I can tell that I’m getting old by the starting time of my race. The Cat 4 old guys (M45) race didn’t start till 12:15. It was so nice not having to leave the house early in the morning, or having to wait around the starting line freezing cold at the crack of dawn. The only issue I encounter starting so late was the drive to the parking/registration area. The Organizer had you drive in on the same road the race was on. Arriving so late half the groups were already flying on the course. Have you ever tried to passing groups of 50 cyclists on a blind curves? Kidding….
Pre-Race was pretty typical. Visit Port o Potty, Registered, pin number, warm-up on the trainer, re-pin number, and shoot the breeze with Teamie Mark King, and Ex-Teammate John Berg (Kovarus/Wells Fargo Racing Team). Bill Brier was already hammering it on the course.
Before the race I couldn’t believe how calm I was feeling. I think it had to due with my Achilles Tendonitis issues which has been plaguing me for the last few weeks. I figured if it hurt too much I would pull the plug and call it a day, so why stress. This relax feeling went always as soon as I realized my front derailleur/shifter issue which came about right before the start of the San Bruno Hill Climb was back!!! Oh no.. I had zero time to fix it, so it’s all about the Big Ring today…. Lucky the course wasn’t too hilly or with anything steep which required a small ring.
This year’s M45 Cat 4 race was completely different than last year’s Cat 5 race. Elite Cat 5 was blazing from the start to finish. This year’s race was rather slow, with little action, and no one willing to work at the front. No attacks or breakaways so most of the time we promenade as one large group. The only thrill was watching the motorcycle Ref bark at racer for passing over the double yellow line. During their conversation, the dude somehow took a spill. His team mates turns his head to watch the action, and he goes tumbling too. All this is taking place right in front of me!! The guy is bouncing along the asphalt and I’m trying to avoid him, and his cart wheeling bike, and trying to keep my composure and cause the situation any worse. Fortunately the hole between between rider, and his ride stayed open long enough for me to go straight through unscaved…
During last year race, the speed on the return leg to the finish increase twofold. I figured since the pace was so slow, and heading into the wind, the same result would happen. So I started making my way to front 5. Afterwards getting there I realized that nothing was happening beside bitching n complaining about who is going to work. That’s when I made a critical error, and drifted back in the pack. Feeling strong With 2K to go it was time to put the hammer down, but was stuck in mid pack. Mark and I were riding side by side block in. Two many riders, and not enough room, and that motorcycle ref in tow.. @$@#!!!.
200m to go on the uphill finish. Riders started to die on the vine. Small opening started to appear just large enough to squeeze through. With the finish line approached to soon, I was able to work my way up to 9th and Mark to 5th.
Overall it was a good day. Perfect weather, good roads, didn’t go down, Achilles didn’t hurt too bad, and the Team got two Top 10’s…