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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Winters RR and Vacaville GP

Saturday, 8/25, was the Winters Road Race, a fun event on roads I ride all the time. Chris & I reluctantly attended the Earthquake festival the night before, and I was skeptical as to the town's clean up crew.

When we showed up on Saturday morning the streets were spotless. You'd never know that crowds had blocked the streets just 12 hrs. before. Props to Winters for making that happen -- that's huge!

The Juniors started in front of us, and my teammate Kathy and I went to the front, right behind them.  The rest of the group thought they were leading but they came up behind us giving us the edge.

We had a neutral lead-out for about 1/2 mile and then we were set loose. Those Juniors, fueled by testosterone, went off fast. The women all lined up behind me (I was feeling strong and didn't mind leading) and I pulled for 7+ mi. before Kathy came up, apologizing, tried to split the group on the rollers.Nothing doing -- we all stuck together.

We hit Cantelow and the group was all together. I faded towards the back with a couple women behind me; Kathy was up front. As we were descending/ascending an off-camber part of the road a moto ref neutralized us. A sketchy, maybe new rider jerked left, leaned into Kathy who leaned back. The rider let up, then took out 2 girls to her right, and Kathy and another girl to the left. I didn't see her but saw the carnage & heard the squeal of brakes; I stopped, laid down the Diva off the road, and after the huge P/1/2 group passed, ran to aid Kathy. She was hurt and required some sensitive hands-on help. The SAG driver gathered her bottles, I helped her get out of her shoes as her back was hurt, into the truck, and off she went.

I had an easy 2 mi. ride to the neutral feed zone, where I pulled out of the race -- my group was >30 min. ahead of me, so what was the point?  I felt as though my job was done. Chris & I handed bottles to other teammates, then we drove home.

That night we had dinner with our CAT3 teammie...the Vacaville GP was combining 3/4 women, and a CAT4 'mate was already signed up. Kameo threw down the gauntlet so I showed up...a very technical race I've marshaled for several years but have always feared riding, With no expectations and a wee bit of a hangover I showed up and rode my guts out, ignoring the scary turns and just racing. Eventually I was dropped by the main field and picked up 7 women, and we alternated who rode with whom.  I had many opportunities to play with cornering, hill climbing, etc., and had a blast -- esp. picking off women half my age on the hill -- I'd tell them "Once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed" but they weren't getting it. One day they will.

So this group I worked with/dropped/worked with, we were lapped at the bell lap. I pulled out but Leon said if I wasn't pulled by an official I could still race. So my last lap was a time trial -- I passed my group of 5 and a lady said "Good for you" as I passed her on the hill. She and another racer passed me on the downhill, and on the straightaway I found some sprint in my legs and beat the pair of them for a top 20 finish.

And the Friday before we closed an escrow. Sweet! Win win win!

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