In this weeks Wednesday Night World Championships a few hitters showed up. Truman, John, Cameron, Carter, you get the idea. The little race at Sundance gets pretty fired up on nights like these.
I had a bit of an interesting start. At 5:40 pm I woke up. I’m still not sure how on earth I slept for almost 6 hours in the middle of the day. I was tired and so I took a nap, thinking I’d be out for an hour or two, but I wasn’t at all concerned about setting an alarm to be ready for the race at 6:30 pm.
So when I rolled out of bed to see the time I had to decide if it was worth it to make it to the race.
No warm up.
No pre-race meal.
No pre-race routine.
Just show up, and race. Thankfully these races are pretty laid back, and I had already paid the $17 bucks to register, so I decided I’d hope I’d make it before they started and jumped in the car.
I pulled into the parking lot at around 6:27, quickly put the front wheel on my bike, used the bathroom, and ran over to the start with about 2 minutes to spare. They were late starting, which I was kind of banking on.
With no warm up, the legs were screaming at me more than normal up the steep paved road, in fact I think as we started the short descent right after I was maybe the closest I’ve ever been to cramping.
I settled into 5th place. My focus was to ride my race, and to pace it smoothly. Most of the season I’ve tried to stay with the hot shots of town, but during this race I just wanted to focus on having a good clean race.
About halfway up the climb I passed Sebastian, putting myself in 4th, with just a few seconds behind 3rd.
I kept it steady and smooth through the rest of the lap. The first three riders were putting more and more time on me, and 5th was riding right with me, with a maybe 10 second gap back to the next group. At the top of the second lap the guy I was riding with had a mechanical and so I was all alone. I rode smoothly down and was ready to finish strong on the 3rd lap.
I paced well and just keep the power on the whole time.
At the top, Sebastian caught me, I attacked hard. Really hard.
I got away.
I hit the deck.
Before the final descent there is a dirt road with two-way traffic where I was going all out to try to put some space between me and Sebastian. The dirt road has a hard right hander that was loose and off camber at the end of it.
I didn’t slow down nearly enough. Rookie mistake.
When I got up to assess the damage I was grateful that nothing appeared deep, or broken. So I got back on. But my handlebars were crooked. So I pulled off to the side and gave them a good yank to straighten them out.
At this point a good 7 riders had passed me.
Then later down the descent a broken spoke gave me some troubles.
It was a little bit frustrating.
I had one goal: ride a smooth race.
And I crashed and broke a spoke, both of which were user error.
I love Wednesday night races because it’s a place to risk it all. A place to see how fast you can take a loose off camber corner. A place of practice. Practice doing the real thing. Racing.