Saturday, April 02, 2005

Decisions, Decisions

I guess it was about a month or os ago, when Mike K started talking about doing a road race on April 2nd. There was a lot of talk and I think 5 of us actually registered for the race. My thinking was it would be a good training ride and a little bit of fun thrown in. As the race drew closer we started talking a little strategy. We had a plan, well so did mother nature. Since the beginning of the week I knew we were going to get rain today, and I was kind of on the fence about doing a road race in the rain. I have spent all winter busting my ass to try and be ready to race expert. I didn't want to see it end with a crash in a road race that didn't mean anything.

Sure enough I woke up this morning and it was raining pretty good, but then it stopped. I called Marc ( the instigator ) V, and he said he was racing. I called Mike K and he said the rain wasn't that bad and he was racing. Then I called Matty T, and he was having problems with his "Skirt" and decided to sit this one out, I really don't blame him. I decided to give it a go, and just as I was getting ready the sky opened up. I called Mike and said I wasn't going to race. I started thinking about it and, Hell I already paid and the rain is slowing down, so I was off. I called Mike from the road and told him I was on my way. It wasn't far, about 25 minutes away, but the directions were messed up and I got there a half an hour before the race. So much for a warm up.

We lined up and off we go, or should I say off Marc goes. He tried a flyer right away, this caused the pace to pick up quick. It was raining a little but the worst part was the road spray from the other bikes. My glasses were useless so I took them off, now I had rain and grit flying into my eyes. This made me back off on the downhills a little. That and I didn't know how any of these people road. I didn't take long to get the group back together. The course was Hard but fun. There were some sharp turns and few good hills but nothing too brutal. We were doing 4 laps, the laps were 7 miles each. Towards the end of the 2nd lap there was a big break, I managed to catch on but Mike and Marc didn't. Not long after that there was another break. I caused up to it, but the pace was tough and I couldn't hang on. So I was on my own. I saw a small group in front of me, and Marc and Mike a little ways behind me. I decided to try and catch the front group. I started gaining on them just as the group was coming apart. So I was passing all the guys that couldn't hang on. By now the rain had stopped but the wind was brutal. I didn't notice it when I was in the main group, but now I was all alone and it was killing me. Fortunately, we only had the headwind for the first half of the course. The back half was no wind, or tail wind. I caught a few more stragglers on the last lap but that was it. I had a group of 3 in my sights but I couldn't quite catch them. So with no one behind me I backed off abd cruised across the line.

A couple of minutes later Marc and Mike came across. Marc decided to do another lap, he needed the extra time to get his hours for the week. Mike and I went to get changed. While I was cooling down one of the traffic control guys asked me," How do you keep the mud out of your eyes ?". I told him I just kept them closed most of the time.

I did talk to couple of folks after the race and they all agreed, it was Really Fast for the first race of the year. I think I managed a top 20 or 25, not that it matters. The important thing is I didn't crash, and I got a great 1:19 work out.
Well, Later

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