... but it does make road racing a little more fun.
That's right folks... no stunning double-W to report from Saturday, but I did win my first ever prize in a bike race on pavement. You got it, 5 bucks cash money baby. This stunning payday came as a result of a vicious attack out of boredom and the most fortuitous prime bell ever. As I mentioned Friday, I had plans for the 2 races and I did in fact manage to execute both (sort of). I also learned that I'm still a big skirt wearing pansy so I'm gonna have to do something about that.
4/5 race started the day and the lineup proved it was a cat 4/5 race... people didn't want the line because they didn't want to lead into the wind on the backstretch. Fine by me as my plan for this race was to be one of those guys who gunned it from the word go and tried to make the early laps hurt. They let me roll to the front and I jumped coming out of the sweeping turn onto the track. Several guys followed suit and the result was that a small group was lapped and pulled at lap 5 or 6. Other than getting the hole shot and riding like mad, my other plan was just to attack until I puked, someone else puked, or I got away with some guys who were strong enough to make it work. Well I attacked the crap out of the first half of the race as did a couple other guys, but the whole thing ended up amounting to nothing more than dick waving. Every time a group got any sort of gap, one or more guys decided it was more fun to be there than help. By halfway I had to go take a rest. I threw one more wild and unconvincing shot with 7 to go, but it was pretty lame and the field jumped on. Typical late lap 4/5 sketchiness set in and I decided I didn't feel like sticking my nose in the sprint. Rolled in as pack fill.
Cat 4 race was an hour later so I grabbed a drink and snack and then just rolled around to stay loose. Plan here was to sit in for a while and see what the pace felt like, then see if I could do anything fun. First 10 laps basically felt like a parade with nobody doing much. 12 or 13 laps in I decided to move up on the back stretch where it had been slowing due to the wind so I figured I'd just roll right through to the front when the pace slowed. Well it did, and I did, and then when I got near the front I decided it was time for a test. I went high and wide on the banked turn of the track and then hammered the finish stretch. I get near the tent and aren't they ringing the bell yelling 5 dollars. Well I hadn't checked yet and I figured it hadn't worked so I layed into the first 2 turns and then peeked back on the sweeping right. Amazingly I had opened up about 8-10 seconds. I was able to put my head down and basically pedal hard around for my big prize although one guy did close like a truck and passed me after I was fully across the line. He had come off the front to chase me and now we had about 12 seconds on the pack. Unfortunately he clearly wasn't going to do a damn thing so after 2-3 laps it was back to the pack. I again decided that I was happy enough so I just sort of hung out and moved around before sitting up and rolling in at the finish.
I'm a little disappointed that I never even stood up to sprint or tried to get in position where it mattered. I am happy I had the good sense to stay out of trouble. One of these days I'm going to have to get over last year's trauma and bang bars up at the front to try and take one. Maybe next time out I'll grow some stones.
In other news, boy #2 has cashed in on the "ditch the training wheels, get a new bike" deal. He was rewarded Sunday with a sweet Haro BMX that he's been eyeing for months. I like it too because it's a tank and I can screw around on it :)
Finally, I don't know if tonight's ride home counts as epic or incredibly stupid. I rolled the dice that the first storm had passed and the second would miss me. Well I crapped out and got absolutely pelted for about 10 minutes about 3/4 of the way home. I haven't ridden in the rain in quite a while and it was warm enough, but it still sucked. Better luck next time.