Well, I guess you could say I never left the road. In fact, I’ve been getting precious little dirt riding in, outside of what I take on with the road bike or the occasional jaunt on the Axis of Evil. By this time last year, I had already completed the Napa Dirt Classic and the Coolest 24 Hours. Hmph. This year? No MTB races yet. And I’ve only done half of a Grasshopper, which is about five and a half short of how many I said I’d do. Lame. But at least I can sport our team kit while “representing” Sheila Moon in the high-stakes world of inconsequential training crits!
But anyhow, yesterday marked the first race of the SJBC tuesday season. I slotted back into the B’s, right where I left off last year. John couldn’t make it, but Eric and I drove out together. Upon arriving, I was surprised to see that “The A-Ha of Bicycle Bloggers himself, Superfred, had decided to come play. Awesome! I shamed him into racing B’s with me instead of doing C’s “because it’s my first time.” Of course, I never saw him (or Eric) after the first few laps.
So how’d it go? Well, I stayed upright, at least! An early break by two guys who were way faster than anybody else, plus whoever could hang on left me behind by the third lap. After that, from what I heard, the breakaway group continued to shed riders for the rest of the race. Back in “Chase group 1” as I’ve decided to call it right now, I was doing fine. Sure, the hill was killing me (190bpm? Yes), but I wasn’t ever in serious danger of getting shot off the back. I pretty much just chilled, doing work when I could (which wasn’t often) and otherwise just trying to stay out of trouble.
Since this was the first week, the race was only 11 laps (10 after the A’s stole one from us), and the finish line was way in front of the climb. So, when the acceleration came at the end, I “joined the sprint” and ended up a middling 10th-or-so. I can’t call it a top-ten finish though, because there were still reportedly “a few” guys off the front. I’m actually not sure how many survived that early break, but I heard two or three. Somebody else fill me in, if you know.
And because racing crits doesn’t give me enough opportunity to take the expected number of photos-per-post, here’s a picture of my Six13 at the top of Montebello road a couple weeks ago. Because it’s kind of pretty. I need to start bringing the S90 on rides again, because these iPhone pics just don’t do.
Administrative Note! Even though I’m racing with the GPS and HRM now, I’ve made a solemn vow never to post a squiggly line graph to this blog. If you do want to see that stuff, the full Garmin log is here.