Its been awhile since my first race almost a year ago, between a big move and some job changes, I have a collected a sum total of 1 DFL and 1 DNF in the meantime riding with the Cat4/35+'s here in Colorado. The Cat4/35+s is about as low as you can go, no cat5 in ACA. I really looked forward to this weekend as there were two races and they both had citizen men divisions, most races here don't. This is the first in a two part story, enjoy newbies and expereinced alike.
Part 1 or "Why I got yelled at"
Denver Federal Center Circuit Race 3.7miles, 30 minutes, $35 ($25 for the race, $5 one day license, $5 day of registering)
I knew this was going to be low key when I got to the start and the ref was explaining that because of the timing of the laps we may do 2 or 3 and everyone just kind of agreed to to do 2.
The course was perfect for me, not technical but windy and some short power climbs. At 220, I have vertical course issues, as a newbie, I have technical course issues, so this was looking good so far.
I go there early enough to scout the course and get in a good warmup. We lined up, agreed to the 2 laps, and off we go. As a newbie, I still ride with my 2-sided SPD mountain bike pedals. In my vast experience (all 4 races now), I have found this really gives me an edge at the start as I seem to be abel to clip in and get to the front while others are still struggling with their pedals. So I lead all seven of us through the first couple of turns barely pedaling. Finally someone wants to push the pace and I slip in fourth wheel and get comfortable, we hit the first little climb on the fourth turn and in the draft I just kind of float through without really pushing it yet.
A turn at the top of the little climb and things are going good, we go into the next right turn pretty hot and thats when things get weird. My front tire buckles under and I am out of control, luckily I get unclipped fast enough to get my right foot down as an outrigger and I ride it out straight into the bend. The pack rides off and there I am. The car following comes by and asks if I have a spair or want a ride back and I tell them I can hoof it, its not that far back (while halfway through the circuit, it was only a half mile back the way the crow flys). Thats when I realize that I had left on my saddle bag, and wouldn't you know it, I do have a spare. Their was a guy manning the traffic flow at the turn and he suggests, hey, why don't you change it and see if the ref will let you back in. The irony here is that I got a pinch flat from having changed my tires the night before putting on a pretty fresh pair of Hutch Fusions instead of my Gator Skins. SO I change it and wait, chat up the guy who it turns out had ridden this as his first race a year ago in the citizen's division and now is on the team that is hosting the race. Real nice guy and here we go...
I start soft pedaling as the I see the motorcycle coming through, as he drives by I yell out, I got a flat, can I hop in at the back, I won't contest. He cut me off before I even finished, NO, your out. So the pack goes by and I am stunned. I paid $35 for a 2 lap, 20 minute citizen race contested by 7 of us and this guy is worried that I may affect the outcome. I just wanted to ride with a group at speed and get some experience and this guy is treating this like the Tour De France. Well, the pack goes by and hey there's a straggler a couple of hundred yards back, I'll go ride with him. So I fall in with him, he is struggling, I felt for him so I take the lead, and then I get pissed, f-this, I didn't pay $35 to ride by myself for 20 minutes, and I start to ramp it up, before too long I bridged back to the lead group towing my straggler, as we connected I fell to the back, he wimpers out a thank you and that was enough to make my day. As we head into the last straight away before the final turn I rev up enough to get even with the leader and then just quit pedaling, everyone flows by me as we hit the final turn and I am planning to just head straight at the turn and call it a day. But we are not done yet. Right past the turn, Mr. Motorcycle is waiting and he is pissed. He flags me over and I humble listen to his tirade about how I affected the outcome of the race by towing the guy back and what was I thinking when had told me NO. I guess he was waiting for a repsonse becuase he kept repeating himself, then I muble a, "yeah, I hear you." He finally rides off.
First off, I want to apologize to whoever took sixth out of seven in the Citizen men's race on Saturday. Becuase of my actions, you could have taken fifth out the seven. This was unfair to you and I hope that you can get over this injustice.
I am really torn, one side of me says, good god, just let me race, the other side understands that this is a race, whether 7 or 70 and my actions did affect the outcome. I am over it, hopefully no one was harmed.
Luckily, the sun rises again the next day and on to the Bannock St Crit! Part 2 of this lovely story coming later.