Monday, March 1, 2010

In Over My Head

So my first race back after my layoff was Lago Vista. Lago is a race run on the rolling terrain near Lake Travis and is the same course Saturday (6 mile loop) and Sunday (4 mile loop). This race was also a Cat 2/3 race meaning there was a lot more talent then the normal Cat 3 race.

Saturday started off decently well. I did my best to hang in the pack hoping to finish with the main group. Each lap was successively harder as riders tried to break off the front as we climbed up the rolling front side of the course and then it would start to come back together as we plunged down the back side of the course. I managed to hang on for 8 of the 11 laps despite my front derailleur randomly ghost shifting into the small ring. It turns out that my derailleur was coming loose but fortunately hung on as long as it did. My day finished with 40+ miles raced at an average of a little over 24 mph. Not bad for my first race back but in this field I was a little over matched.

Sunday I wasn't sure how my body would come back from the hard effort of Saturday. The field was slightly smaller (closer to 70 instead of 90 on Saturday) but the winds were brutal. Most of the course had a cross wind of 20-25 mph coming off the lake. The winds quickly destroyed the field and I came off after 3 of the 14 laps. The next several laps in I was in a group of 5 till lap 5 when we went down the long descent in which we would reach speeds of 45-50 mph. As I started to come back up I noticed something wasn't right. My handlebars had rotated down as I had my hands on the hoods instead of in the drops on a descent. Not knowing how loose the bars were I decided not to chance going over them if they decided to continue rotating on the next decent and called it a day. I was less pleased with the short day on Sunday but only about 30% of the starters were still in the lead group and it was shedding riders with regularity.

The best part of the weekend was that it felt good to be on the bike and racing again. I didn't realize how burned out I was before my break and now that I've been refreshed it's amazing how much more fun racing is. Joining the Cat 3 field promises to be extremely challenging and this looks like a learning year but I'm looking forward to continuing to race. Even if I am in over my head more often then not......

Handlebars after the race......

What they should look like....

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