Riding Away

So this is the first post for me at the US Paralympic Road Cycling Nationals.  I am living with 10 teammates and one stranger. The teammates are; Anthony, Matt, Greta, Meg, Clark, Dave, Will, Aaron, Mike, and Sam (well Sam is technically sleeping in his Mercedes Benz Sprinter van out side with his wife and daughter). The stranger is Matt’s roommate Brandon and a fellow cyclist.  We are staying in a house at the top of the hill and about a mile away from where the racing is.  Yesterday was the road race, today is the crit race, and tomorrow is the time trial which is also the qualifying event for road worlds.

So far everything is all dandy. I am have a good time with everybody. The conversations are good and social.  The stress environment is actually lower then I expected considering that all of the guys are competing against each other for the five spots on the worlds team. We are also being supported by Sarah, Sam’s wife. With all of her mothering instincts she has assumed the role as Den Mother for everybody.  When Greta announced that she was going to Costco, Sarah immediately asked if she could join her.  She enjoys it and feels no burden doing all of the kitchen work. Which makes it way easier for racing without that burden.

The road race was fun. I did not race it the way that I had intended. Knowing that the most important race is the time trial I had no intention of riding hard.  So as we roll off the line, we being the men’s and women’s C3-1, a total of eight of us.  The group was rolling very causally with no plans to go any fast until towards the end.  On the first series of hills I noticed that my competition was already breathing hard.  From the advice that I had gotten from everybody else was at the top of the hill do a fifteen second effort and then a steady pace for three minutes or until I was caught. After evaluating the situation I decided to do this on the first lap, first of a planned eight, to shake things up.  Well I went and I didn’t see anybody until the last lap, which was reduced to six.  At the half way point of the first lap I was fifteen seconds ahead, at the second lap I was one minute ahead, at the third lap I was two minutes ahead.  I was super happy and felt really good. It did help that the men in the group realized that I wasn’t in their race so they didn’t chase me down and left that up to the competitor that actually was. Needless to say I won the race.  Respectively Sam, Greta, Dave and Clark, and Mike all won their races.

For the crit today I do not know what the strategy will be but I will have fun none the less.

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