Halfway between the break and the field, the only thing going through my mind was, “this is not a good idea. Maybe I’ll get a flat.”
This past Sunday was the second race in SRV’s Inland Road Race Series, held in Post Falls. While it was dubbed a criterium, it was really more of a circuit race with a handful of wide, sweeping corners. For some reason, the night before the race I thought it would be a good idea to armor up and pin on a number. At dinner the night before my 6 year old daughter’s response was, “You’re racing? Well don’t take a pill like those other guys you used to race with a long time ago.” Funny, and probably a good story for another time.
So anyway, like I said to Vertical Earth’s Mark Konokey on the start line, a rest block will often bring you to a peak in fitness. In my case I hoped that the fact that I have about 20 days of riding in this year meant I’d be well rested and snappy for the race. Sadly, neither of these things were true.
Instead, here’s a semi baked, stream-of-consciousness version of the race.
· Wow. Mark is attacking from the gun. No way I’m going with him.
· It’s good to be near the front. This doesn’t seem too bad.
· I like going around corners. Unfortunately that guy in front of me clearly doesn’t. Stay away from him.
· I hate that sound! Two guys got tangled up. Yep, there’s the squirrely one that was in front me earlier in the race.
· Try bridging. This is horrible. There’s nothing worse than going hard when I don’t have fitness. It feels harsh and sucky. I'm a bad person and eat too many bagels. And peanut butter. Here comes the pack. Time to sit in.
· Attack, chase, catch, repeat. How exciting.
· Now that’s a good move. If you’re going to attack, hit the front going fast so no one wants to respond. Nicely done, Travis.
· Poor guy. They’re keeping him close and letting him dangle.
· Back together. Speed is up and down.
· Too slow. Take a turn. Man this sucks.
· Two laps to go. What are the teams with lots of riders doing? Why aren’t they working together or even talking? Put your guys on the front and peg it.
· It’s a field sprint for sure. One lap to go.
· That’s the wheel I want. Is this squirrely guy seriously going to fight me for it? Not worth it.
· I feel like hell. Two corners to go.
· Oh crap, there he goes. Should have fought for the wheel.
· Here we go. Opening up. There’s the gap. Go around. Close it.
· 200 to go. Full gas.
· How come I’m standing up and sprinting, but not going any faster?
· Finish line. Throw the bike.
· Got them. 5th place. How in the world did that happen?
· Gazooks. I feel like crap.
So there it is. 3rd place in my category and 5th overall. The race felt horrible. And great. And slow. And fast. That’ s racing.
If you haven’t been out to a race this year you should really try. If you can keep up with the slower guys on the Morning Ride, you can keep up in the races. Trust me on this. And I can guarantee you’ll learn something about yourself, have a fun time, and if you do more than a couple will find a new gear on your bike.
A hat tip to SRV and Forza Veloce for putting on a fun race. I can’t tell you how nice it was to get up, go to a race, bury myself and get home in time for lunch. Nice.
Here’s to a new race season.