are sometimes smooth and silky, and other times tired and tight.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

KvA (Part I)

Photograph courtesy of Kristel Nijssen

The early morning sunshine, with its promise of all that is good, was gone. Not a surprise. Disappointing, but it was dry, which was still better than expected.

The atmosphere in the club house was jovial, with well over a hundred wily vets, preparing to race. Some of us hadn’t seen each other since the previous Fall, and caught up with the usual small talk, about the weight we had gained, the new equipment we had obtained, and the limited time to train. Nothing has changed.

I warm up for a few laps, discuss my lack of form with the Flying Doctor, who I know is one of the people to keep an eye out for, if only my legs could follow suit.

I take my customary sanitation pause, then ride up to the line. The Flying Doctor asks me if I’m up for it, and I give my prepared excuse: I’m going to ride conservatively, because I want to help a teammate in the following race. Honest. Really.

The race starts. I jump off the front. I’m not going fast. Neither is the peloton. We circle the 2.5km course, and the pace picks up. There’s a photographer out there today, so I try to get near the front. It’s not easy, what with the size and quality of the field, coupled with the wind. I manage to get there. More or less. Vanity triumphs. Hopefully he obliged.

The attacks begin. I remind myself that today is more about training than racing, and I have plans for later in the day. I ride near the front, but merely to watch. I see the Flying Doctor ride off. He’s with a few other riders, at least one of them a teammate. Another one of his teammates comes past, and I contemplate jumping on his wheel. No. Shouldn’t do it. Have to save myself.

Knowing that Flick is on me wheel provides me with the perfect excuse to not even try and join the possible break. I'm not going to do him any favors. The fact that the race had only just started has nothing to do with it. Nope. Nope at all. OK. Maybe a little. Maybe a lot.

What follows is uninspiring fare. The break of five, including the FD and two of his teammates, dangle in front of us at 30-45 seconds for most of the race. At one point I thought we were close to pulling them in, then I realize that the peloton has been reduced to a group of 20 to 30 riders. I see a car come on to the course, which usually means there’s been a crash. By the time we pass it, I see one of the FD’s teammates, holding on, his chain broken. Victory denied.

We enter our last lap, and the build up for the consolation sprint begins. I get out of the saddle and wind it up. Kind of. Have to save a little for the next race. Right?

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