The last chance for Cross-Country glory took place yesterday at Lake Manawa. I was for the first time licensed and ready, ready was perhaps not the correct word choice going into my first ever expert race. Optimistic might describe it better.Either way it was clear from the get-go that I wouldn't be experiencing any of that aforementioned glory.
The race began on a paved road, guys with gears rode like they had gears and proceeded to fly past my itsy bitsy 36:17 gear.I tried to keep pace for a bit then it was well I'll just try and keep them in my sights type of thing. I could still see the lead group and was chasing with a few other guys when a branch became lodged in between my frame and chain, I tried to ride on and just force it out, but the momentum just caused the chain to pop off like magic. Five minutes later I rode for 10 - 15 feet and it falls off once again. A half lap later it decides to really piss me off and yes, pop off.
After that I see a man yell from beside the trail that the race had stopped, I thought that's great but I'm gonna keep rolling. That lasted for about ten seconds when I was greeted by a caravan of riders coming towards me. I didn't really know what had happened at the time, I just knew it wasn't any good. But during the restart I was able to re-tension the chain and had hopes of a comeback swirling through that head of mine. The race resumed and I felt good for awhile,I mean for the first time in the race I was screaming through corners,hitting sections with a fury instead of braking and riding like a scared puppy playing catch up.
In the midst of my chain issue fix I spaced re-filling the bottles, And ended up with legs tightening up and twitching with each pedal stroke. Damn Cramps! Yeah so there were some forces against me today,Perhaps the biggest was my inability to start a race fast.My body is so used to those long miles in the saddle, not a gut -wrenching push right from the start.
Oh well, it will happen.
Its time to deliver sandwiches to the masses-