This morning while most of America was asleep, and a few cycling fans were turning on the Tour on the Versus Channel, I was getting ready for my first road race.
My buddy, JR, convinced me to come over to Arkansas and do the Tour De Horseshoe road race. This is not a large sanctioned event. Instead, its a small local road race put on by the locals. Its a run-whatcha-brung deal with any bike accepted.
When we got there, we were the first to sign up....a little scheduling error there. Gradually the field began to fill up, and some more serious riders began to show. JR recognized a few of them as people who could really go. We headed out for a brief warmup and got ready.
The race took off from a Y in the road and we headed for the dam. Just before the dam, everyone surged, hoping to knock people off the back. Unfortunately, it almost shook me off the back too! I sprinted down the top of the dam and got back on with the front half dozen riders. A few other riders got there with me too.
As soon as I caught on, they surged again and the front 4 broke loose. A second intermediate group formed too with me in it. I held my position for quite a while then dropped......
After a few miles in the wind by myself, a guy blazed by me on a Merlin and I hopped on his wheel. We clipped along at a solid 25mph for a couple miles and got back to the intermediate group. Unfortunately, that effort was my undoing, and I fell off the back again, never to get back on.
I rode out the last few miles by myself in the wind and got passed by a couple people, dropping myself from 10th overall to 14th by the finish line....
In the end, I won my age group (no cats in this race) and took 14th. JR on the other hand kicked ass!!!! He won his age group and the overall!!!! He put in a very solid ride, and never went to the limit in the race. Congrats JR!