Racin’ in the ‘Hood

It was a perfect way to end my season.

I’d planned to make the Moriarty time trial two weeks ago my last race, but then the Nob Hill Crit popped up as a late addition to the schedule, and I couldn’t resist – a bike race in my own neighborhood, where I could just hop on the bike at home and ride over!

It was a lovely course, a triangle through the residential neighborhood on the north side of Albuquerque’s Nob Hill, which is the best urban walking neighborhood in town. It’s lovely little post-war bungalows, narrow tree-lined streets. Some folks watched from their front porches, lots of folks drifted over from the Nob Hill shopping district (they were having a chile cookoff there) to watch. They had a kids’ race, which even had tykes on tricycles. There was a terrific “A” race, with some of the fastest racers in town.

Racing in a neighborhood was sweet. Per my usual crit performance, I got lapped twice in my race (the “B” race), but I pretty much expected it given that two women’s national road racing champions were there at the start line, plus a lot of the guys who I know are faster than me. Once I got dropped by the main field, I picked up a workmate and we had fun. The last corner of the triangle course’s turn, off a downhill into the front straightaway, was wide open and fast, and every time I headed into it I popped up into a higher gear and accelerated, getting lower and faster each time. It was fun.

I came in 10th this year in the beginners’ division of the annual state road racing points series, third in my age group, which was pretty satisfying.

Mom and Dad and Lissa came to watch the crit. They’d never seen me race before. Having them perched in lawn chairs on the sidewalk clapping for me each time I came through the front straightaway was a gas.

It was a perfect way to end my season.