In my last post, I eluded to my slumping motivation. My legs have followed a similar pattern. I haven't been feeling fresh. This Spring, my legs just haven't come around the way I hoped. That is likely the biggest reason why I've been quite. I haven't been excited to share my personal results.
I enjoyed the Lancaster series of races last year. I looked forward to going back. Race courses and fields of competition I feel confident in. I went back to the Salisbury Road Race on March 29th. My third visit there. This time it was 45F and raining. A small breakaway formed. As they remained within sight, I figured their efforts would not be a winning move. I also didn't have the legs to confidently bridge across to them. I had a solid plan for the finish sprint based on previous visits. I gambled and waited.
That turned out to be a bad bet. A group of four battled for the win as I sprint among the field for the remaining spots. I was out-sprinted by only one from my group and finished 7th. I have the finish sprint dialed on this course. I just need to get myself in a position to sprint for the WIN.
April 5th was Battenkill. I've struggled previously at Battenkill in the Category 3 field. Racing against people half my age, on their way up through the ranks. My experience and confidence on dirt roads is my advantage. Not enough to overcome the superior abilities of others.This year, I entered the 40+ race. This is an open category race. I'm racing against some really strong guys, who just happen to be over 40 years old. My advantage? I'm only 42 years old.
|Warming up in the rain.|
|Prepared to get wet and muddy.|
The winter was not kind to the dirt roads up in NY. It rained heavily the week prior and showers passed through the night before. It was raining lightly as I arrived. I knew to expect soft conditions on the dirt roads. Those in my race did not come to make friends. It was brutally fast almost immediately. During a pivotal climb, only 11 miles into the race, things unraveled for me. Here is video of the scene.
I rode the rest of the race among other racers. I pushed hard but knew I was just racing for my own pride. I finished 46th of the 70+ in my race. This really is a difficult race. People travel from around the country to participate. In its 10th year, the events continues to grow each year. Although it has only been kind to me one year, I look forward to it each year.
The following weekend was my Safe-Racer clinic. Everything went great but I was hoping for a much bigger turnout. I devoted a lot of energy to the event and was hoping to see a better return on that investment. I had hopes of repeating the clinic this year. Instead, I'll look forward to doing it again next Spring.
Next up was a return to the Lancaster series with the Farmersville Road Race on April 19th. I had a great race here in 2013 and looked forward to returning. This turned out to be a strange race as it was interrupted by a crash in another field. There were three races on the course at the same time and the incident involved the field ahead of mine. Here is video of what I saw when we arrived. Because of what happened, I will be stressing the "yellow line rule" with my road-racing clients. It is very easy. Stay on the right side of the road.
All racing was halted and we returned to the start area. We resumed racing when the course was clear. Before the stoppage, my legs didn't want to cooperate. The stoppage didn't help. The race exploded in the last couple miles. I turned myself inside-out to finish 10th.
So, my legs have not been feeling good but I continue to push forward. I adjust my expectations and focus on the challenge, competition, and fun I'm having. In the mean time, I'm doing a lot of instruction. I'm preparing for future mountain bike and cyclocross instructional clinics although I haven't set dates. A couple new clients are helping to fill in my days. It is a busy time of year. Sorry to take so long between blog posts. I'll be back soon to write more.
Thanks for reading!