The second race of the season was held Saturday in our little burg under sunny skies and cool temps. Being from back East I've got a serious hankering for some real mud. Not the variety that feels like you're peeling frosting off your birthday cake, I'm talking about the black as ink, completely saturated type. It's a vile mixture of a equal parts decomposed bark, leaves, water, tadpoles, etc. and a supreme exercise in handling skills to ride through it, across, it , over it while maintaining an upright, forward progression. Ah, but it was not to be today, here in the high desert, we looked forward to dust clouds and thorns.
I have to admit I was seriously tentative about today's race. I'm not sure exactly where it was coming from but I felt devoid of energy from a crazy busy work week and perhaps a feeling a little bit too much pressure on myself to live up to my 9th place at the first race. Nervousness left at the line where I ran into the usual cast of characters. Mike was there and not feeling too ready. I was jammering with Rich when the ACA official announced that after the top 20 were called up that he'd be staging us in sequence which for some reason sounded like sequins. So we were all cracking up about our forgetfulness to show up to the line with sequins, capes adorned with sequins, bejeweled bikes, etc.
The whistle blows and we are off to the slowest start I've ever encountered. It's a wide open dirt road with a bit of elevation but the group seems to just be cruising, not racing. Well, fine by me, I'll keep moving up without blowing up. I settled in for a heap of rapid short laps with 3 barriers ( two dismounts ) per lap. I was going well, not great and trying desperately to bridge up to a group of 5 in front of me. Sitting in 8th or 9th I started feeling the rear of my bike wash a bit on the corners, sure enough I've punctured. I nursed the bikes as best I could and thankfully I was close to the pit, I rolled in, changed my rear wheel and tried not to pay attention to places lost and just do a clean wheel change. Back in, it didn't look too bad, I got to the top of the run up, looked up and there's Rich telling me "14th place." I had 3 laps remaining but I was worked, I caught and passed a couple of guys only to be passed back and then started running into lapped traffic. By the bell lap I wasn't sure where my placing was but just working on maintaining flow. I rolled though the line alone in lucky 13th place. A super fun day of racing. Jim busted out his vintage zebra stripped skinsuit ( sorry-no photos....yet ) and pulled out an 18th place today, He swears in was his fashion statement that was responsible for his success and will continue to use this garment for the remainder of the season.
It's hard to believe that we only have two weekends of racing left in our Colorado calender although I will adding an additional 2 to my season as I'm confirmed for Nationals in KC, as of this weekend ! (more on that later)
For some pics of Saturdays race go here . Thanks for reading !