke behind! I spun as hard as i could and tried to tame the beast as it was bucking all over the place due to the gusts of wind. I crossed the finish line at 46km/hr or 14:50 for the back half. Pretty happy with the result, not only did not come last, but i improved a few more places on the goal :P

dist - 22.75kms
time - 38min 11sec (official time 38:09)
speed - 35.7km/hr avg (60.6 max)
cadence - 96 (due to derailleur not jumping past 53-13)
heart rate - 175 HR avg (185 max)
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:19 pm

Sounds like a lovely ride :P ,at least it can't be worse weather next time... what did the top guys in M2 average?.
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Re: Strawbuger's Racing Log

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:35 pm

Assuming we end up in the same grade, can you drive me there in style?
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