Monday, May 18, 2009

Baby Steps in Wilmington

I was pretty frustrated with my ride at Wilmington, because I actually had some legs and did not get the most out of them, absolutely a step backwards in my quest for the holy grail of savvy bike racing. I was surprisingly nervous, even scared, about my first NRC race and first crit in a year, one with some fast corners that threatened crashes even though they were straightforward 90-degree bends. I had not expected this fear and did not welcome it - suddenly it added a whole new dimension to the already tough process of trying to get myself back into the mix. So I frittered energy at the front early (mistake 1), embarrassing to say even went for a prime (mistake 2), then moved just slightly too far back (mistake 3) and narrowly missed crashing when some people decided to have a big pile-up on a downhill straightaway. Instead of the calmness advisable in such situations, I was a picture of panic. I did think to lay the bike down with my forced un-clipping, then cut the course to the pit (where was it? - mistake 4) through an ally containing an inflated jumping carnival game (name?), causing moms to quickly sweep up their children playing in my determined course. I arrived at the pit, so worked up that I did not even realize when I leaped back in that I had forgotten my free lap - just cut off half the course. No wonder there had been so little time! Back in the race but edgy and with worse positioning. A rider gapped me off and that was it - I could not close. In a group that could not rotate effectively and honestly not feeling to good, having blown up. Officials kept us in the race since we were still in the money, but when we got lapped a few riders from my group of fifteen or so leaped back into the race, and I got stuck with those who sat up (mistake 5 - got to know my crit rules, be alert in such situations!). Then I blew up and rode in, just annoyed with myself and wishing I had been able to get a result and win some money. Places 14 and up were lapped riders! I was 26th. Action looked exciting at the front. LVG and Lassasso riding great together for the win. Looking on the positive side, if I compare to last month not last year I should be rejoicing at my improvement, and maybe I got some fear over and done. Skipped BikeJam Sunday and rode an epic hilly ride in the Berkshires - Bash Bish and new favorite Oxbow. Two weeks to get ready for some HARD racing. No joke here. It's going to be tough. At least school is over!

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