Saturday, April 12, 2008

First Race. . .I Finished on the Lead Lap

One minute into this race I remembered why I love racing so much. I was at the back of the 40-rider pack hoping just to stay on. Several guys came up and welcomed me back on the start line. It felt strange to be there. But then the whistle blew and the pack rolled out slowly. As we picked up speed I stayed at the back, but I knew where to ride to stay on and as we turned into the wind I was looking for the best place to be, looking up the road to see who was at the front and feeling like I never took a year off. Halfway around the 5.7-mile lap is "The Hill." Halfway up I found myself in a group of guys who were getting dropped. I closed up to the back of the pack and managed to stay with the main pack all the way around the course the "The Hill" on the next lap. At that point I was off the main pack. I rode for a couple of laps with a guy who just turned 50 years old. I stayed ahead of the pack and rode the whole distance without getting lapped. As it turns out my result was no worse than the last two times I did this race. In 2006, I dropped out at the same point. In 2005 I did 32 races and was dropped in only two--Mt. Joy and the Road stage of the Fitchburg MA stage race. I have a Guard weekend next weekend, but the following weekend is the Ephrata Stage Race. The road race and the criterium are flat, so I may be able to hang in until the end. But I will be crawling up the hill in the Sunday morning time trial. It is four miles flat then four miles up--I should finish at the back of that one,