Friday, May 29, 2009

Race like a girl #2

PRC put on the 2nd installment of Race like a girl last night at Union Park. For those of you who have yet to discover this sweet little grass roots fun "race" AKA training crit, make sure you get over to experience at least one of the races this summer. It's a sweet time whether racing or spectating. Lots of great people and kids just enjoying a fun night of racing.

Come 3 o'clock yesterday I was thinking the weatherman had pulled another trick on us with the cool and overcast skies. Amazingly by 4 the clouds had parted and it was miraculously sunny and much warmer. The usual suspects made their appearances to get the roads blockaded and the equipment set up so we'd be ready for hopefully a glut of racers. As luck would have it, there was no shortage of men, women, or kids ready to race.

Plenty of action early on in the Men's A races with a decently stacked field. The Men's B (including me) had a pretty decent sized group of 14 or so racers as well. I was hoping I'd learned a little bit from the last time out where I spent most of my time leading the group around only to be gassed when it came time to make it count. The first race was a 7 lap race winner take all. I managed to stay in the pack until 1/2 way through the last lap and gave it a go. We;d spit most of the riders off by this time with just 3 or 4 of us within striking distance of each other. At the top of the little rise, one rider got past me and I ended up in 2nd. Definitely a better showing thus far.

The 2nd set of races was a miss and out race. They pulled the last 2 riders each lap until we were down to 5 and then pulled 1 rider a lap. I'm not sure how many laps we did, but I managed to keep myself in the top 3 or 4 for most of the laps until it was finally down to Matt Gumm from A9Y and I. He'd been off the front for most of the race and had soft pedalled back to us for the last lap or two. I trailed him to the top of the rise and then hit it on the outside. I'm not very sure that he gave me a true run, but regardless I pulled out in front and won my first "race". Woohoo! After that we did a 2 lap race with a neutral lap followed by a sprint lap where I just kept up and then let off at the end knowing I didn't want to give it a full go for a single lap that I really couldn't contend for anyway with my lack of sprint skills.

The final race was a 7 lap point race with points given on the odd numbered laps-1, 3, 5, and 7 points respectively. Person with the most points at the end wins. I was hoping to maybe contest for laps 3 and 5 thinking those would be the best to get points and sneak in another W. I was about 6" shy of taking lap 3, but pretty well gassed myself in the process. A small attack from a couple of DMOS riders got away at for the 5th lap and got the points leaving the rest of us gapped and trying to bridge over the 6th lap. I took a hard pull trying to reel them in, but didn't have enough left. I did however get quite the adrenaline shock though as we rounded the rise for the final time. I was out of gas and getting passed on both sides towards the top of the rise. I didn't hold my line and drifted left directly into the rear wheel of Steve Doughty. I heard the distinctive buzzing noise of front tire to back tire and then came off his wheel a split second later. Luckily it just ended with a speed bobble that I kept under control without dumping the bike. It must have shocked Randy as well though since he was slightly behind and saw it happen and threw out a choice expletive that I was thinking.

All in all a great night of racing and a lot of fun.

One of me looking all speedy and stuff.

Sterling and I wistfully pondering a great night of racing.

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