Thursday, May 14, 2009

Looking Ahead

Yesterday I finally gave the ix-nay to the computer (finishing school has involved catching up on all sorts of neglected tasks/new projects and I have been crazily busy) and enjoyed nearly a whole day of bike tinkering and adventure. In the morning I went for a small dog-walking hike with a friend up East Rock, the New Haven park I often extol. Then I was off to the bike shop to test ride a frame. It would be good to ride before the training race later in the day, since the past two days I'd been wasted and ridden at a snail pace. Riding out to East Rock through the campus on undergraduate move-out day, we found a student's wallet in the road. We stopped at school to email the owner and headed out again. Next up, approaching the top of East Rock we encountered plumes of smoke crossing the road, a pile of leaves on the roadside ablaze (probably from a cigarette). My friend called 911 as I used my bike water-bottle to try to put out the edge of the fire (maybe the size of a queen bed), and flagged down cars to get water from them. A construction worker with a big cooler of water stopped and quelled the fire. Then oddly, as he hopped back in his truck after this good Samaritan dead, he tossed an emptied plastic water bottle out the window. Ok, save the park from a big fire, then litter... Police and a fire engine came. Back to the shop, wallet reclaimed, then I dropped my chain leaving the shop. Turns out my derailleur pulleys were totally wrecked. Bob replaced them and I rode home then jumped in the car to drive to Bethel to race the summer series crit. The weather was awesome and the atmosphere of the race is like a big picnic, with families watching and music. SO FUN to race with the guys and in such a smooth field! Plus I was feeling starting to feel like a bike racer. I followed one guy over the top on the 3rd-to-last lap (the break already long up the road), and the next time up the hill I blew royally. But it's really good to determine the breaking point incrementally in a practice setting. From here, it's on to Wilmington for my first NRC race of the year!

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