The past 2 weeks have been pretty shitty and I kinda needed to blow off some steam. I was really looking forward to the Pfeiffer Hill road race in Lancaster on Saturday but life decided to deal me another sharp blow to the sack and that just didn't happen. I did however make a last minute decision to register for the Cargas Crit in Lancaster today. There was the RFK crit in DC that was much closer and part of MABRA, but this was going to be my Closet Race. You know, race on the downlow where no one knows you and no one will look at the results to see you were even there? Kind of like closet training, when you're out riding 3-4hrs a day but you tell all of your friends you haven't ridden your bike in weeks so if you suck ass on the group ride you can just say it's because you haven't been riding, but if you hang and maybe throw down a bit, everyone is jealous because they think you're fit without riding.
Today was my closet race, no pressure, no one from the team was going to be there (according to pre-reg) and I could hopefully pull my ass out of this funk I've been in (read funk as "not being able to finish a race in 2 months").
The day started out good, except for briefly losing Riley who somehow managed to escape from the backyard to roam the neighborhood pilaging and plundering for food and small animals. I hit the road early making the all too familiar trek up the beltway to I83. As I'm merging onto 83 from the beltway this BMW SUV goes flying by me swerving in and out of lanes to get around slow moving traffic. I didn't really think much of it until about 15miles later when the same SUV comes cruising up next to me and the girl in the passenger seat is waving and smiling, I thought maybe she was taunting me and Special Sauce but as they went past I noticed bikes in the back and I realized it was Wendy and Ramon. Busted, there goes my anonymity for the day. It was ok because I think Wendy had the same idea as me as she should have surely been at RFK with the women's team trying to bring home BAR points. To top it off when I got to the race, I noticed Bobby Phillips in the 50+ race. Nice, club President and VP going out of state to race when there's a local BAR race that day.
For an industrial park crit, I have to say this is the nicest one around, I mean there's a real park and lots of trees, you didn't really even notice the one story industrial office park buildings. The D-shaped course was similar to Tyson's Corner, minus a turn. Fast uphill with a long, sweeping downhill. After a long week with little riding, I wasn't expecting much. Warming up, my legs were sore and stiff and I knew that little hill would start to hurt way too soon. The 3/4 field was the largest of the day with close to 80 riders, that was good since my plan was to sit in. The first couple of laps hurt a bit as my legs opened up but they were more responsive on the hill than I expected. With about 10 laps done of a 25 lap race, my left calf starts to cramp, shit! Two laps later my right calf starts to twinge, that's really not good. I try to drink as much as I can, but I'm horrible at drinking while racing. I tried to minimze the hard efforts and not flex my calves for too long, wishful thinking in a crit. E-town was there with a couple of his FSVS teammates and at one point going up the hill I was boxed in so I gave him a bit of a push to urge him to close a gap and I think it kind of startled him, sorry! I managed to hold out and finish the race, not expecting to have anything for the uphill sprint finish, I sat up before the last turn in case there was a crash and cruised across the finish line, but not DFL.
So basically I've come to the conclusion that I can only finish a race in Pennsylvania this season. Deleware is a draw since that race ended on a mechanical and not an engine failure.