Saturday: When Jeff Cup was postponed (no hard feelings there, except for the part where I hope Charlottesville awoke today to massive snow drifts, but in a very nice, non-bitter way), I joined the legions of racers flocking to the Walton Park Crit on Saturday. My opinion about the course seems sort of irrelevant, since I’m new to the road racing scene. Um, it was paved? There were corners? No complaints here.
Well, one, actually: it was very cold. I almost raced with my Rapha softshell jacket under my PVC vest (what, you think I’m going to put pinholes in that jacket? Dude. I’d rather pin the number directly to my flesh), but decided against it at the last moment to avoid being unnecessarily bulky and hot.
Other than the chill, the event was great. I didn’t crash in any of the corners (which I’m still considering cause for celebration) and the ‘significant’ climb was sort of a non-event for this mountain biker. I got played during the race (score one for the Syn-Fit girls, who are very sweet and very good riders), but in the end I started my sprint for the line just after entering the final stretch and made it across the line in first.
The valuable lesson learned: just because somebody isn’t wearing a team kit does not mean they are not on the same team as the people around me. Oops.
My training partner, Andrew aka “Ginger” or “Bambi” or “Sugar Tits” (depending on who you ask), had a great race with the Cat 4 men and won the field sprint to claim 2nd place. I tell you this only so that I can share this photo and make sure everybody sees him riding on the front of the pack, so that the next time he yells, “Get off the front!!!” during my race, we can all know that I clearly learned from the master.
Sunday: Since the dusting of snow had disappeared completely by 9:30am, Andrew and I headed out for a road ride to finish off this month’s block of training. My plan for today’s ride was Total Annihilation! and it worked perfectly…my legs were annihilated within three minutes of getting on the bike, and the next three hours of riding didn’t improve matters. Normally I recover quickly after each climb and feel refreshed and ready to pedal; it’s now nearly nine hours after the ride ended and I’m still waiting to recover. I think that means this month of training was a success. Either that, or I’m just getting old.
In Conclusion: Road racing is awesome and I can’t wait for next weekend. Also, my new road shoes/pedals are super cool, and will be even more awesome once I can actually clip in and out. Next on the list is a road bike. To the helpful guy who kindly told me before my race that it is possible to win a crit on a cross bike, thanks! I know! But I’m still getting a road bike, because you can never own too many bicycles.