Friday, August 25, 2006

Still Going

Well, Horse is still together, as I haven't motivated myself to disassemble him and finish my other bike. Could be related to the fact I've started my new job at the bike shop near my house. Yup, I left ym position with the city. The lack of a nightmarish commute alone is worth the job change. Plus fringe benefits.

Anyway, I had Monday and Tuesday off, so I didn't do much Monday, but Tuesday I decided to go and see if I could survive the Tuesday Nighter, a local training race run on a 9 mile loop. I did the B race, so I only had to do 3 laps for 27 miles. This was because I was not too sure of my abilities after the last couple of races. I mean, let's be real here, the idea of retiring was definitely in my head on and off since the beginning of the month.

So I showed up early, got ready, rode a bit, then waited in the shade for everyone else to show up. And since it was only about 101 out, many did show. So we went off, and the pace was pretty quick, and I actually wasn't feeling too bad. But I forced myself to not be agressive or do much work because I wanted to stay with the bunch. Plus I'm out of shape. Really out of shape.

Through some creative riding and not giving ground (ie: shoving people back where they belonged if needed) I was in the hunt with a lap to go. Some guys who had dropped back from the A group took off, but we let them go, as they weren't really in our race. So as the bunch cruised along, I made sure I was in the first ten spots or so, and someone I don't like from a rival team was there, too.

The last 3 or 4 miles a guy I met at a recent race got to the front and just rode a consistent, quick pace. I stayed right on his wheel and made sure no one got round me. So there was a group of maybe 30 or 40, I think, and there was quite a bit of contact at a few points. But with about 200 meters to go or so, a friend's brother started the sprint, and I jumped on his wheel. With about 100 meters to go if that, I jumped and launched as hard as I could ("like being launched off an aircraft carrier") and overhauled the other guy, and kept driving until about 20 meters from the line.

Now, I'm not exactly modest, but my next move was pretty much a symbolic banging of my fist on a table. I stopped pedaling, took my hands off my bars, and sat bolt upright and coasted across the line, still winning by 5 or 7 bike lengths. The best part is, my arch nemesis and his team mates were all pissed off, and I beat him fair and square. So Horse and I got our last win we knew we had. I needed it for my confidence, and the fact that I outgunned everyone was very reassuring. Those insulated bottles have made a huge difference.

Horse and I have finished this chapter of our careers on a high note. Now I need to see how the new bike starts the next chapter. Like when you get together with old friends very infrequently, but you always have a great time.


Tom Stormcrowe said...

Good story and good job!

Lisa said...

Congrats on the win! And on the new job.

Ya'll need to come up to Madison, though. Better weather, fewer hills, and even more bikes. Haven't seen the hordes of training groups like I used to in Austin, but there were some serious riders on the trail this morning. Almost got taken out by one of them! (The trail lanes switch at a point to have all the runners/walkers on the inside lane and the bikes in the two outside lanes; I started to move over and came about an inch from being run over.) But the streets are like Amsterdam---bikes everywhere. If I can ever find a gas station with a working air pump, I may join them.

David Amulet said...

What a great story -- good job. I love your dramatic finish.

-- david

Capybaras United said...

Congrats on the exciting win!