So I finally was able to come out to the crash fest known as Early Bird Crits. I left around 9:20, looking at the map it was about 25 mile ride each way. I was worried I would be late, but arrived with plenty of time to register. Asked one of the AV guys to pin a number on me.
The training thing started out somewhat sketchy, but got better as people settled in. The paceline drills were a nice reminder on how to ride in a pack. It was like riding well a bicycle. No one crashed out or looked too sketchy. So it was a good sign for a crit.
The main event! The field was split in to two groups. The 5* were in first group, and 3* were in the second. As someone explained it to me. Both groups are CAT5, they ran out of 5* numbers and were giving out 3* for later arivals. The pace was pretty easy. I think we were going around 23, with brief trips in to 27 range when someone decided to be Mr. Big Nuts. The juniors were in the front at the beginning. Everyone let them have their fun. Slowly they drifted in to the middle of the pack. Personally I tried to stay in the top 1/5th. To lessen the likehood of being caught in a crash. Didn't really see anything too stupid. Just the usual CAT5 behavior with wheel overlaping, and some sketchiness. I let one guy in in front of me early in the race. Only to realise he was riding with his son. They were trying to do something, and looked somewhat unsafe. So I tried to stay away from them for most of the race. With ten minutes to go I was in a paceline, with probably four or 5 people in front of me. Next thing we know officials are trying to neutralize a race. WTF? Apparently other group lapped us! mmm ok... So everyone slowed down, for a lap. Which allowed struglers to catch on, and we were back to one big group. Great! NOT! Bad call I think. So after race was restarted we crossed the line and the bell was rang. Final lap, yey! On the back side everyone was still doing around 23-24. You would think pace would pick up. So I figured I will see what I have left in my tank, and liven things up. Sprinted in front. Only hit 27! What a hell? I was able to do 35 easy last year. I guess I have a lot of work ahead of me. Anyway that woke up the rest of the group. They cranked it to 27-30s. I stayed away from the final sprint. No one crashed, but I think it was a right choice, based on what officials were saying after the race. Looking at my computer the average for the race was about 23mph.
Hanged around for an hour or so. Waiting for results. Saw 35+ race. They were doing great untill the last lap. There was a crash comming in to the final stretch. Anyway results didn't came, so I gave up and rode home. Was taking it easy in zone 1, when a couple riders passed me. One of them said "Jump in if you want." That caught me by suprise. So I jumped on. Normally I wouldn't since my rides are based on time not miles, but today I just wanted to get home as soon as possible. Plus I figured would get me to start riding above zone1. Rode with them for a few blocks. Took my "pull". They turned left, and I continued on my merry way.