Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fort Hood State Road Race (Skill Based)

Try to find the silver lining when you do not find the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Competitors get nervous before a race, it is normal. Greg Lemond use to get so nervous before an event that he would vomit. Mostly I just end up with repeat visits to the restroom but today it was worse. I was in tears, curled up on the bed, wondering why I do this to myself. Because I LOVE it! I love racing, I love riding, I love competing. I just get pre race jitters, and this was a State Championship road race with 3500 feet of climbing (I am not one of those skinny climbing mountain goats). There is a big payout and some very fast ladies preregistered.
Fort Hood military base. Got to see all kinds of cool stuff...
The night before I had received an email from a veteran racer in San Antonio, whom I have a great deal of respect for, that gave me something to think about. He suggested that I take off from the gun and hope the girls will stare at me dumbfounded and not chase until it was too late. Since I am a good solo rider and not as great on climbs or flusters of bursty attacks I thought it just might work. A Gamble, a roll of the dice. I discuss this plan with Kim and Kate. We decide we have nothing to loose.

Getting ready

At the start line it is hot and all the big players are present- except for Kat Hunter who was sitting out because she had been sick all week. We were lucky to snag Doug and Beau to feed us halfway through. I didn't enjoy racing with an extra water bottle in my jersey pocket at HHH, it rubbed my spine raw.  Today's race is 66 miles, a two lap race. As soon as the official blew the whistle I took off. Lauren was immediately on my wheel. Mandy toted the herd up to us about a mile into the race. WE were ALL together. The gamble did not work. Crap. Plan B: conserve as many "matches" as possible. Do not put my nose in the wind. Follow Lauren. We shortly arrive at the first monster hill where a small group of 6-ish grabs a gap. The downhill is forgiving and we all regroup. Phew.  We stay together until the next significant hill where I am sitting on Lauren's wheel and helplessly watch a small gap grow between her back wheel and my front wheel. It grows from 1 inch to 7. Then a foot, then a bike length. I turn myself inside out but cannot do much as I watch a small group of 4 crest the hill, just out of reach. Lauren, Mandy, Meredith, and Sammie. They remained in sight for some time while 5 of us organized a chase group. Kate and I were both there. The moto official would give us time checks every once and a while, and it was continually growing. Half way through the lead group was at 4 minutes ahead but Sammie had fallen off. The boys successfully got Kate, Sarah, and me fed but failed to collect our discharged water bottles. Kate would not be amused with this because her water bottles must come in a set of two. This meant she would have an orphan camel bak bottle if her discharged bottle was not found and collected. Tragedy averted though, as I was able to locate the lost bottle on Sunday morning. :-)

My feet were on fire! We still have another lap?!?! This is bullshit. I must suck it up because all I have to do now is finish to collect my freakin $50 payout. We all seem to be in somewhat the same boat so we trudge on. After the first big hill on lap two we see Sammie and collect her. So 3 remain up the road, their gap still growing, and we now have 6 in the chase group (2 RCM, 2 ATC, 2 randoms). There are no attacks until the last mile. Typical race slows and we look at each other, waiting for someone else to lead out. Kate attacks with Solymar practically licking her back wheel. The speed is up  and as soon as we catch those two I go and Solymar quickly attaches herself to me with Sammie also in tow. We have a gap on the other three and I know I cannot hold it to the line (we are still just under 1k),  I also don't want to regroup, so I try to shake them off and am unsuccessful. They come around me and I am a sitting duck. Sammie takes the sprint for 4th and I get 6th. Kate is right behind me for 7th. Kim is there at the finish line with a big smile, looking all cute. She worked plan A with us at the beginning and called it at one lap to have a little for the Age RR Sunday.

Kate and I collected some $$ and a little satisfaction for tackling a hard course. Kim was circling around in the parking lot on her bike in her favorite green wedges. The parking lot was soft dirt, and her front wheel turned causing her to have to catch herself so she wouldn't hit the deck. In doing this, her foot slid off the pedal and the teeth on her big ring carved up her heel! OUCH!!!! YCMTSU! I love you Kim!
"…but these are my favorite…"

No comments:

Post a Comment