Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cyclotic Summary

I wanted to train & race more at the track all summer; three nights I had work trades set up, we were rained out. The final day of the season, rained out. I took the class in May, where three classes were rain-affected, but didn't get to race until early August. Good, in a way, because the beginner's men class is/was clogged with, well, beginners. A range of skills and speeds, with higher likelihood of crashing. My goal was to avoid a bad crash. It's a lot of fun, and I hope to do more of it next year.

I completed three of the AGRS races (100 mile gravel self-supported endeavors). There are those who race, and those who ride. I'm safely and deeply in the latter, but it's still a great deal of fun and challenge. I had to pull out of the fourth event, the Heck of the North, due to work. It was the week following the Gentleman's Ride, aka Almanzo Redux, which put sufficient hurt on me to disincline me to ride, even if I'd been able to get up there. Beautiful terrain, but hard shit.

And there are cats who RACE-race these things. Tuck and pedal hard for 100 miles of gravel, hills, descents, more gravel. Yikes.

I pulled something in my left elbow doing a ridiculously hilly ride in SW Wisconsin. Dairyland Dare is no joke, either. For the flat middle of the country, there're a lot of damn steep hills/valleys.

The men & women on Behind-Bars/LGR have been most welcoming this season. I am old enough to be the father of a few of them, but it's been a great time. While I'm continuing to 'build my base' (and I'll do that until I'm just stuck in a slow gear/land), while also developing racing skills, endurance, speed, handling skills, power, balance, etc, those around me were actively racing. I looked over the cyclocross results for Cat-4s, and recognized a handful of gents I was generally finishing with. It's pretty apparent that the starting positions made a decent difference for the short-lap races. The one time I wasn't in the way back, I had a glimmer of 'Hey, this might actually land me above the bottom-third!' and then someone ran over my rear wheel, knocking me to the VERY back. I never ended up DFL, and learned a little bit over the course of the season. It's hard and really, really fun.

My intention to ride all winter is tempered by my desire not to wipe out on ice/snow. Lots of people live by their bikes, but I acknowledge my fear of falling trumps noble intentions and daring desires.

Oh, and then we got a puppy...

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