So last night the wind is literally pounding my house @ 50mph, and I'm wondering if this whole bike racing thing @ 6:30AM Sunday morning is such a good idea. I go to bed early, and the wind rattling wakes me up every couple of hours. By 3:45AM when I get up, it has calmed down a bit, so I decide what the hell. But it's still windy as hell, < 30ºF. I'm driving to Manhattan thinking 'I must be insane, why the F am I doing this?' and almost turn the car around once or twice. But once I'm in Paramus, I figure I came this far. I park on E. 82nd St. a Frisbee throw from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I go register. It's cold, but not nearly as windy in Central Park. But the bathrooms are locked. D'oh. I'm sure the employee just didn't set his clocks ahead this AM. I peed behind the construction trailer.
The race starts, today they cut off the downhill/uphill @ 110th Street because of ice on the course. That makes for two high speed turns where you can get accordian-ed off the back pretty good. Anthony Van Dunk, the race organizer, says 'you might want to take it easy on the first lap, it's been a long time since we've done this route'. Right Anthony. The first lap is ballistic, like they lit the friggin rockets under Wiley Coyote's ass, we go through those slightly downhill turns @ 30+mph.
Long story short: 3 man break up the road with a lap to go with 10-15 secs. on the field, they got bridged to by about 10 guys, my team mates got 1-2. No thanks to me. At one point my team captain was exhorting me to go to the front to help them chase, I tried, a combination of not being able to move up (boxed out) and not having the snot prevented me. But this time I did finish more mid-pack, felt stronger on the last two laps, only had one 'if they accelerate like that again I may be toast' moments in the whole race.
No crashes, very positive experience. Started out with total pre-dawn dread (the wind was atrocious) ended up being a better race than last week. Amazingly, despite the 30mph winds, you could have passed around a joint on the starting line. Considering the fact that this was Central Park it was rather disappointing nobody was. Oh well. I even got yelled at for not being at the front on the last lap by my team mate and pal Gary (who won the race). It just doesn't get better than that.
+ another 25 miles afterwards/portion of the Nyack Ride. Good workout for early March. Lots of fast miles. I think I'm getting faster and leaner. I'm not getting any friggin younger, that's for sure. I do suck at this sport (never forget the Self Loathing).