another race in which i
didn’t have time to warm up.
had to duct tape my shifter together
and got over to the line just before
the masters rolled out.
bradley, avi and i
were representing the cuttin’ crew,
and i found my friend john there as well.
john is a triathlete,
and i found his a good wheel to follow,
since he was steady and a surprisingly good climber
(efficient and smooth).
there were a lot of teams out there,
but not any teams with more than three members.
Tati, Crew, IIT, and at least two 2CC.
so my job for the race would be to keep an eye on breakaways.
i wanted avi to get a podium finish.
the course was about 5.5
miles per lap and we were to do 8 laps,
even though the officials
accidentally told us 7 laps.
there was a little confusion as to this part,
which plays in later.
there was a sharp and
bumpy turn shortly after the start,
and then a long and tough hill,
followed by a turn and a short but steep hill.
one sharp turn,
and a few almost unnoticeable uphills.
we passed the masters on lap 4 or so.
we called out and they let us ride through.
then, off we went again.
that hill was pretty tough,
and i thought about riding
the front of the pack to get up it
but put that thought out of my mind.
i haven’t been training,
and did not feel able to do any good pulls.
i planned on leading avi out,
and i didn’t think a break would happen.
so riding the pack and sucking
wheels became the tactic.
on lap 6,
the masters caught back
up to us just as we got to the hill.
we called out to the pack to let them ride through.
but oh, that beastly hill would not yield,
and the masters blended in with us
and formed a huge pack of 100 or so riders.
so we called out,
trying to tame the pack.
“masters ride through!”
“elites, let them ride through!”
so we rode slowly for a
and joked about how nice
it was to get a bit of a break.
but the masters still didn’t pull through.
i rode towards the front
to ask them to ride on,
and i noticed a big group
of riders way ahead.
“did you guys get dropped?”
“are those masters up there”
“no, those are 4/5′s”
turns out that some of the elite
4/5′s used the mingling of the masters
to initiate a break.
but i could not let this get away,
so i excused my way to the absolute
front of the rear pack.
and blasted my way towards the front pack.
it was hard.
like when you come home late at night and your keys don’t work because your landlord is too cheap to replace the lock and you have been in your sweaty chamois for hours and your ankle hurts and you are wearing racing shoes and trying to climb into your window and you are poor and your credit is bad.
that kind of hard.
i just had to make it
to the front pack
or the whole day was ruined.
so i bridged,
slipped off for a few seconds,
then finally got back on,
(most of the rest of the 4/5′s were right behind me, as it turns out).
i barely made it up the hill, and i figured my race was done.
but i did hold.
then there was a sprint
for the finish line,
with one lap to go.
avi took second
in the false finish
as the bell rang for the final lap.
i’d mention how funny i think that is,
but he is still pretty sore about it all.
bradley had dropped on the hill
after making his own bridge effort
right behind me.
that meant it was me alone for the end.
but i was still seeing spots
from the bridge when the hill came around again.
so i didn’t quite recognize the break
when it happened.
then, one of the break members
burned out, and one lone wolf was out there solo.
i finally recovered and did some thinking.
no avi and no bradley.
it was just me, the pack, and a solo.
i knew the pack would not hunt him down.
there were no sizeable teams
to organize a chase or make a sacrifice.
so i continued to suck wheel
and played for second place.
the pace ramped up,
but i knew we would not catch our prey.
after a bit of jostling in the pack,
out left and saw the cones.
myteriously, nobody else was jumping,
so i said “turbo, kitt” and let loose.
it seems i have developed a sprint lately,
and easily beat the pack for second place. beta.