Well, I managed to get my butt out to PIR finally to throw on a little cat 3/4 race tonight. I had it in my head that if it was wet and/or raining that I wouldn't suit up. I've been out there when its rainy and slick and its SCARY. Besides I had my virginal white Tarmac, and I was pretty sure I didn't want to desecrate it with a rainy race at PIR. Anyway, for the most part it held off. Between flying sweat and little spitty rain drops it was ok...cold but ok.
First off, its freakin' difficult to race when Portland Velo and Ironclad show up in the numbers that they showed up in. Its pretty much them and then everyone else in ones and twos. Makes it hard to play my cards, but its what I've always done. But it sucks when there's a PV rider and a Ironclad rider in the break and there isn't anyone else strong enough to pull em back...So I did it myself. The good news is that I was strong enough to pull back the f'n break! I have NEVER been strong enough to do that! WOW. It's gotta be the bike!
I managed to recover and sit in pretty much until the last lap, but had to get in and pull a few times to keep it together with five or so to go. On the last lap there was a break of four or five riders off the front, w/ no PV rider in it. Curiously, they were reluctant to chase...so for about a quarter lap, there wasn't any real motion to catch the break. Then, even more curiously, Ironclad brought five riders to the front and pulled us all for the next half lap, to within striking distance of the break (which had an Ironclad rider in it. WTF????). A rider from Kislers (correction: BridgeTown Velo) went down after crossing a wheel...right next to me! Miraculous that I didn't go down. I and a handful of riders bridged up and started down the straight away in a brisk cross wind...coming from the southeast (also strange). So the final ramp up at about three hundred meters I was set a bit far back, but ok, trying to figure out what PV rider was the mark when a Bike N Hike kid who had been randy all race shouldered up with someone and went down, wheels blazing. He took down a total of six riders I think, including all the set up riders for Ironclad. Again, it was just to my right and I steered hard to my left to avoid the carnage of helmet parts and white Cervelo soloist carbon chips (for real). That brought me out of the slip stream and out of real contention for glory. By the time I was close to another wheel I'd run out of real estate. Just missed 5th place by a couple of centimeters.
But the good news is that I stayed up right, AND that my legs didn't seize up.
The best news is that Dorothy arrived home from Boulder last night, tired and happy. There is nothing like a short separation to make you realize how much you can miss someone, and how dependent you are on that person...which at this point in my life gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, not the feelings of dread that it did when I was younger, better looking, and less, well, 'energetic'.