Saturday, May 30, 2009

East Union Circuit Race

I was hot and cold about this race. End of May and I haven't done a 'real' race yet, but my fitness isn't what it should be. Of course if I'd been racing, the fitness would be better. Catch-22. I was going to race, since it would be a great first race for me, but fearing I'd just get dropped and not wanting to waste $30 and travelling to the sticks, I'd bailed in favor of a long fast ride. Turns out fate would have the ride cancelled, and so I decided to go for the race.

This was the definition of 'circuit race;' two laps of nine miles. Not quite a crit, and not quite a road race. Safer than a crit and not as long as road race. Perfect. If I got dropped, I wouldn't have far to go.

Being so short, I'd guessed that the pace would be high from the start, and so it was. As soon as the neutral rollout pulled away, it was on like Donkey Kong, and I was off the back. But I soon paired up with a Silver Cycling guy, and we worked hard to bridge up to a couple of Birchwood friends, and we worked very well together. We pushed each other, and were pretty evenly matched. If I'd have been off the back there's no way I would have worked this hard.

By the second lap I was pretty warmed up and taking some good pulls. As the headwind became a sidewind I could smell the finish, although I wasn't quite sure where it was. Fortunately the computer gave me an idea. As we turned into the finishing stretch with a tailwind, we were flying. With the finish line about 500 meters ahead I pulled to the front and hammered for the line. No matter that we were racing for not last, it felt good to stretch the legs.

A good effort, well worth the cost of entry, and a good time hanging out with the grupetto afterward. Verve even had burgers and brats aferward, and Eric had beer. What could be more perfect?

Thanks to Eric Thoerner, Mark Thacher and Russel Cadogan for motivating my ass, and to Paula Plant, Sarah Stratton and the rest of the Verve crew for putting on an awesome race!