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  1. #1
    Young and unconcerned Treefox's Avatar
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    DFL > DNF: My Saturday Race Report

    Yes, my dearies, I'll be comforted with the fact that Dead F'ing Last is a better result than Did Not Finish.

    And there were a great many who didn't finish.

    Hemel Hempsted Spring Chicken Road Race, 43 miles. I was in the Cat 3/4 race.

    Very very windy day - BBC was saying 20mph, so gusts would've been higher than that, but the predicted rain didn't show up until just after the race finished. But as much of the course had farms on either side, the wind was a force to contend with. The E/1/2/3 race after us will have dealt with some appalling squally rain.

    Much of the race was on unmarked country roads, so there was often no centre-line from which to base any centre-line rule, not that people were paying attention to it when there was one. This, predictably, resulted in a guy getting hit by a truck head-on. I got stuck behind the resulting go-slow, and it took quite a bit out of me to get back up to the pack - which I did just before a hill - not a terribly bad one - I was only five or ten metres off at the top, but then people really cranked it up down the other side, but as it was into the wind and I didn't have anyone there to draft, so that was the end of my relationship with the pack. Others were in a similar position though, so shortly thereafter I was able to corral three guys into a paceline, but we were faced with that too-familiar view of the peloton slowly getting further and further away. And when the marshalling car passes you and heads on, you know you're kinda doomed. Ultimately I got dropped by that group, and for about 20 miles was out on my own before two more folks came up behind me. Stuck with them for a bit, unsuccessfully tried to set up an echelon to handle the cross-wind, eventually got dropped by them... came back... then dropped again.

    Every single lap, as I approached the turn-off for the race HQ, I could see people up ahead. I would think to myself, 'ah, if I catch up to this guy, we can put something together and finish more strongly' - but then they'd turn off for the HQ to pack it in. Dead annoying.

    I finished the race just as the officials at the finish were pulling the chequered flag up out of the ground - they saw me coming, so stood there for a moment with the flag to humour me until I crossed the line, then continued with packing up.

    Upon getting back to the race HQ, I discovered one of my team mates had taken a spill while in a break and probably broke his collarbone. So he was on the floor of the HQ covered in blankets waiting for the ambulance to get there. Not too cheerful. (this also, of course, means that I was so far back that he crashed and was cleaned up before I got to the point where he'd taken his spill)

    Lesson: find more Cat 4-only races, rather than 3/4 ones. Like 80% of the race were Cat 3's, though the later race, an E/1/2/3 race, had places left over.

    Oh well.....
    Die schokoladenseite des radfahrens.

  2. #2
    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefox View Post
    Yes, my dearies, I'll be comforted with the fact that Dead F'ing Last is a better result than Did Not Finish.
    ...damn right.
    gravity: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DanielS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefox View Post
    This, predictably, resulted in a guy getting hit by a truck head-on.
    That sounds bad.

  4. #4
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Good fight, but a head-on, and they didn't shut it down?

  5. #5
    proud of his bunny Zinn-X's Avatar
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    Sounds like a disaster race. But good job nonetheless.
    "I'll probably stomp you into the ground. I'm 6'4", 250, work out everyday, and have an extremely bad attitude." -ovrrdrive (aka. Captain Carnage)

  6. #6
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Any race you can walk away from is a successful one.

  7. #7
    Young and unconcerned Treefox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    Good fight, but a head-on, and they didn't shut it down?
    Rumour had it he got up and rode back to the HQ himself. I was only aware of one ambulance for our race and that was for our guy who hit a hole in a sprint. (Our guy broke his collarbone, but I'm told it was a clean break. But he'll be out for 6-8 weeks - tragic as he'll shortly be receiving the most pimped-out Parlee custom-frame TT bike, which he was hoping to take to TT glory this season.)

    I think the truck may have already stopped and the guy either wasn't paying attention or couldn't tuck back in (probably both). The country lane it happened on was blatantly not wide enough for oncoming traffic (maybe a regular car and three cyclists abreast, max - I rode the course a few days before and had to go into the dirt as a big lorry carrying hay bales came the other way). As I passed, he was somewhat worrying slid under the front bumper. My right forearm is actually rather sore today from having smacked into the saddle of the guy in front of me when that happened.

    Apparently in previous years they've had horses bolt into the peloton, causing carnage. There was lots of talk at the briefing about neutralising the race for horses. Didn't happen this year, but there were certainly horses on the course (though being dropped, it didn't affect me terribly much).
    Die schokoladenseite des radfahrens.

  8. #8
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    In tents!

    (sorry DST jet lag)

  9. #9
    Young and unconcerned Treefox's Avatar
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    Tents?
    Die schokoladenseite des radfahrens.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefox View Post
    Tents?
    read it out loud...

    Congrats on finishing!

    When I restarted racing I couldn't even finish races, then started finishing, and eventually moved up to winning races. It takes time and a ton of work, and staying in to the bitter end is part of it.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Geoff326's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    Any race you can walk away from is a successful one.
    +1, cuz then you can race again in the near future instead of laying in a hospital bed in the near future
    Cannondale CAAD7

  12. #12
    Village Idiot
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff326 View Post
    +1, cuz then you can race again in the near future instead of laying in a hospital bed in the near future
    The infinite Pcad wisdom has been seconded!
    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
    -Albert Camus

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