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Old 01-31-10, 06:04 PM   #1
norymeoreason41
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Watch Craigslist. . .

for my bike. After today, I realize I'm not worthy of such equipment.

First road race ever today, it was the Spring Fling in Deland, FL. I was a category 5 newbie, so didn't know really what to expect. I have been doing group rides in the Orlando area for the past couple of months, and am usually found pulling or near the front of the pack on these rides. I just assumed it would be similar. WRONG!

7 mile loop, four laps - we were quarter or the way through lap 2. I was thinking after lap one that I might have a chance to take a win, the group was going slower than I'm used to. I was getting anxious, but I didn't want to blow my legs and was good hanging out in the middle for the first couple of laps. We came out of a turn with a small incline, and the group really started to bring it. I let up for literally 2-3 seconds and before I knew it, a 5 foot gap turned into a 25 foot gap. I looked behind, and it was me and only 3-4 others! I was shocked as I didn't even realize I was in the back to begin with.

I feel somewhat responsible for the riders behind me as well, since I'm the one who caused the gap. So, I felt it was my responsibility to pull us back to the group - which was really starting to move at this point. Before I knew it, the gap had widened, and I was continuously looking under me to make sure there were still followers.

We hit a small ascent, and I stood out of the saddle, 5-6 feet ahead of my small group. As I came up over the hill, I was really moving and suddenly I looked behind me and there was no one! I peered into the distance ahead of me - and you guessed it, no one. It hit me, I had missed the turn about 20 feet ago. I felt sick, ashamed, embarrassed, everything under the sun.

I turned around and by the time I got back to the turn, my small group was well ahead. I spent the last 14 miles trying to chase them down, but was too weak.

I'm pathetic.

Now back to the beer.
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Old 01-31-10, 06:12 PM   #2
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Well, that's one way to learn a whole bunch of important lessons all in one go.

Don't make the same mistake twice, and you'll be golden next time
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Old 01-31-10, 06:12 PM   #3
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The gap forming is just another part of racing, as for the missing the turn.... haha it happens, but at least you have a funny story. just shake it off.
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Old 01-31-10, 06:44 PM   #4
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man, this is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. I don't mean to laugh at your misfortunes, but the recap is dead on and written in a hilarious way. great report, and get ready for the next race. hope to see you there!!!
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Old 01-31-10, 07:01 PM   #5
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Far worse things have happened to people in their first race. No worries. I got lapped in mine. Just keep going and learning.

Oh, and youre not responsible for any other riders (other than not causing crashes). Unless maybe theyre your teammates.

And youve got the right attitude. Have fun.
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Old 01-31-10, 07:09 PM   #6
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I feel somewhat responsible for the riders behind me as well, since I'm the one who caused the gap.
Creating gaps that you can cover, but results in dropping others is a very valuable skill.
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Old 01-31-10, 07:30 PM   #7
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man, this is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. I don't mean to laugh at your misfortunes, but the recap is dead on and written in a hilarious way. great report, and get ready for the next race. hope to see you there!!!
I'm glad you got a laugh out of this. It's funny how it really doesn't seem funny at the time, but looking back I can appreciate the humor in the situation. In fact, at the time, all I could think about was how I wished my tire would go flat so I could have a more legit excuse (I dare anyone to swear they've never had that thought). But alas, of course I'll be back!

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The gap forming is just another part of racing, as for the missing the turn.... haha it happens, but at least you have a funny story. just shake it off.
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Far worse things have happened to people in their first race. No worries. I got lapped in mine. Just keep going and learning.

Oh, and youre not responsible for any other riders (other than not causing crashes). Unless maybe theyre your teammates.

And youve got the right attitude. Have fun.
I appreciate everyone's encouragement. This pedal-pusher isn't done yet.
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Old 01-31-10, 07:35 PM   #8
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One take away - the race is always up the road.
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Old 01-31-10, 07:39 PM   #9
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I like those little gaps... I wait until the exit of the next corner and then get out of the saddle and hammer it to close the gap..

That usually takes a big toll on everyone that's not smart enough to jump on my wheel at the perfect moment.


ENJOY !
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Old 01-31-10, 09:00 PM   #10
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You're 1/10th of the way to Cat 4, and you finished rubber side down. Mission accomplished. Good work!

Which turn did you miss?

And by the way it could be worse. We turned a 61 mile Road race into a 76 mile road race this last summer, which definitely will kill your placing on GC in a stage race.
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Old 01-31-10, 09:19 PM   #11
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You're 1/10th of the way to Cat 4, and you finished rubber side down. Mission accomplished. Good work!

Which turn did you miss?

And by the way it could be worse. We turned a 61 mile Road race into a 76 mile road race this last summer, which definitely will kill your placing on GC in a stage race.
Valid point on the Cat 4.

Telling you what turn I missed makes it even worse. It's the turn off of Reynolds, right after the rolling hills. Yes, that's right, the one that had the police car actually parked in the road. I blasted right by the police car like it was no body's business. Idiot.
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Old 01-31-10, 11:24 PM   #12
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So what kind of bike is it? How much ya askin'?
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Old 01-31-10, 11:43 PM   #13
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Valid point on the Cat 4.

Telling you what turn I missed makes it even worse. It's the turn off of Reynolds, right after the rolling hills. Yes, that's right, the one that had the police car actually parked in the road. I blasted right by the police car like it was no body's business. Idiot.
Somewhere in a coffee shop this week a couple of cops are going to have a great story about their traffic control duty on Sunday, lol.

Shake it off OP and get ready for the next one. At least you have a good story to go with the first one, and it beats leaving gear and hide on the tarmac.
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Old 02-01-10, 12:08 AM   #14
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Somewhere in a coffee shop this week a couple of cops are going to have a great story about their traffic control duty on Sunday, lol.

Shake it off OP and get ready for the next one. At least you have a good story to go with the first one, and it beats leaving gear and hide on the tarmac.
"so i just made like a never seen the kid"
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Old 02-01-10, 12:49 AM   #15
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No problemo dude!!! Many of us have been there and done that -- your story helps me bring back fond memories (maybe not pleasant while being experienced). I remember the first time that I raced at the old Tuesday Nighter course in Austin: I got dropped soon after the last climb, I pushed hard to catch on, no dice, I missed a key right turn that would bring me back to the start and I therefore added a few miles to my first lap
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Old 02-01-10, 05:58 AM   #16
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You have no responsibility to pull those behind you back up, even if you are the reason they got gapped. That's racing. Look to them for help on the chase back on, if they can.
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Old 02-01-10, 06:49 AM   #17
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Yes, that's right, the one that had the police car actually parked in the road. I blasted right by the police car like it was no body's business. Idiot.
This story just gets funnier and funnier. I have heard of losing "situational awareness" in a race due to exertion, but this is starting to take the cake.
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Old 02-01-10, 07:32 AM   #18
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Sounds like my 1st RR.
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Old 02-01-10, 07:49 AM   #19
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This story just gets funnier and funnier. I have heard of losing "situational awareness" in a race due to exertion, but this is starting to take the cake.
I guess if I can't have a trophy, prize, or medal, the cake will have to do - I'll take what I can get.

Last edited by norymeoreason41; 02-01-10 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 02-01-10, 08:03 AM   #20
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No problemo dude!!! Many of us have been there and done that -- your story helps me bring back fond memories (maybe not pleasant while being experienced). I remember the first time that I raced at the old Tuesday Nighter course in Austin: I got dropped soon after the last climb, I pushed hard to catch on, no dice, I missed a key right turn that would bring me back to the start and I therefore added a few miles to my first lap
Funny. I did exactly the same thing the first time I went out to the Nighter. Ended up at William Cannon and thought, this can't be right.
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Old 02-01-10, 10:31 AM   #21
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Creating gaps that you can cover, but results in dropping others is a very valuable skill.
Indeed. F those guys.
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Old 02-01-10, 10:52 AM   #22
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I'm glad you got a laugh out of this. It's funny how it really doesn't seem funny at the time, but looking back I can appreciate the humor in the situation. In fact, at the time, all I could think about was how I wished my tire would go flat so I could have a more legit excuse (I dare anyone to swear they've never had that thought). But alas, of course I'll be back!
Never. If it's too hard and I need to drop out, so be it. My ego can handle the pain. I've suffered for 21 miles to get 42nd place; I've survived for 40 to do worse than 60th. I've blown up with two to go in a 30-minute crit and straggled across the line third-to-DFL. I've missed 1st place when I was the strongest in the race because of a n00b mistake. I've wiped out on a wet RR crossing in a massive field crash. Bike racing is hard, and unless you're a super talent, it is deeply humbling. I've never understood the "death before DNF" attitude. When you've been dropped 23 miles in to a 63 mile race, you have nothing more to prove by finishing. When I finished Battenkill, so far back that I did not even end up on the final results sheet, I did not do it because it proved something about my ability to suffer or because I lacked a "legit" excuse to pack it in. I finished it because I did, after all, need to get back to my car so I could change and drive home, and riding was a hell of a lot better option than standing by the side of the road waiting for the broom wagon (which I was even sure existed).

Keep it up, come back, keep learning. Bike racing is worth the pain.
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Old 02-01-10, 01:30 PM   #23
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This is why they made Cat 5, I'm guessing. So in one way you're doing it right, for now.
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Old 02-01-10, 01:59 PM   #24
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Reminds me of a story a friend told me about a pro womens race . The race official on a motorcycle missed a turn and led the whole field off into the boonies. A cpl of girls who were off the back made the tun correctly and won.
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Old 02-01-10, 02:02 PM   #25
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That was a good story. I am really looking forward or racing again, now.
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