I did the Mothballs Crit (Men's Cat 4) near Santa Barbara yesterday, which was my first race since I stopped at age 16 to go to college and start a career. My goal was simple: to still be with the pack at the finish. I immediately situated myself mid pack (about 50 riders) and spent most of my time watching the others and trying to decide who to follow and who to stay away from. One rider kept getting yelled at by a more experienced rider for stupid moves but seemed to take the comments well. I stayed on wheels during prime sprints since I knew they would slow and I should stay in the draft. Coming into the last lap, I was still feeling pretty good but was in no position to contend for the sprint, so I rolled in with the rest of the pack. Next race, I will work on positioning a lot more. Most importantly, I had a blast and can't wait to do it again!
I'll be posting pics of the Cat 3, Juniors, and 35+ categories in the race report thread in the So Cal forum. Hopefully someone got a shot of me as well. We'll see.