Now is the time when the crazy exercising begins — yay! It’s the time when Hobgoblin and I do day-long hikes and hours-long rides, sometimes for days in a row. I’ve ridden the last four days in a row, including a race today; tomorrow we’re going to hike 14 miles over three mountains (it’s Hobgoblin’s birthday tomorrow!); Tuesday I’m going to race again, and then I hope to ride at least four more times before the end of the week, ideally two of those rides lasting for over four hours. This will be fun.
The race today went pretty well. Hobgoblin and I drove up to Hartford to ride in their criterium; I’d watched races there before, but this is the first time I actually rode on the course. It was a women’s open race, which meant I was riding with women from all categories — which meant it was a fast race. I had no idea how I would do, as the last women’s open race I rode in was last year in my first race ever, which turned out to be a disaster (I got dropped after about two laps).
Mostly I hoped not to embarrass myself, which I most definitely did not; I finished the race with the pack. I got only 30th place out of 42 starters, but the point for me was to finish with the pack, not necessarily at the front of it. I felt pretty good throughout, but going through the corners in the last lap I didn’t have a whole lot of strength left to sprint with — and if you’re nowhere near the front of the pack, it really doesn’t make sense to sprint anyway, since you’d be sprinting for something like 30th place, which doesn’t mean much, and you put yourself in danger of crashing.
What I learned is that I need more practice riding fast through corners; I noticed that I slowed down too much at the corners and began to slip back farther in the pack, and then once I was through the corner, I had to speed up to catch up with everybody else. That takes too much energy. I just don’t have a whole lot of practice cornering; the criterium course in my town doesn’t have difficult corners, so they are new to me. I also need to be a bit more aggressive; I let other people jump in front of me too easily.
So, enjoy your holiday everyone!