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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up

I have no pics, sorry. I'll try to be more visual in future posts.

The Winters Road Race was held Saturday, the 28th. My home turf. I know every dimple in the road, I ride it so often. It's never boring, as so many variables come into play: wind, irrigation of the orchards, harvest of various crops, composition of the groups. I've ridden this route for over 4 years and it's still fresh.

Chris, the dogs & I drove to the start. I wanted to ride to the start but the ride home would hurt. He set up the trainer and I started my warm up. About 50 min. into it I bailed; Kameo & I soft-pedaled the local roads and chatted. Chris had Kameo's daughter and our dogs, which is essentiallyl like having 3 6 yr olds. That man is a saint. His patience knows no bounds.

He took the kids and headed to the the neutral feed zone, but not before hanging around to get pics of the start (to be posted later). When we were on the frontage road he honked as he blasted past on the interstate.

I lost my front row placing but no matter; I met every surge and had no gap until the feed zone. I slowed down to get a bottle and got gapped. As I grabbed the bottle I began to accelerate and started to pick people off like ripe fruit. I passed a dozen women on the hill and only one passed me on the downhill; I passed her on the flat and eventually she joined the paceline.

Six of us hammered behind the lead group. We were a strong, helpful group, and we were going great guns. I love this; that competitors work together to help each other out. Eventually we were a party of 8, a sweet rotating paceline covering ground efficiently. We crossed the finish line for the first time. The woman leading pulled off to the left and sat up. As I cruised past I saw the "oh, snap" look on her face. She asked no one in particular, "Do we have another lap?" I laughed over that. Hello, who's not paying attention?

Fast forward a few miles. We're making a 90* right turn. The first woman goes wide, hits gravel (wtf? the county was to have swept the roads) and goes down hard, the next woman following hits her and goes down. I'm 4th in line, taking the turn more narrow, and as I see#3 not crash I hear the pro/1/2 men holler behind us. We quickly neutralize so the peloton can blast past us, then we resume our paceline. All's well, we gasp, hyperventilate, and resume our line and I notice that my front wheel is flat. My friends all relate but on they ride. And that ends my race.

I called my husband and 3 friends who were at the feed zone; no cell coverage f0r anyone. I had a couple people ride past and ask for my status but no one stopped. Eventually Dana from Velo Girls pulled over and helped me inflate my tire enough to ride back to the start. She had a rough gt of it and bailed. I was happy to see her; she's a strong rider and an interesting person too. Out on the road you have to haave the skills to change a flat or have a back up plan. And never under estimate the impact you have on people: Because we rode together at Dunnigan Hills, Dana (and others) knew me and wanted to ride with me.

That was a huge revelation.

I can't wait to race again with these women.

1 comment:

  1. That's so dissappointing that you had a flat. Nice riding, glad to hear you had a good time though.