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...?...no 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 30, 2008
Rambled By Heather around 8:40:00 PM