Race report

My first bike race of the season didn’t suck! Woo-hoo! That’s really all I ask.

I ended up finishing the race, which is a big improvement on last year’s first race, and I stayed with the main pack up until the last 2 laps (out of 17 or 18 laps, I’m not sure). At that point somebody decided to sprint off the front, the pack surged forward to catch him, and I couldn’t keep up. I might have stayed with them, but I was on the wheel of a guy who couldn’t keep the pace, and when I went around him to try to catch up, I hit a head wind and couldn’t do it.

But going into the race, I had no idea whatsoever what I’d be able to do. Last year for my first few races, I didn’t finish, or I finished so far off the back of the pack that it hardly counted as a finish. I’ve done a lot more riding this year than last, so I thought I might do better, but I had no real idea how much training the other riders have been doing or who most of the other riders would be.

So I went into it hoping just to hang on as long as I could. When I’d ridden a couple of laps without feeling like I was going to die or throw up, I relaxed a bit and thought I might be able to do okay. After that, I told myself to try to hang on for five more minutes — just five! — and after that I told myself to hang on another five minutes, and another, up until the end (the whole thing was about 40 minutes). At that point, many of the guys in the pack still had energy left to sprint, but I most definitely did not, so I wasn’t surprised they left me behind. And there were a bunch of guys who fell behind much earlier than I did — I don’t like to have that competitive attitude, but — it’s really nice to be faster than at least a few people.

It was a cold day, although not colder than one might expect in early March, low 30s in the morning. But it felt much colder than that when I finished my race and stayed to cheer on the Hobgoblin and other teammates. Clouds blew in and covered the sun and the wind picked up, and I stood there shivering, wearing the Hobgoblin’s jacket, wishing it were spring. I like watching bike races, but I’ll like it more when it’s warm.

Oooh — one of my teammates just sent me an email telling me I rode a good race today!  My teammates are awesome.

11 Comments

Filed under Cycling

11 responses to “Race report

  1. Congratulations! It sounds like a very successful racing day! Do you get nervous riding in these races? I guess it isn’t like being on stage, but at the same time you are doing something where everyone is watching! Definitely a nice way to start your racing season.

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  2. Thanks Danielle! I get a little nervous before races, although it’s not so much because people are watching (there aren’t many spectators — mostly other racers and their families, but on a cold day like today, not many of those) but because I know I have a huge physical effort ahead of me, and I wonder if I’ll be up to it. It WAS a nice way to start the season.

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  3. Congrats on the great progress you made! I don’t think you need to be apologetic for a mild streak of competitiveness at all. Good on you for beating out some of the slow pokes. :p

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  4. Woo! Congratulations! Great way to start the season, and it will only get better!🙂

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  5. Thanks Imani! You’re right; there’s nothing wrong with being a little competitive🙂

    Thanks Stefanie! It WAS a good way to start the season.

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  6. Congratulations! One of these (nice, sunny, warm…) days, I’ll have to come out and watch you race

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  7. Emily, that would be awesome! There’s a Tuesday night series that runs all summer that might work well.

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  8. LK

    Congrats! You and Hob deserve a big pat on the back (and maybe, once training is over, a beer.)

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  9. Thanks LK! Um, I don’t let training get in the way of me having a beer, although maybe I should …

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  10. Edd

    Hooray! I’m with the rest of your fans in saying a good race… Although I do not live up North, I find the cold invigorating. When I was in competition skydiving it was not only the thrill of falling but the jolt of cold air on your face that got the adrenaline pumping. Have fun in your next races.

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  11. Thanks Edd! The cold is invigorating, except I’m so terribly tired of it at this point!

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