“Well, they took my money, so I guess I’ve gotta race…”
My wife looked up from inside the warmth of the car, smiled and returned to the Sunday paper. I commenced to stripping down, suiting up and attempting to warm up, chuckling at whatever cross-circuit in my brain makes me think this is a fun way to spend a winter’s morning.
Of course, “winter” in the SF Bay Area can be many things. On this day, the sun burnt off the thin layer of fog and created absolutely perfect weather for racing. We’d had a couple of rainy days this past week and things were greening up, wet enough so that the course had grip , but no slop to speak of. It was, in short, the kind of November day we don’t like to openly speak of, lest more folks decide it looks better than snowdrifts and icicles.
The first tactical error was in not preriding the course enough. I put in one half-hearted lap, for some reason nervous about getting in the way of the earlier races, which were actually very strung out and easy to deal with. Dipping under the course barriers, I then covered the roads of Golden Gate Park to warm up, drop layers and get ready to race. But when the whistle blew and we took off, there were two separate times when I set up to go the wrong way on a turn, and one little drop-into-a-right-turn-at -the-tree (after crossing the paved road for the first time, if you know the course) that I couldn’t hit right for the entire race, and bumped to a dead stop almost every lap.
The second tactical error was in not bringing enough engine. By the 20 minute mark, I was hurting and even considering just pulling off the course and whimpering for a while. It’s funny how depressed you can be with just relatively slight amounts of self-induced discomfort. There was a good half a lap where I was pressing on pedals that didn’t seem to be moving, and I just wanted things to end. This one kinda hurt.
But, the lap cards kept falling, and although I’m pretty sure I got lapped and ended up DFL, it always feels good to finish.
Along the way, I heard JimG hollering at me, which really helped, and throughout the course folks would hoot, “go Quickbeam!” or “Singlespeeder, Yeah!” and kick me a bit of much-needed adrenaline. It got a little lonely towards the end, as all of the big kids with their gears had gone to play up the roadway, so the support of those who were watching was really appreciated.
It was also kind of a mini-Rivendell/iBob convention. In no particular order, there was a guy cruising through the roads on a butterscotch-colored Quickbeam, John@Rivbike was moving through the pits with his orange QB, Mark@Rivbike and his wife Amy had their Riv custom CX bikes (photo), an Atlantis-riding woman hooted at my QB as she headed west, Legolas cross bikes were multiplying like caffeinated rabbits (one in the photo below, for example), iBob JimG and his wife were there, and I think that Ron L and his wife must’ve been in the house somewhere, as there can’t be that many Bilenky mixtes with S&S couplers rolling around the streets.
Update (11/21) - Not DFL, but definitely lapped - full results posted here
She’s done a few moderate walks this past week - never one to hurry the process, they are probably more accurately described as “moseys”. But, she’s getting out there, seems to have more energy and hasn’t collapsed in a heap since the weekend before last. If you are playing along with the veterinary home game, she was uncontrollably amped and seizing on Terbutaline Sulfate, and has been dealing well with Propanthene. My vet cousin said that the path of Propanthene was akin to atropine, which is what they used to test for High Vegal Tone (she was “atropine responsive”), while Terbutaline Sulfate worked through the adrenal system.
Someday, that will be my Final Jeopardy question.