Today I drove to Eau Claire, WI for the Chippewa Valley Firecracker race.
I went to the race with my friend Mike from St. Cloud. Mike got me started racing when I was in college and I blame him for all of the bikes hanging in our basement. It has been a long time since I have been able to go to a race with Mike. Now that Mike is running his own bike shop, http://revolutioncycleandski.com/, he says he is too busy to come and ride with me. Go figure.
So anyway, the race went alright. It was a really hot afternoon, the race was 32 miles long, and I was short one member of my team to give me water hand ups, Katie was unable to attend today. The first lap was chaotic, no more the 5 minutes in there was a pile up in front of the pack and some of the top riders went down. Two of them pulled out of the race and I saw one guy later with some nice cuts on his head, he said he cracked his helmet in 6 places from the fall. As the first lap continued the trail was really congested with riders and I was having a hard time pacing myself. I was on the gas then immediately on the brakes again. This technique didn't make for an enjoyable ride and I was getting frustrated.
During the second lap I wasn't feeling it and was already thinking about slowing down and cruisin the rest of the race. Fortunately, near the end of the lap a female rider, another St. Cloud friend, came up behind me and was leading the women's field. I figured if I wasn't going to hammer on the course I would do what I could to help Kyia out. I pulled Kyia along for the rest of the lap and to the finish on her 3rd lap. It was nice to see Kyia win
After my 3rd lap the field had spread out, my legs were feeling good and I knew I could open it up for the last lap. I rode really well on the final lap. I was able to pass three of the riders I originally started riding with and continued to pass a few more. Unfortunately, one rider was not happy with my passing edicate and cursed me when I passed. We exchanged some choice words and I continued to pull away from him. (Disclaimer. I am normally I very polite rider, but when I am on my last lap, have to pass someone going up a hill, and my heart rate is at 180 bpm, I may not call out what side I am going to pass on. We are supposed to be advanced riders so if I got a little too close to you, that's racing, don't curse me out.) So yeah, I finished strong and felt good about the race.
Afterward I found out Mike didn't have the best luck. He got slowed down by the crash in the beginning of the race, ripped his new shorts, and was stung in the head by a hornet or something. He finished, but was happy to be going home. Thats racing folks.
One last shout out to Kyia and Evil for the Spotted Cow. I needed a proper recovery drink after the race.