TNC #9

Here’s the part where I’m self-deprecating about my bicycle racing skills and really mean it. No false modesty here. I got skunked Tuesday night.

This is the Beginners and Old Farts race again, 20 minutes at a pretty brisk tempo. I was able to hang with the pack, and even lead on a lap, until we came down the front straightaway with three laps to go and some guy put on an absolutely brutal acceleration. I could see him making his move, but I just couldn’t respond quickly enough. Maybe six of the 10 people who were left were able to go with him, and I just fell off the back. Fast.

Caught out back, I picked up a second straggler and asked him to get on my wheel, but he couldn’t stay with me, so I was just left to fend for myself. Gradually I began pulling them back, but there was just no way. Looking over my shoulder, I saw that the guys behind me were long gone, so as I turned the corner into the finishing straight I didn’t sprint. Big mistake. The two buys behind me who had been long gone weren’t.

If I had been paying attention, I would have seen Bill, the finish line judge, pointing up the road behind me as I cruised in to the line, but I didn’t get it until two guys hammered past me in a ferocious sprint about 10 feet from the line.

Lesson learned. If I’m cruising in to the finish line, keep an eye out behind.

I jumped back in to the C race, but it was a pretty half-hearted effort. I was on the back of the pack for a lap when, coming into the front straightaway, a gust of wind that must have been blowing 50 miles per hour swept over us straight on. I kid you not. Someone said later it blew over a porta-pottie. The sand was blinding, and pretty much everyone sat up until it passed. I hung on for a few more laps with some stragglers, then noticed my back wheel slipping a bit in the turns and realizing it was losing air. Good excuse. I was outta there.