I kinda got screwed.
After a good week of riding/training/talking to a friend about getting burned out, I was ready to jump back into the Southern Classic Series and give it all I had. After a couple of wrong turns yesterday morning, I arrived at
in Country Park Greensboro ready to race. When I lined up at the start, I noticed a
couple of Cat1 guys in my class, no doubt taking the easy way out so they could
get on the podium. It discouraged me a little so I lined up in the second row of
a pretty big field. The plan was to ride
my own pace…
But plans change.
Photo credit: Mike Long
When the race started, the “ringers” took off. I got a little mad about it, and transferred that anger to my pedals. I put the hammer down and dropped the whole field. I knew I couldn’t keep that pace up the entire race, but I wanted to make them work to catch me. I had a huge gap before we hit the singletrack…
Then I noticed that something wasn’t quite right.
After a proper warm up (for once) I felt good physically but had an issue with my bike. As I tried to shift into a different gear something made a crunching sound. I looked down to see my chain all crooked and junk. Then all of a sudden the whole field went by me. Shit.
I stopped for a moment to see what it was and couldn’t find the problem. I rode a little further and felt like I was dragging an anvil behind my bike. I stopped this time and found that my rear skewer was askew. I straightened everything out, tightened it, and took off again. I was hurting bad from such a sudden stop, but I knew I could catch back up if I worked hard enough at it. I pushed and pushed, and eventually came up on one guy in my class. I hesitated to pass him since I was so tired from my effort to catch back up, but eventually he told me to go by. I worked hard to put a gap on him, and with my new-found confidence I started looking for the rest of the pack.
The trail was sorta fun, but it was typical cross country stuff and very roadie friendly. I think maybe I rolled over one log pile, hit a few roots, and maybe even saw a rock or two. This did not bode well for me, since would have to work extra hard to even catch a glimpse of the rest of the field. I kept working but I was getting bored. I was on lap one of three so I had plenty of time, but I didn’t know if I could survive the boredom.
I made it through one lap, where Mike was once again waiting with a camera.
One down, two to go. Could I keep going?
Tune in tomorrow…