So despite the warnings I was being given by some people about attending opening day at Wells today, I gave in to the peer pressure and my burning desire to find out whether there had been any value in all the 4:30 a.m. sessions on the trainer to date. I may have just done a hard cut over to ice cream and Wachusett if it had gone badly. The original plan was to go all in and ride down from home (about 90 minutes) and then have the family drive me home. Unfortunately I woke up wearing a skirt and decided it was too cold at 8:30 to ride down so instead I rode to CCB wonder-stud (and eventual winner today) Ciaran Mangan's house in Natick and left from there around 9:30. It's only about a 30 minute jaunt over there from his house so there was plenty of time to sign in and get ready for the A race.
Now I must pause here and point out a couple things: 1) I'm licensed as a cat 4. It's a combination of not racing much and not having any results on the road save my $5 prime last season. 2) I've never done above an A/B combined race at Wells. 3) There were those warnings I was given about the crashtastic nature of March racing at Wells. 4) I knew there would be a big field because there are a lot of people who ignore those warnings and it was beautiful today. What all this meant was that my heart-rate was 102 standing at the line waiting to start.
Now I could go all G on you and give you the pedal-stroke by pedal-stroke recap of the hour 15 of racing, but I'll go with the more efficient short list of highlights instead:
- There were crashes. Two that I know of, but I didn't know about one until after the race so it must have happened at the back when I wasn't there (for a change). I was not in either.
- I made 3 or 4 legitimate efforts to get into a break. 2 never really materialized because we never got a gap. The last one was a group that went away with 11 to go including some big horses and I tried to go across but blew up about 5 bike lengths away. That effort got me a 60 second avg power of 544W and jack shit to show for it. Fortunately, they came back anyways.
- The big efforts hurt... a lot.
- My positioning in the pack sucks, but no longer in the sucky way that gets you in crashes. Now it's in the sucky way that has you burning energy to get near the front or missing breaks because you're not there.
- After one last-ditch try with 1 to go to get near the front I called it a day and rolled in rubber side down
So let's call it a good opener. I think the test of fitness was successful, but there's a ways to go. I protected the body and equipment so that's never bad. I got almost 3 hours of riding in once you add in the ride back to the car in beautiful weather so how can you go wrong? And then I got to come home and study for an accounting midterm... damn you grad school... damn you straight to hell...