A few weeks ago I wowed a group of medical professionals with my supposedly low resting heart rate but yesterday as I got ready to toe the line for my first race in nine months that slow metronomic pulse was nowhere to be found. At 120 bpm it was beating close to three times faster than when I first wake each morning. I’m glad I decided to switch to a screen without a heart rate display before the race started.
If you recall last Monday’s post you might remember a little wager I had with one of CBS Thursday crew, regarding whether or not I was sandbagging by racing the fours. It didn’t matter that I was on a single speed. To recap, the thought is that I’m too strong to be racing the fours, and if I finished top five I’d have to start racing the single speeds.
Start line luck of draw meant that I was lining up last row in a field of 105 riders. Being that far back makes it hard to hammer the start. I still managed to move up through the back due to my willingness to get off the bike and run close to the tape. But if I would gain four spots by running through the bottleneck I’d lose three of those in my remount – weak point exposed.
The single speed felt under geared on the road sections, only a little big on the hills, and OK on the dirt. That said I didn’t have a hard time keeping up with the geared guys on the road, and I went to slow on the corners. I also noticed that I always tend to take the higher line on the off camber sections, but after watching the fast guys I see that the lower line is the probably the way to go. That and laying off the damn brake lever.
I worked my way up mid pack after the first lap and managed to stick there, battling it out with a few people I was able to overtake at the end thanks to loads of base rides.
None of that matters really, except that racing is fun, and if I’d gone as hard as I should have I probably would have crossed the line that divides almost throwing up and actually throwing up. It also means more racing in the fours.