March 21, 2007 · Print This Article
Borrowed James Hill’s car to get to the races. Actually Taryn’s, but she was out of town and the Acura probably gets better gas mileage.
Landpark: 35 minute crit. I got to the course a little late (go fig), registered, changed into my superhero suit, and rolled off to do a quick warm-up and refill bottles. Didn’t get much of a warm-up.
Rolled back to the start line. Found the rest of the Bellas, and it should be noted that all of them were already pinned, ready, and waiting. “Oh, hey! You guys are on my team. Can I get one of you to pin me?”
We pre-ride the course together, which is quite curvy-swervy and I get more nervous as I think about doing it in a group. I’ve gotten alot better at railing my bike through turns (all those trips down Wildcat certainly helps), but turns are another story when they are done as part of a group.
I can’t say much about the race because it was all such a blur. As predicted though, the turns were much different as part of a group. I would try to get myself up towards the front for the turns so I could make my own fast line, but I would get swarmed and then be forced to take less than ideal lines.
On the last lap, Soni and another woman went off on a little flyer. I looked for a way out of my little box in the group so that I could help at the front if needed, but I was unable to carve out a line for myself in the group. By the time I had worked my way outside, Soni and Annon had been caught.
Towards the last turns, women started swarming. I was able to work my way back up on some women and I think I ended up in 10th. Katie placed 8th. I don’t know how the rest of the women on the team did.
Zamora: Jesus, that was an adventure.
I wasn’t scheduled to race until 2 and the drive was only supposed to take 1 hour and 22 minutes. I left the house early at 9ish, hoping that I would be able to watch some of the earlier races.
Three hours later, I’m on the side of the road in who-knows-where, more than a little lost, crying into the steering wheel and having a full on crisis of confidence: “Why can’t I ever just get from point A to point B? Why can’t I just stay on track? Why can’t I focus for long enough to get where I need to go?”
Complete with analysis that getting hopelessly lost before the race was just one big ole life metaphor. Sobbing, self-doubts, “I can’t do this!”, “What the hell is my problem?”, and I hadn’t even gotten to the course yet!
At 1245ish and 3.5 hours after my departure time, I was just about to turn back for home when I spot the course. Whew!
Register, run around looking for teammates, “Will you pin me?”, etc.
Good spot on the line with Soni, Katie, Julie, Ashley, and Kim. Nobody wanted to pull so the pack lagged for the first 5-6 miles. I was a little grumpy because the people who were pulling were my teammates and it appeared to me that no one else was stepping up to pull for a bit. I tried to move out of the pack to go pull, but it took me a while. When I finally get up to the front to share the load, we were within spotting distance of the hill, so the pack got a little shaken up anyway.
Good thing we reshuffled the pack, because Soni was able to come in from the wind. Soni and I chatted while we were riding in the pack and Soni gave me some words to work with on the next hill.
As we get within distance of the QOM, I position myself towards the front, on the outside, as per Soni’s tips. When I decided to launch it, I put my head down and I drove it up the right hand side and when I looked back, there was no one there and the pack was waaaaaaaaay back there.
When I look up, towards the hill, there was more hill than I remembered from the first lap.
I looked back to the pack, fearing that they are going to swarm me any second, and to my surprise, they are still waaaaaaaaaaaay back there.
Internal monologue: “Oh, poop this really hurts! Where’s the top of this silly thing? Why was this a good idea? Whoop, there it is! Where’s the pack? Wow, they’re still back there. How did I pull that one off?”
I had put some time into the field but I was not about to go off on an extended flyer so I sat up and waited for the field.
Finally, the pack catches me. Ashley rolls alongside me and instigates. “I don’t know about you, but now that I’m warmed up, I ready to go. Want to attack?”
Oh, yes, please!
So, third lap, I roll past her on the outside of the turn, I glance over at her and holler out to her “Now, now, now, now!” And off we went. There had been a NorCali girl dangling a bike length or two off of the front and I was a little surprised that she didn’t come with us. Ashley and I drilled it, but it becomes apparent that the pack will eventually get us, so eased up a bit.
Rolled with the pack on the outside as we approached the lil’ hill again. I got a little suspicious when I saw three NorCali women get themselves all lined up at the front of the pack so I moved up with them. As the tempo picked up, one of the NorCali women started struggling and she told the other two NorCalis “Work together on the hill! Suck her wheel if you have to!”
And then the two NorCali girls accelerated. I whooped back “Suck it!”, probably offending at least one person in my excitement of the chase. I lined up behind the two NorCalis. The second girl was struggling to stick with her teammate, so I moved past her and got on the first girl who answered with another acceleration.
Internal monologue: “Yeah, I have one of those too.”
I look back and there’s still one NorCali girl dangling off of the front of the group, but I’m not certain we’ll stay out if we don’t pin it. I warn the NorCali girl “Hey, they’re coming for us. We better kick it!”
I look down at my legs, I look back at the field, and I look at the NorCali girl’s wheel.
Internal monologue: “I just wanna play!”
Upshift, stand, drop, drop, drop. I look back and I was somehow able to put several bikelengths into her. Downshift, sit, spin, spin, spin, accelerate.
I look back and I am relieved to see she wasn’t able to answer my acceleration because I don’t know what I would have been able to pull out of my bag of tricks if she had stuck on me. So, third time around I again hit the top with time to spare. How the hell did that happen?
I did briefly contemplate drilling it all the way to the line. I had visions of glory, power, fame, fortune. I looked back at the field, though.
Internal monologue: “Oh, lordy, I don’t know if I ate enough horsepower for breakfast.”
I kept rolling, but I knew it was only a matter of time before the field got me again. Field catches me, people swarm the finish, it was all such a blur.
I don’t know how all of my team did, but I do know that Soni finished 4th.
I finished 11th for the day, but I was Peachy Queen (of the Mountain) for the whole rest of the day.
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