March 30, 2008

Hail Yea!

This year's Piece of Cake Road Race was graced with similar weather to the past 2 times I've done the race. I had to miss last year. It was one of those days when you're at the car 5 minutes before roll out, trying to figure out.... hat...? hat?....booties.... or not?....vest?... or a whole jacket. I had faith in the weather man and his promise of clearing in the afternoon. I was wrong.

We had a big field of 22+ (21 finished and I know of one woman that did not finish....) There was a fair amount of action, but nothing stuck in the first 2 laps. Beginning our final lap 3, I noticed a giant purplish black cloud. Soon we were treated to some hail. That stopped our pace down considerably. Luckily, it was only about a mile or two.

Finally about 2/3 of the way through the last lap, some girls got more ambitious about making something stick. 2 riders went first. They got about 20 seconds gap, when another group of us, 7 in all started the chase. At one point there was a surge I just couldn't stick with and I popped along with another woman. After working together for a short time, she found a new set of legs and went to try to bridge to the breakaway. Her and I remained about 30 seconds.... and a minute off the breakaway, with the peleton another 30-40 seconds behind me.

I settled with the idea that I would finish 9th. But I had to keep the pressure on, in the wind, in order to keep the peleton back. Thinking back, I don't think they were trying too hard, since most teams had someone in the break. I marked myself against the other lone rider with a telephone pole. I was just getting motivated to empty the tank, about 2K from the finish when...pss...pss...pss...the evil sound of a flat.

I have never flatted in a race until today. And of all moments, when I'm in no man's land, with no wheel car near. If it were dry, I would have been OK, riding with the flat, and may have still stayed away from the main group. But since it was wet, my rear wheel kept slipping. So I pulled over and cheered for the group.

Ugh... it's all part of racing.

I was happy with my fitness today and response to action within the group. I wish I hadn't spent so much time in the wind. It's hard to decide how far back to stay in the group, especially when you're paying attention to certain riders. I didn't want to miss a break attempt. I felt strong, (until I got dumped), and confident. I love my bike.

March 24, 2008

Goodbye to the Normals

Welcome Rubicon teammates! Safe travels to you and don't forget your f'in passports.

March 2, 2008

Lolita off to Texas

I shipped my yearling Orca to her new daddy in Texas yesterday. He wrote me an email, describing her future...

She will like it in Texas. I have four other nameless bikes that will keep her company. Not much rain and a lot of good riding days. I have a bike dedicated to the trainer so she will never be shackled to the steel taskmaster in my exercise room. No rides in ice/snow, one of the nameless bikes will have that chore. In Texas, there is always a great deal of wind for her aero dynamics to tantalize. Pickup trucks are another thing all together and may be very scary for at first. Hopefully, she doesn’t know much English and she will not be able to comprehend the harsh words directed at us as the pickups go by.

I told him that being her mother's daughter... she's herd plenty of language. Be good, girl!