18 April 2005

The View From the Back (or a First Race Of The Season post)

Well Matt and Craig have what happened at the front of the race down, and as this was my first race of the season I got a good look at the back of the pack. See I was one of the many who got shelled in the second lap. So from my memory, this is what happened:

The race starts and we all roll off together. I think to myself, hey I remember this...I can do this. I stay towards the front of the pack up to the lake and I’m feeling pretty good. I’m ready to move to the front and cover the break for Matt and Craig. But as Matt said, the best laid plans… By the time we crest Harlem Hill for the first time I'm clinging to the back of the pack with a nasty leg cramp. Apparently I remembered how to race, but not how to warm up for a short 12 miler that's more crit than road race. Oh well. Pretty soon after the rollers on lap one I find myself off the back, about 10 feet off the main field. I stay in this position for the rest of the lap, but by the time we hit the Boathouse I start to cramp again. Since I'm just far enough off the back to stay out of the draft I'm working pretty damn hard to try and catch the field.

By the time Harlem Hill starts to rise up in front of us again I realize that it's not going to happen as the field slowly inches away from me. First it's 15 feet, then 20 then as we hit the winding rollers after the Hill and they're gone.

I power my way through the rollers desperate to not fall to the group I see behind me in the distance. As I pass riders who have fallen to mechanicals and flats from the numerous deep and jagged potholes along the west side of the park they shout encouragement. I finish by myself between the main field and the group behind (which by the end of the race has turned into two or three lonely tired racers who rolled in ~4 min after me) and roll into the registration area, not really hurting, but that will come later when I try to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on my way home. All in all it was what it was for me. First race of the season, didn’t abandon and wasn’t caught by the 1’s. Next up, Prospect Park on the 22nd, can’t wait to be on my home turf again…

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