Saturday, October 22, 2005

Wooden Wheels - Granogue

Something much larger than bike racing happened today. No matter what happens in my races this weekend, coming down here was awesome.

When I finished Granogue, I dismounted my bike and stood in the pouring rain to catch my breath. I heard a familiar but distant voice say "Becky?" And I turned to look right at a ghost. My best friend from college stood looking at me silently in the pouring rain, her toddler son I'd never met happily perched upon her shoulders. She's from very near the race and made the trip over to see me, unannounced. I can't explain how much it meant to me to see her again, and to meet her adorable little son. We used to be practically inseparable, and now have drifted apart, so far from that time in our lives. Yesterday gave me fresh perspective for reflection.

So, yeah, about the racing...

Looks like this is destined to be a muddy season! I fared pretty well today, squeaking out a 10th place, after a less-than-stellar start. I didn't realize that there was a separate starting chute - different than what I prerode, so I was in for a surprise after passing a lot of people on the long road start. The course turned uphill to the left in the grass and I went too wide right, allowing a bunch of people to come by me on the left. Oops. But I steadily worked to pass people, and blasted up the pavement every lap, finally managing to finish 10th. I rode decently despite the mud and pouring rain, even though by all accounts I am still exhausted!! I wish I could be up front with the fast girls so I could see what lines they're taking, where they're accelerating, etc. I want to know where I need to be to be competitive with them. I hope by next year I will be there. All this mud is good practice for me. I was amazed that I could still clip into my pedals when I saw how much mud and grass was lodged into them. Yay Time pedals.
I had fun racing today!

Negotiating the muddy off-camber.

No comments: