somehow i have now talked myself into racing again. i know, i know. i have oscillated between wanting to race and not wanting to race for a while now. i tell you, after watching the kids at the gateway cup, i realized my enthusiasm for racing runs too deep to be a spectator.
my first race at spanish lake was in 1989, i believe. it has changed a bit since then. it used to go pretty much around the outside of the park on the grassy fields and finish in a little flurry of singletrack. not so much anymore. there is a perfect mix of single track, gravel, and grass.
today's race skipped a little of the grassy field stuff which made for a quick lap, only 12 minutes or so for us. only seven guys showed up to race Open Expert. what a shame. but, in those seven, there were some darn fast fellas. Plochmaster was there, and so was Luke, and even Nate Rice showed up, albeit on a cross bike. (a side note here: the kaiser had an equipment failure about 90 seconds before we were supposed to line up. i gave him my ideas on a McGuyver fix. but, since he is a better mechanic than i am even when he is sleeping, he came up with a brilliant fix, electrical tape, moments before we started) the race, with Luke being there, started out in typical wicked fast fashion. Luke and Nate were showing Plochmaster and i the fast way through the first section of singletrack. i was feeling quite plucky, and was very happy indeed to find out we had already dropped the rest by the time we reached the gravel road. instantly, Nate flatted. ah, those cross tires were a little lean for spanish lake. still leading us, Luke was pouring it on. after the next bit of singletrack, though, Plochmaster opened it up and went by. Luke didn't respond. huh? well, i did. i got back up to Plochmaster and realized that i had just made "the selection". i haven't made a selection in a race in a long time, and i was still feeling good. i hung on until the end of the first of six laps, and then i had to bid farewell to Plochmaster, but i was firmly in second and building more of a gap every pedal stroke.
it pretty much stayed that way for the short race. i ended up 2 minutes or so behind Plochmaster and 3 minutes or so ahead of Luke, who outsprinted one of those pesky DRJ boys for third. the kaiser and his electrical tape finished in fine form, too.
the mrs and pooper were very happy to see me after the race, and i was happy to see the proud looks from them. some of the best racing is when you surprise yourself, you know?