Rode the Independence Valley Road Race on Saturday – my first Cat 4 road race. I was taken to school – to say the least.
After a prolonged roll out and a bike pile-up, we turned left and started up a seven to eight percent grade. My plan was to push as far ahead as possible and then do the “pack slide” hoping to grab a hold of the rear of the pack by the summit. I held my own for about a half mile but then I just lost it, I couldn’t hold on. I crested the hill alone and started a breakneck descent hoping to catch the wheel of a small straggler group but everyone was gone, save a few dots down the road.
My goal now was to not get passed by the Cat 5’s. I passed an Apex guy and then nearly caught a Cycle U rider on the second hill. Near the top of the final hill I saw the dreaded flashing yellow light of the Cat 5 lead vehicle; I pulled over and let the group pass. The Masters caught me just shy of the end of the first lap.
I was totally out the race, so I turned off the course and headed for the car. I did a thirty minute cool down then waited for my teammates to show. A humiliating day to say the least.
This bike racing thing is so different than any other adult-orientated athletic event. The other “races” I’ve participated in: running road races, trail runs, triathlons are all about you doing your own thing, going as fast as you can, but basically just making it to the finish line. I put quotations around the word “races” in that sentence because now that I look back on it I never really raced. They weren’t races they were “events.” Cycling is a race.
Bicycle racing is all about some guy or some small group of guys trying to completely destroy you. All weakness is completely held up to the light for the world to see. It’s a viscous sport man. I’m going to have to harden up.
Rode 83 miles since Thursday putting my total at 603 miles.