Coming into this race, I was hoping to beat my time from last year. Unfortunately, I finished 2-3 minutes slower. I'd like to blame that on the wind resistance, but I'm sure there were times when the wind was helping me along instead of pushing me backwards. Like anyone, I have a long list of excuses for not living up to my own expectations... however, I'm going to look at the cold hard facts:
- I have ridden the road only once this year (on a mountain bike).
- It is only the beginning of April.
So, here's the breakdown of the race:
I warmed up with almost a full lap, lined up with the rest of the ladies (5 in the open/elite group), and tried to keep up with them through the first lap. I kept Sue and Madeleine in sight for most of the first lap. Sue flatted on the second lap which was disappointing to me (and obviously to her as well), and I found out later she tore her sidewall. For the rest of the race, I did my best to stay consistent until my vision was impaired. From there on out, consistency was met with some cautiousness. I was grateful that we only did 4 laps because I don't think I was ready for climbing at race pace for the two hours I was out there - never mind another 30 minutes of it. When I saw Kate pass me as she moved up from the Cat 1 group, I knew I was going way slower than I wanted to be, and so at that point, my brain became fixed on my getting through the next lap without getting caught by anyone else in Cat 1. Somehow, I managed to do that, but Stacy B. wasn't far behind. In fact, her time was a couple minutes faster than mine.
The best part of the day was the drive there and home. Skyler accompanied me to the race this weekend, and she's at the age where she can check in with friends throughout the day but ride around and have fun too. She wants to race the first-timer's category (for her second time) at Winding Trails, so I might have to do that along with her and see where she's at... I don't know if she'd be comfortable on her own. Anyhow, on the way to the race, we kept doing math based on what the GPS was telling us for "miles to go." We'd convert the miles to feet, and then based on our speed, we'd calculate how many feet we were traveling per minute and second. On the way home, Skyler got cupcake crumbs all over herself and spent most of the ride looking for them... and eating them. I'm looking forward to bringing her to lots more races. She was a fun travel buddy.
So, that's it for race day, but I can't help but mention something about the USAC/UCI non-sanctioned vs sanctioned race debacle. It is in rather poor taste that these rules were clarified 1/4 of the way into 2013 rather than prior to the new year. Being an amateur racer, I would NOT have renewed my UCI license this season if I thought it meant I couldn't do EFTA races, the NH100 or Singlespeed-A-Palooza. Now, having already registered for non-sanctioned events, I'm stuck with either braking the rules, downgrading my license (and missing out on the Pro XCT events that I'd been looking forward to), or forgoing a bunch of awesome events that I've already committed to. At this point, I refuse to give up the events I already registered for. Here's hoping these issues can somehow be resolved... it's looking like USAC needs to step up to the plate to contend with the UCI over this rule as it applies in the U.S. The current ruling is too restricting on all accounts for racers in the U.S., and the USAC needs to lay-off their monopoly scheme. I doubt they will have this straightened out before the Pro XCT events this summer (if at all) which is very unfortunate, so it's looking like a downgrade for me. Before I do anything hasty, I plan to email the New England USAC rep to let her know my concerns. I'm sure I won't be the first or the last.
See you all at Winding Trails, and I will be breaking the rules for Singlespeed-A-Palooza...
"Eat my shorts." -Bart Simpson