Monday, November 22, 2010

....quiet until the elusive w...

Tacchinio, Photo: Tracy Pafel
I've skipped writing about a few races of late.  At Fair Hill, I put a gap on the field on the first lap only to get blown away by my own inability to sustain the pace.  Still had a good race, but was 4th, one off the podium in what would be a theme for the weekend.  I also raced the elite race.  And was 14th. It hurt.  Sunday, on some very tired legs, I dragged myself up the Tacchinio hills to 5th in a field where I expected to be further up.  Prizes went to 3rd, 13th, and 3rd, respectively.  Luckily, my teammate Bernie came along and we giggled our way through the tandem race.  Okay, he pedaled, I giggled. 
Photo: Galen Wallace
Last weekend - no racing.  I needed the downtime but was starting to have doubts.  One of my season's goals last year was to win.  I didn't.  That meant one of my season goals this year was to win.  And I just wasn't doing it.

The MAC series is great - big fields, racing for every spot, good people.  And the series finale was in New York this weekend.  I wanted to go.  Sort of.  There were carbon wheels on the line for the series winner and I was in third going into the weekend.  Mathematically unlikely, but possible. 

But my team was promoting one of the two races this weekend that are 45 minutes or less from my house.  I decided to give up any vampire-like tendencies and race at home.  No sneaking off into the woods of a MAC race for me.  We hosted the registration binder assembly party and supervised prize distribution and podiums. I got to hang out with my teammates for a race they'd done most of the hard planning work for already.  Registration, course set up, tear down, etc etc etc. all went off with nary a hitch - great job LSV and BBC.

An aside...
Dear racers who I had to tell more than once that prizes could not be distributed until results were final (particularly any Masters' B riders who asked more than twice in 5 minutes - there are at least two of you),

I don't make the rules.  They are there for a reason - namely that if results aren't final, the wrong people get the wrong stuff.  I can't even change the rules if you have a birthday party to go to and didn't plan on being on the podium. Though I think you did because you raced down from the elite masters today so you could go to said birthday party. And when you hover around me while I'm trying to do a podium for the race that just finished, it's distracting.  And then I forget to do the Juniors podium, and the cyclocross dads of the world give me dirty looks.  As if I did it on purpose.  As if I wasn't horrified with myself and apologetic.  As if I were getting paid for corralling skinny guys in spandex onto a podium to get their portraits with my little camera.  So, impatient masters' riders, be happy we had results up faster than almost every other race you've attended this year.  (And only once was there a protest.  All day.  A++ to the officials.  But imagine if there had been a protest in your race?)  Be happy that I know the prize value at our race was more than triple what you've gotten at some others so when you got your prize bag within an hour of the end of your race, you could smile again.  Be happy I didn't tell you to go find some guy named Joe in a black shirt for your prizes.  Be happy that Ms. Rock can't get her hands on you to write "vampire" somewhere conspicuous in permanent marker.

But seriously, thanks for coming to our race and congrats on doing well. Thanks to the many people who appreciated the jobs I did on Saturday before my race.  Especially the guy who did so as I was rolling to the line for my race Sunday.

your juniors-podium-forgetting day-of-registration-collector reg-binder-assembly-cook promoting-team-racer-chick prize-distributor.

So that was Saturday.  Well, that wasn't all of Saturday.  I raced.  This is already long, so that will be another story. 

But others raced too, and, for one of them, his body gave out for a bit.  He was ahead of some MDs in his race that did what anyone would - stopped their own anaerobic effort and helped.  Everyone worried as the sirens came and went.  The police took his bike into evidence. We were all reminded of how precious life is and how much we should enjoy the good moments.   Thankfully, we were all relieved several hours later to hear promising updates on his condition.  Still very serious, but not as bad as we feared in the moment.  We are all a community and share a common love - of racing our bikes so hard it hurts.

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