More centuries, fewer races.
The season is young, but it's already off to a bad start. I had been off the bike for some time due to knee injuries, so my confidence and "racing edge" feel have degraded. I had hoped to get back in the swing by just racing a lot.
In every race this year so far, there have been bad crashes...many of them have involved my teammates. Each time, my nerves ratchet up a bit, and i can't help but think about not-crashing during the race.
Then, in the last race - it was a frantic race around a flat course with potholes and weeds and all kinds of crap in the road. Things were going okay, but then some idiot decides to bunnyhop a pothole right in front of me. he comes down at a sharp angle on his bikes and wobbles badly. Nearly takes me out. But i survive, and we keep racing.
Just a minute later, i'm following a teammate towards the front, and another guy hits a cone, which causes my teammate to go down. HARD. 8 broken ribs, punctured lung, torn groin, road rash all over, the list goes on. The race organizers didn't have EMS on site, so it was about an hour in the cold before he got help...during which time i was darting all over the place trying to meet the ambulance, keep other riders from hitting him, notify his wife, etc.
And i didn't even plan to come close to winning that race. I just wanted to go and blow out my legs for 40 minutes or so and say "whew, tough race. some of the 3s are monsters this year " and then go home and have a beer.
Naturally, retelling this story has led everyone i know who doesn't race bikes to beg me to stop. My nerves are kind of shot. In contrast, I really enjoyed racing last year. Felt confident, in control, and close to winning form. If i'm honest, i'm really in it for the fitness, not for the win, so i'm kind of indifferent to the loss at this point. Maybe i'll just switch to trying to do a century in 5 hours and enjoy the same beer afterwards.