Saturday, 16 June 2012
Perfect morning for a bike race, huh? Nice warmup timing out the finishing hill, all good. Borrow a pump from a friend since my front felt a bit soft and roll to the line, whereupon my tube exploded. New tires, I must have pinched the tube. Challenge tires fit tight as HAYELL. SRAM guys hooked me up in about a minute flat, and off we go. Except that not even halfway into the lap I hit a pothole and did the rear in. What the F? I think that's the first flat I've had in a road race since Poolesville last year so I was probably due. Since I was on a bit of an incline and I'd been pro enough to drop the chain into the 11, I was like "yo how'm I gonna get going, y'all?" and the SRAM guy's like "sit down and shift easier while I push you, duh." Which was awesome. Except that now the field's like really far ahead of me. So I chase and chase and chase and get back on just after the turn that you don't take on the last lap. Chasing back on to a group from 40 or 45 seconds back, while not easy, is much easier than getting 40 or 45 seconds off the front of that same group, which is exactly what I learned that the one guy who I'd wanted not to let get off the front without me had done with two other guys while I was chasing back on. Well, we caught them with a bunch of the heavy lifting done by yours truly and Harry F, who wasn't at all shy about turning the pedals. That course is actually really hard to get a gap on, since whenever there's a good place to get away, there's a better place for the field to just roll their big momentum and catch you with no effort. Also, no one really seemed to have a lot of interest in joining any off the front adventures. Beginning the last lap, I thought the whole day was all for naught when some bright scientist drove into my rear derailleur. Thought I was going to crap myself there. I think he broke spokes. Don't know. Got going again, got back in the game. Had burned a few too many matches throughout the proceedings, but still wanted to give the ending a good try. I was happy to have had an interesting race and to have tested myself in a couple of different ways. It was fun. Thanks to AVC for another great race, and thanks to the SRAM guys for hooking me up.