This race has the history of being crappy! The weather for the past million years on this particular race day is, has been, and always will be, crappy.
This year was no different.
Bruce, Dave and myself loaded up the truck and hit the road to the first ‘real’ road race of the year that anyone puts any value on locally. The week prior there was much talk of skipping as the history of weather and the current outlook seemed to be ligned up as if there were a ruler involved. It wasn’t until late in the week Friday before the race to be exact that the trigger was pulled. The weather man had promised us streets lined with gold and women in bikini’s it was going to be a spring break haven of glorious weather for racing.
Due to this race destroying me last year I was planning on bringing a less than beat down version of myself to the starting line. So instead of doing any running, biking or swimming I opted for the far less taxing duty of installing a patio and misc other projects around the house on Saturday. The rains came later in the day on Saturday and allowed for much relaxing.
Sunday, Dave rolls to my house and the weather outside is damp…..not raining but damp. That’s ok, because the latest forcast show’s a 0% chance of percipitation at the race start time. We picked up Bruce on the way and continued to follow the squeaking sound of some windsheild wipers for most of the drive. All the while we continually laughed and repeated the 0% chance of rain and nice weather were ahead and the current 35* and moisture laden air was a mere momentary blip on this radar. Well it wasn’t.
That’s not entirely true. I don’t think it was actually raining at the start of the race, but one couldn’t tell as just like in Forest Gump “Sometimes the rain even seemed to come up from the ground”.
The race started on wet roads with grey skies, nothing but the best. We rolled the neutral 2-3miles to the start and fired off the line as if a slingshot had been released. The pace was quick from the start, but having rested legs I was feeling strong and ready. The first few bumps go by and the long downhill passes into the first turn. The first small attack is thrown to spread the field a smidge but everyone gathers quickly. A few miles of rising rollers and tight groups has the chit chat missing. All of a sudden that oh so lovely sound of a tire puncture is heard in the not so distant..distance. In fact I was most certain I could feel the air rush out of that persons tire. I was quickly informed that said person was in fact ME and I had punctured a brand new tubular tire in the first miles of a 44 mile road race. I was bummed as I don’t carry a spare, since the group doesn’t wait there is not time to replace it anyways. I was done….. almost. As the race goes, this was a DNF did not finish. Problem was I wasn’t ‘Finished’ by any stretch. I still had, according to my odometer on my bike, 7.64 miles to travel back to the truck. I turned around and started making the slow trip back not wanting to wait for the sag wagon to come around and pick a hypothermic wet and miserable version of myself up. I climbed back up the big hill and through the rolling terrain watched the next races go by and continued on my way. With nearly a mile or less to go to the real Finish, the parking lot, I hear that sound again. PFFFTsssssssssss! Yep, Number two! I finished my ride laughing audibly as I calculate the cost of this “Race” in my head. It’s only money.
I finished up the day hanging out in the warm truck at the start finish line as I watched Bruce and Dave as well as the other races/racers continue to do laps. After a long day, we hit the road and went home. None of us very happy on the day. Bruce also had a flat, only his was a mere mile FROM the finish, what a crappy way to finish a race after working hard.
Better luck next time I suppose