Jun 17, 2008

the criterium

the red river criterium is held on a 1.1 kilometer multi-turn, highly technical course surrounding a grassy viewing area.

directly quoted from the website. i'll just say that highly technical is an understatement. uber? i might say uber technical. and multi-turn? how about a kajillion turns? or, eleven to be exact. this was only criterium #2 for me - but my husband says 11 turns is a lot. and even the more experienced racers said the course was crazy hard and technical and slightly jacked.

my first crit was a horrible experience, and after seeing this course and hearing about all the crashes that had occured in previous races, i wasn't so sure this one would be much better. crits are all about the cornering & speed and i suck at cornering and speed. and this wasn't some sort of self-fufilling prophecy or anything, its just the truth. i need serious work here.

i started the race right where my husband told me to start - on the line. my goal was going to be to get out in front in an attempt to delay the point at which i would get shelled off the back. we get the little lecture from the official, he says go. so we go. and holy shit are you kidding me? i cannot clip in! the entire field just goes and i am rolling, yet still trying to clip in. never been off the back so fast in my life. never been so pissed off while on the bike in my life.

i spent the entire first lap chanting the most explicit expletives i could think of - and believe me, i thought of some doozies. i was furious. and this fury lasted the whole race. my legs felt crazy strong, i had energy to burn and just couldn't burn it all up because i didn't have the skills (or the guts) for the corners.

a crit is usually so fast with so many turns that catching the group is nearly impossible. my first crit scared the shit out of me; but this time i was too pissed off to be scared. i did catch one girl several times on the hill and we'd stay together as we both got lapped more than once by the kenyan and other cat 1 riders, but then i'd lose her on a wiggy 180 degree turn around some cones. the anger never really wore off. i got better and better on some corners and took them faster each time, and there were other corners that i never got right. as i came through one turn in particular and heard my husband yelling coachy things to me like "pedal!" i wanted someone to shoot him, as opposed to my last crit where i wanted someone to shoot me. i usually love having coacy htings yelled to me (in fact, when the kenyan lapped me, she yelled coachy things & i yelled thanks as she whizzed past).

as i berated myself for being dead fucking last once again in a crit, i suddenly remembered that i was the only cat 4 rider in the group; and i was out there, racing the type of race that scares the shit out of me. i was out there doing it and that had to count for something.

actually, it did count - i got points for the race and even though i was last, i placed in the money and won enough to pay the babysitter for the next day's road race! but still. i was pissed.

photo: shari parker


Anonymous said...

There is no shame in dead fucking last. Especially on those roads! I'm sure at some point in her life, the Kenyan has been dfl too.

Now come on! We want to hear about the hills!

zanne said...

oh, the hill report is coming girlfriend and its' long as shit .. better get a pot of coffee and put elsie down for a nap.

Stuart said...

I love the "Kenyan" concept very funny, hey and winings that cover the baby sitter - now that's a result!

Judi said...

this must have been posted 2 years ago. you have come a long way in your bike racing. give nani a kiss from me!