Race 8 – St Peters, IN

Today was an interesting one.  The new team kit came in yesterday so I was really excited to actually have my own outfit to wear to the race.  Don’t get me wrong, I am very appreciative for the loan but its different with your own stuff… but I digress.  I got decked out before I left the house this morning and my oldest asked me where I was going.  I told her that I had a bike race today.  Her response, “we aren’t going, are we?” I said, “don’t you want to go?” Which got the response, “no, not really, daddy.” So much for her being interested 🙂

So, then I stopped for a bagel on the way to the race.  I needed something to eat and I’ve learned that too much in the morning doesn’t sit well with me.  I had my team jacket on and the manager noticed. The conversation went like this:

him: do you race?

me: yup.

him: are you a driver?

me: (puzzled look, then I put it together) oh, no. I race bicycles?

him: (quiet) oh, that’s cool.

I guess it does kind of look like NASCAR, but still, you could show some enthusiasm 🙂

So, I got to the race and the weather looked pretty decent.  Got signed in and warmed up. It was kind of lonely but I’ve met enough of the other racers at this point that it didn’t last long.  About 20 minutes before the start it started to rain.  We were all warmed up and now we were getting wet and cold.  Big Dave has had the best luck with weather, and it continued today, just as they blew the starting whistle the rain and sky cleared up. It stayed pretty dry for the remainder of the day.

The hill on this one was pretty heinous. It was about 2 miles into the leadout and the finish line was about 1.5mi after that.  It was one of the few times that I had gone with an 11-28 group instead of the 11-25 that I have. The group spread out pretty good after the climb.  I wasn’t the last up the hill but not far back.  After that is wasn’t too bad.  We had a couple of miles straight into the wind with some rollers. Then it was pretty easy with the exception of one kind of steep section.

The cat5 group had 2 laps with three ascents up the big hill. I decided that the 2nd pass would determine if I finished or not.  I made it up with a little difficulty and decided that I could tough it out.  I didn’t want the first race in the new kit to be a DNF so I invoked rule 5.  At this point the guy that I was working with on lap 1 dropped way back, so I was on my own again.

On pass 3 up the hill my right quad cramped so bad I couldn’t move it. I managed to dismount without falling over and walked a couple of hundred feet to work it out.  One of the other cat 5s passed me right about the time I worked out the cramp.  I mounted quickly and followed him, maintaining my distance.  We hit the top of the hill and I managed to pass him.  I finished about 30-60s ahead of him by the time it was all said and done.

I don’t know exactly where I finished.  There were a lot of DNFs and on the ride back I saw 4-5 guys in the 5s that were still finishing. Overall, tough day but I made it through.  I’m looking forward to the last 2 races of the series; I’m getting pretty tired at this point but having a lot of fun… I’m pretty sure that’s the point 🙂

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