Friday, April 11, 2008

Really, this is my first Crit...

As hubby is pinning on my race number Thursday night for my first crit what do I see? My race (the early crit) start...and where am I? Standing in the parking lot 100 yards away. So this is how my first road event ever is going to start….nice. No warm up, no mental prep and no easy spin for first lap with the group. Just a mad dash to the course and hope to grab on as the group comes around from their first lap. Atleast I wasn’t the only one to miss the start, apparently quite a few did........ one of them was even kind enough to let me draft off them to catch the group. Thank you..

Unfortunately, that sprint to catch the group pretty much spent me, drafting or not. I get dropped a few yards after we catch everyone and truly not because the pace was fast. Just spent and my legs were still cold.

I continued to ride around the course waiting for the group to eventually catch up, which they did. But as they did we were about 25 yards from ending a sprint lap and the amount of riders on each side, in front, in back, passing and anything else around me was just enough to remind me - I’m not comfortable with riders around me, any of them. So that’s me backing up of from the group the first time they catch up. Fully intentionally.

So I continue to ride, knowing they’ll catch up again, and making sure it’s not another sprint lap when they do catch up. I mentally prep myself to hang on next time. Just stay in the back. Just hook onto the group,. They do, I hook on and I’m feeling pretty good, for a moment anyway. That’s when three riders around me begin moving around quite a bit and my uncomfortable level increases. One of them a young kid around 12 is going back and forth and left and right. Did I mention I don’t like riding with groups…. Well that’s when I back off again.

The ride continues and I keep doing my laps, occasionally talking to other riders that have been dropped. Heck, it was a great night for a ride. The weather was awesome! But then I was a little surprised to realize on lap 11 that one of the riders and another younger kid were drafting off me.. Me? I’m not really the one to pull others but what the heck.. we go for a while. I think the hubby was a little surprised to witness that lap (since he had been watching each lap as I didn’t “keep” with the group).

All in all… I enjoyed it. Don’t know why. Maybe it was just being on my bike. Maybe it was the nice weather. Either way, next Thursday I’ll be there again (weather permitting). Though with the new job starting the following week, I doubt I’ll get any others in for a few months… work and riding… each other just doesn’t seem to allow time for the other….

But today, Friday April 11th, my last day at my prior job!! This weekend brings the first MASS race, man I hope I’m not shelled doing beginner… I guess I’ll have to wait for Sunday to see. But at least the following week brings a week break between jobs, and weather permitting, a whole bung of riding! And I have to admit, I’m looking forward to the new job… even if occasional riding time is prohibited for a little while..

Sunday… keeping my fingers crossed to really push myself successfully. At least not be last….

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