Driving to the race today I was pretty nervous because I have been looking past this race to a long road
race a few weeks ahead so I havent really been paying attention to this.
When I got there the first thing I noticed was the course wasnt what I was expecting at all. I knew it
was a .7 mile course and had 50 feet of elevation change but I figured it was on wide roads and I wasnt
concerned about 50 feet. Well the first thing I see is a 8ft wide section of downhill that goes right into a
90 degree corner! The next thing I realize is everyone is warming up on trainers so there really wouldnt be
much time to ride the course to prepare.
I then take a walk around the course and get to see that the first corner is a really wierd double corner
thing that looks sketchy. Then you get hit in the face with wind as you approach the next corner. Once
you get around that you again get hit by wind and you go up ever so slightly and approach another
corner and go up a short but decently steep hill. When you get to the top of that you get to the dreaded
chicane everyone was talking about but honestly it didnt look like a big deal because you are going to be
recovering from going up the hill. However, once you get past that you make a 90 degree left down that
narrow road into the last corner. This had me worried.
I was there 2 hours early so I got to watch the races before me. This was different since I am usually the
first race. Unfortunately there was a pretty bad crash on the second corner, bad enough that it
warrented an ambulance. Not a good sign.
I pulled out the trainer and warmed up for the remaining 30 minutes of the race. When the race finished
they let us on the course. When I get near the accident there was a big puddle of blood. It unnerved me
for a minute. Especially since it was in one of the easiest parts of the course. I only got two laps in
before it was time to line up. I wish I would have had more because this course was technical and it
would have been nice to get used to it.
As we lined up they talked about the crash and warned about the technical course and then asked whose
first race this was. Several people raised thier hands. I was glad I was in front of them. When the blew
the whistle I realized another mistake ive been making. I dont start real hard. I start in the front but I
dont sprint away so people pass me right away and I dont seem to care. On this course that was a BAD
mistake. At the first corner one of the guys that past me did something sketchy and almost plowed into
me. I am not sure how I didnt get hit and how no one crashed. Anyway this already knocked me about 20
spots back and put the group single file. Luckily a strong looking guy zipped by me with speed so I just
followed him until he got us back up the group of 15 or so that missed out on the sketchiness.
The race blew apart right away. Just one long line with lots of gaps. I just worked on staying on that
ones guys wheel when I probably should have been trying to advance instead of waiting for him to do it.
On about the 4th lap a gap started to form in front of the two guys ahead of me. I am the fatty in the
middle of this photo
I *think* at this point I went around the guy I had been following to close the gap. I dont remember.
Anyways right before the climb i fell off a little and all of a sudden I was alone. There was no one behind
me either. I thought that was strange.
For the next few laps I was all by myself but I was never far from the leaders. At one point I could see
the riders ahead all stung out and broken up into small single pacelines. I counted 11 people ahead of me
but I saw stragglers falling off that I knew I would catch. I was already suffering pretty bad and being by
myself if I couldnt see these guys I probably would have bailed. Each time we got up and down the hill I
had this false hope that I was going to catch the group. In any case I kept picking people off one by one.
Then we started passing people so I got real confused over what was going on or where I was in the
With four laps to go some one catches me from behind. "Thank God, I have company". I let him get by
and I draft him for a lap. On the straight away I ask him where the hell we are and he just responds back
with the laps left and not where in the field we are. Now there are a couple people behind me.
With 3 laps to go this guy goes blazing around me. "Oh crap I am getting lapped!" I catch up with this guy
and draft him for a while. I then think this guy hasnt lapped me because I am hanging on him easily and
even pass him for a while. I can see there are 3 guys behind me.
As I am starting the last lap I hear the announcer saying "oh what an easy win" behind me. I cant really
tell what the heck is going on. I am suffering worse then I ever have. I have no idea where I am or what I
can do. That guy that I thought had lapped me tries to get around me on the way up the hill but I am not
having it and jam on up the hill. At the down hill he get mes and so do two of DrPetes clubmates. On the
final straight away I decide to sprint it out anyway from far behind and catch up and even pass one of
the guys that passed me.
I cant breathe. The guy in front of me that I thought lapped me starts drifting in front of me and I realize
I dont even have enought strength to do anything if he hits me. Luckily nothing happens. As I make the
first turn to warm down I am so out of it I have to pull off in to the parking lot and try to regroup. I feel
like I am going to die. My head is absolutely throbbing and i feel like I am going to throw up. I dont know
how I am going to make back up and down the hill to finish the cool down lap. I get in my smallest gear
and climb away as the people warming up for the next race go flying by me.
As I got to the downhill I seriously hurt so bad I honestly thought I might cry. I thought about the post
on here about the pain and how we say "am i really going to do this again?" My head and chest are
pounding. As I get over to my wife and the two buddies I warmed up with I think about getting off the
bike and just laying on the parking lot. However when I get over there I cant even get off the bike. I just
stand there hunched over the bike mostly ignoring my wife asking me if I am ok. I try to take some water
but I cant even swallow it so I weakly spit it out and get some of it on me. I probably stood like that for
another 5 minutes before I managed to get off and go sit down.
After about 5 - 10 minutes I finally become functional again. I tell my wife I think I finished in the top 10
even though the leaders almost lapped me. I get up and go check the results and I see I came in 22nd of
34 finishers. I am bummed because I destroyed myself and the best I could do was 22nd? I hurt this much
and thats it? I thought I was a little better at this. I went back and sat down to watch DrPete's race.
The whole time I kept trying to figure out what happened but I was so out of it during the race I couldnt
count on myself to recall anything correctly.
After Petes race finishes I come across the guy I passed on the sprint and ask him what he came in. He
said 11th. So I asked him if he lapped me (this was a stupid question. The leader never lapped me so how
could anyone else?) and he said no and that he had fought his way up to me in the first place. He then
tells me that they accidently marked a bunch of people as lapped when they hadnt be and that was
probably what happened to me. I went up to some official guy and he confirmed there was a mistake he
said even though it was past the protest window he would correctly move me up.
I really didnt care about officially being moved up. I was just happy knowing I did a lot better. Its just a
cat 5 so the standing doesnt mean anything but it does mean I am not as bad as I thought! This changed
my day so much. I suddenly got very happy instead of just meh.
Here is the PT info from the race. This is only the 3rd time Ive ridden with the PT so I dont even know
what it means yet. The black section is from the race.
Things I learned:
I need to start faster.
I still need to find away to acurately know where I am in the pack/race.
I need to question placings.
Seeing pictures of myself I realize how fat I still am so that means I can still get lots lighter and leaner.
I also see how crappy my position on the bike is and I can fix that.
I never ride in the drops.
ok done... finally