Ginny King from RBM has developed an alternative weekly series (Tuesday Plano and Wednesday Fort Worth)that had its inaugural race yesterday, March 18th. Quite a good turnout, easy to get to and a great course.
I decided that I wanted to be a real racing cyclist again rather than a virtual one or just a promoter, so in the mail arrives the usacycling license. No better place to flash it (and pay the $15) is Ginny's race. 503 bib number, yea starting as a cat 5, no Masters cat in this series, just the C race. Frank Cusimano of the SMU cycling team has worked past the crash 5's in the past year to a 4 and soon to be a 3, and as State Champion in the 5's (a category you shouldn't defend from year to year) I asked for some advice being 20 years removed from racing a crit. Sage advice, if I had only paid attention.
Before I left, I asked my daughters for a good luck kiss, and they gave me some good luck charms. As I walk to my car, I see that my left front Bridgestone Tourenza has started to delaminate. Wow. That would have been bad on the highway. They came in handy during the race.
Crit racing means that your bike is now only a disposable tool, not a lovingly carressed object of veneration. That smooth clear coat is now at risk at any turn, not to mention the SRAM Red. The guy wearing the old CSC tiscali jersey with the nice Cervelo SRAM Red probably took the brunt of the fall on his elbow and knee just to save his bike!
After chasing Nicky around the lake all year, none of the surges seemed too tough, but it was obvious that I didn't have enough miles in the legs to do the surges myself. The last turn before the longish straightaway has a drainage inset in the street that causes a compression on the bike if you hit it right, and I did, causing my seat post to go from "DOR"IC TEAM 3T to EAM 3T to where I finished, just 3T showing. It was almost like I was sitting on the top tube.
I have always sprinted a bit too far out and I was waiting till we got to the straightaway, but by then I was a little too far back, so a mid pack finish was all that I had to show for it, but at least I stayed upright. One bonus, NBC News 5 covered the crit, so the local news had some footage of us racing.
Next week Frank said he was going to do the C and B race, so I hope to latch on his wheel for a few laps and get a few good pictures before he drops me. 20 year old legs vs 50!