Thursday, April 13, 2017
Summer's Here and the Time is Right for Goin' Racin' in the Street
Yes, I actually did a race last weekend. With my health problems and my "change of life" issues, I'm just looking at racing as a call it like I see it that day and decide. So, on Sunday I was exhausted from riding so hard the two days before, but I wasn't all dizzy or migrainey, so I figured, what the hell. I love this route and I was just going to have fun and ride my bike.
John didn't race, because he helped out with the race instead. We met at a bar/restaurant in a little town called Hills and everyone all rode out to the race site together. I always lag in the back, because I remember being the slowest person even on the ride-out and I don't want anyone else to be confused about where we're going if they get dropped by the big pack. So, I rode along with the guy on a mountain bike doing the race and we whined about the wind.
Speaking of the wind...Holy crap! was it windy. This race is part gravel and part pavement. Gravel is generally way hillier because they don't have to grade it for big trucks to be able to drive on. Since there were so few women, we started with the B men. I had a bad start. I couldn't get my foot clipped into my pedal and everyone got away from me from the get-go.
Again, I didn't care. the only other 2 women were about the strongest women in Iowa and it wasn't like I was going to keep up with them. It just would have been nice to have someone to block the wind for me at the beginning of the race.
So, I caught about 5 of the guys I raced with and then passed the fastest woman because she got a flat and was walking her bike back to the start (the only way I'd ever be able to pass her). Then on the second to the last lap I saw an older guy ahead of me. He seemed to be having a harder time on the big gravel hills. He would try to go too hard at the bottom of the hill and have nothing left at the top. So, I was almost right up to him on the last big hill before we got back on the pavement. We were both screaming down the hill before it and he started pedaling really fast at the bottom. I let him use up a bunch of energy while I coasted a little longer. Finally, when I started to lose momentum up the hill, I started pedaling. The guy was dying and I actually passed him on the hill. I'm a bigger person, so I rarely pass anyone up a hill. I was able to hold him off the rest of the race too.
So, I finished the race, and got 2nd out of 2 women, which was fine with me and passed a few of the guys, but I was sooooo wiped-out. I still had to ride back to my car and I wasn't sure I could make it the couple of miles it took.
The wind and hills took it out of me, but I was glad I did it. I love riding my bike and every race I do makes me a better cyclist. I'm still old, fat and slow, but I do love to test myself, and it's always fun to kick boy's butts.