Sunday, February 24, 2008

Snelling Road Race: Who said the wind was our friend?

Looking Back

After my first race in 2005, I felt a vague sense of disappointment.
I remember thinking during the race, "When are we going to start really racing?" This was after riding in local men's race training rides getting hung out to dry, suffering, and sometimes doing pretty well. I didn't have any idea about what I was getting into and had no model "racer chick". I wondered if I fit the bill? I could get top tens and some primes the first year, but the skills and confidence needed some help. I rode long long miles at tempo. I had a strange mixture of insecurity and disbelief. Yet, I knew what I was going after-- I saw great riders and understood the kind of power, skill and guts that it takes to succeed.

Last season the major limiters were off and it felt easier.
I was frustrated with some races--Too short, too slow, too boring. My training rides were far more challenging. It seemed backwards. I take responsibility for not making them more interesting-- although I was able to get in a few breaks and pull off some fun attacks. I got better at patiently waiting to get those points at the sprint.

My First Cat 3 Women's Road Race

I was calm at the start for a change.
I felt like a member of the community.
The vibe was friendly and competitive.
Observation: Fast women come in all shapes and sizes.
Obstacles were pointed out in a nonchalant way.
No body freaked out or squealed even when girls bumped.
No one announced "braking" before we turned
and the front accelerated hard out of the corners.
Everyone rode in their drops at the right time.
I saw an incredibly gutsy move into the blistering headwind
that blew apart the field (she stayed away solo and won).
Groups formed and rotated and echeloned after.
My teammates are the best.
It was really hard.
This is what I signed up for.
Maybe I just like getting my ass kicked.
Home at last.

Dino and the Start of the Cat 3 Race

Sherri at the start of the Women's 4 Race (200 women racing total for the day)!


Anonymous said...

Great post!!! I won't miss all the comments..Slowing, puddle, etc when I upgrade! April

Denise said...

Terrific post, it was as if I were actually there. I missed Snelling and it one of my favorites.