Sunday, October 21, 2007

Gut Check

I only manage to get up before 8am on the weekends, and only if riding my bike is involved.

Saturday, Granogue 'Cross. 6am wakeup, shower, feed the dogs then load up Special Sauce. Gina was a trooper and was ready to hit the road by 7:30 and everything was going well so far for getting to the race with plenty of time to scout out the course and warm up. That's about as good as my race day would get.

A quick stop at Cafe Bagel for some grub turned into a 20 minute delay as our order got "lost". Still managed to arrive on time to get a lap in after the C Men's race. After the B Masters I decide to take another lap, my race isn't until 12 or so right? WRONG. New race schedule to accommodate the A Masters race pushed us up to 11. As I'm finishing up another warm-up lap I look down to see my race roll onto the start line. F@$%! I'm not even in my race kit. Roll to the start then hurry to the car to try and rip off my clothes and climb into my skin suit, not an easy task. I make it to the start line with about a minute as Gina and some guy from EVC help pin my numbers on, oh yeah, I squander what would have been at least a second row call up and was sent to the back of the race, DFL in a 75+ rider field.

I always race well at Granogue, I just never get a good result. Saturday was no exception, I rode clean lines picking off groups of riders every lap and was technically on, legs were a bit dead on the long climb up to the tower but other than that is was a good race. Mentally, I wanted to just bag it from the start knowing there was little chance of moving up and then having landed on my right man bean on my first remount. I managed to finish 36th, not great, but it was a moral victory.
Today, repeat early morning ritual from yesterday minus the Cafe Bagel stop as I look for a bit of redemption at Wissahickon. I wasn't planning on racing and I knew I wouldn't get a call up since I didn't pre-reg but I figured I could at least scrum for 3rd or 4th row. I managed 4th row. At 15 sec to go before the start the gun goes off, nice. I'm barely clipped in and getting up to speed when I see a rear wheel in the air and hear the screeching of brakes. With no where to go I slam into the guy in front of me who had stopped with some guys on the ground in front of him. After untangling myself from him and checking to see if my front wheel is ok, I look down to take a quick check and see my chain is off. By the time I get the chain back on and look up I only see the dust trail from the end of the race, F@$%!, another blown start. Even worse than yesterday.

Yeah, that's me waaaay back there, the blur looking down at the ground as everyone goes around us.

I just wanted to walk right off the course, what was the point? I decided that wasn't why I was here and instead of getting to ride a steady pace in a chase group, I'm now throwing it down out of every turn and long straight section on every lap like I'm leading out the last lap with a small gap. Again I'm able to ride to another moral victory in this debauchery. I spent most of the race passing guys who couldn't ride their bikes in the technical sections but would get repassed. I couldn't hang around for the race results so not sure how far back I was.

I love 'cross so regardless of my fitness, I'm going to race and leave it all out on the course, for better or for worse, just like everyone else.
Unfortunately these may be my only two MAC races of the season, the baby is coming and the house still needs some work.

I miss it already.

1 comment:

Lej said...

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