I felt like a complete sandbagger. Let me start with some backround...Last year I competed in 4 races in the Jr. Novice division, 2 5th place finishes, 1 race a went an extra lap and ended up in 11th, and 1 win in a very small race. There was a very big field in 3 of the races, and I felt I competed and belonged in my class. I get to the race last Thursday (ALONE thanks to moabrider47!), I haven't been on my bike in weeks (it was at the LBS), and decide that because I'm moving up to the Senior age category, I would stay in the Novice skill category. The kids race goes off, isn't it fun to see them go around, and Novice and Super Jr. (12-14) are asked to go to the starting line. I make my wave through the 40 something 12 year olds to the novice riders, to my surprise, their were 6 of us! Me, 3 guys in their late 40s, 1 woman in her early 30s, and 2 women in their late 30s.
The race starts, I fly off the line and start in on the first descent, in to a wide flat section with 4 90 degree turns, I handle it like a race car driver, high in, low out, into a sprint section, I'm doing a good 30 mph in top gear, I look back...there is one guy in sight, a good quarter mile away ! I feel kind of bad, and slow up coming into the climb section. The climb is a long but an easy middle ringer. A guy and a girl are gaining on me and I feel better. Into the singletrack I go, I take it easily, and am about to come out for the end of my 1st of 3 laps, just out of the single track there is a sharp sandy turn, the 1 thing I forgot to do before the race came back to bite me...my tire pressure was too high! I didn't notice it on the practice laps because I wasn't going all out. The bike went out from under me and I hit the ground, it wasn't bad, I didn't slide, just went down. I pick the bike up and the girl passes me, "Oh, I shouldn't have slowed up!" I thought. I get back on the bike and drop the chain, "Nooo, I'm gonna loose!" 1 guy passes me. I'm back on the bike, catch and drop the guy within 100 ft, and then blow by the girl on the climb. On the 3rd lap I lap 2 in my class and 4 Super Jrs as I go in for the win almost 2 minutes ahead of anyone else.
I congratulate the other riders and head to the medic tent to treat my wounds on my arm and knee from my fall. I come out all bandaged up as the Sport and Expert riders are lining up, " I could compete with these guys, maybe not win, but I'd be in the middle of the pack," I thought to myself. I watched their race eating my chicken burrito you get free for racing, and I made my decision to move up to Sport Class.
What do you guys think?