I do not have much street cred. to begin with as a bicycle racer and I do not claim to be good at it. I just really enjoy it. Starting and finishing the NWA Spring Classic yesterday meant way more to me then the result at the end. 32 degrees, snow/rain/snow, 20 mph winds, 40 mph gusts, wind chill in the teens. 72 miles, almost 4 hours in the saddle. I am so glad I showed up. I am so glad I finished. I am so glad it's over. A race I will not soon forget.
Key moments. #1 The first 10 miles we road in the gutter with harsh accelerations and very little draft in a vicious crosswind. I told myself, "if this is what we are going to do for 3 hours...I'm out." Finally, one of my teammates went up the road with a guy from the other team that had numbers and the bunch settled down. #2 I flatted just after Weaver Hill. I could barely change the wheel with my exposed freezing hands. It took longer than expected consequently I chased for about 6 miles. The worse part was going past the start finish and knowing my truck was parked there. I told myself, "if I don't catch them before we hit the crosswind section...I'm out." #3 I paused...took a few mental pictures. Thought of how ridiculous the conditions were how crazy this adventure truly was and finally cracked a smile. The phrase "meet the moment" came to mind.
What an awesome day.
About 15 minutes before the race I received this picture from Paige. Cozy on the couch!
Derailleur cables completely frozen. Zero use of the 11 cog (useful for sprinting.)
Zero use of the little ring.
Let's eat! Classic combo for a classic race.
Let's eat part 2! Four hours in the saddle means you can eat a lot. Lebanese couscous, asparagus, sun dried tomatoes and shrimp. Yum! Thanks Paige.