Race report

My races the last two weeks have been unspectacular, but I did at least finish both of them, making it up to the finish line with the pack, albeit at the back (I just found out I got 14th out of 17 riders). Today’s race was the hardest of the three I finished; we were a little faster than the previous races, at 21.2 mph, and there were many attacks, lots of chases, and several near disasters as I fell a little bit behind and had to work as hard as I could to catch up, or, if I was lucky, had to stay on someone’s wheel and trust that she could pull me up to the pack. A racer whom I’ve talked to a few times at various races had fallen behind and gotten lapped but after getting lapped joined the pack again — she was riding along with me at the back on the last lap, and when we were in danger of falling behind she made a superhuman effort to bridge the gap up to the pack and I followed gratefully on her wheel. I thanked her for the pull and she laughed and said no problem. It’s fun to help each other out; I may not have been able to help this particular racer, but I know pulled along a rider or two, at least for a little while.

So now this race series is over, but I have another race at a different location (Massachusetts) in two weeks and a week and a half after that the Tuesday night series starts. There’ll be lots of racing coming up — lots of chances to suffer and sweat and try to get stronger.

And oh, my, is there suffering involved. It’s not just the cramp in my side as I ride or the fatigue in my muscles as I climb that goddamn hill for the 22nd time or the splitting headache I develop at the end of the race; this afternoon as I was sitting in my chair grading papers, I could feel a deep ache settle into my muscles that’s with me right now. I’m waiting for the Advil to kick in. Oh, yes, racing is fun.

And now I’m going to indulge myself with some fun reading. I’ve finished The Echoing Grove and am now ready to start something new. I’m not sure what it will be, but I’m looking forward to choosing.

11 Comments

Filed under Cycling

11 responses to “Race report

  1. Congrats on the racing. And before the season started you were worried about riding with the women! It will be nice to have a short break until the next race, yes? Your aches will appreciate it :) Looking forward to finding out what new book you decided to read. Have fun choosing!

  2. Congratulations on your finishes. Very impressive! And it does sound like a rewarding (if exhausting and achy) experience. It sounds like you deserve a good read!

  3. Good work on the race!

    Hmmm, have you ever read Sybille Bedford? I think you’d really like her books…

  4. Ouch!

    This is surely the moment to indulge in a proper body massage. You need pampering, Dorothy!

  5. Finishing is just as important, so well done.

    But er — Advil? It must be fun. Take good care of yourself.

  6. Congrats on finishing! But ouch on those aches and pains. It must get easier physically as you go through the race season? Have fun choosing a new book to read–maybe that will take your mind off the sore muscles!

  7. Congratulations! I like cycling, not sure about racing though, so well done. Spring’s almost here (although it seems to withdraw itself again, how annoying) and once it gets a bit warmer I can take my bike out of the garage (I’m a sunny weather cyclist). Have you read any Maggie O’Farrell? If you like the Echoing Grove then you might like her books.

  8. i love the post-bike ride exhaustion. i’ve been getting ready for the five borough bike ride– 42 miles in one day!

  9. Congratulations on finishing your races. I’m impressed with anyone who can do something like that. Hope the soreness fades soon and enjoy your reading!

  10. Stefanie — I picked up a Georgette Heyer novel, and it seems to be doing the trick! Yes, I’m grateful for a break from racing, and I hope the rest will benefit me when I do race again.

    Deborah — thank you! I did reward myself with some good reading and now feel much better. It’s wonderful to go from working hard on the bike to lounging around in my reading chair!

    Thanks Jenny — I’ve never read Bedford, but I do have one of her novels (A Legacy) and want to pick it up sooner or later — thanks for the recommendation.

    Litlove — I’ve never gotten a massage, and I think I do need one — there are times when my muscles ache so much I know a massage would be just the thing.

    Dark Orpheus — Vitamin I! (Ibuprofin) Can’t do without it. It’ll all make me stronger in the end …

    Danielle — I get stronger as the season goes on, but the problem is that everybody else does too, so the races get faster and I have to work just as hard. No rest for me, I’m afraid …

    Seachanges — I don’t blame you for waiting for the warm weather — enjoy it when you do get the bike out! I haven’t heard of O’Farrell; while The Echoing Grove didn’t quite work out for me, I do like Lehmann’s other work, so I bet I’d like O’Farrell too. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Snackywombat — how fun! I’ve done the five borough ride twice and enjoyed it, at least once I got past the crowds. The beginning was hard because I couldn’t really ride for the longest time — there were too many people around. After that it was great.

    Lisa — thank you! I AM enjoying me reading and the soreness is all gone.

  11. Your penultimate paragraph clinches it for me: bike racing is not the sport for me. I’d give up as soon as I got the first cramp. Of course, rewarding myself at the end (or right after stopping with the first cramp) with a good read is definitely for me.

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