I just saw a commercial for the Tour De France, you know, the one where they show the wrecks. And a guy says "Next time you're out driving in a car, strip down to your underwear, and jump out the door. That is what it is like to crash in a professional bike race."
I have so much to say about this last week of racing at the MABRA crit championships and Super Week, traveling around Pennsylvania, Chicago, and now Milwaukee, and all the events surrounding it that I probably should just write a few bullet points about the latest things on my mind, lest I end up with a novel. Here we go:
- This crash sucked.
- I am sore and bruised and road rashed all over. And nauseous and headachy from a concussion. And I drip blood from my tear ducts. Sweet.
- Poor Spanky, my trusty steed, is now a "portable" bike.
- My helmet is cracked in multiple places, and sanded from the skid on pavement. My sunglasses saved my right eye from being sanded off.
This happened on my fifth race within the week. After feeling cracked and not right on the Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday races, I finally felt good again. Much better than good, actually. Suddenly past feeling cracked from all the racing and into GOOD form from it instead.
- I had a VERY strong feeling while warming up on the course, going through turn two, that I was going to have a bad crash there in that exact spot, in the draft of the peloton.I tightened my helmet tighter than I have ever tightened it for a race. And decided I would break away from the peloton early on in the race so that my feeling would amount to nothing more than a feeling.
- I also knew I could win this race. FINALLY a course with some climbs! This one was mine I thought.
- I raced aggressive from the gun. Put in three attacks in less than 10k, the first one off the front solo for the first several laps, then the third one being a bridge up to a Kenda and Revolution girl for what turned into the winning break. We lapped the field, but dangled behind them for over 20 laps so that we would not have to deal with the havoc and danger of a field sprint.
- Then the race announcer called out a $40 prime just for the three of us on the next lap. Not much to get too worked up about, but the perfect opportunity to have a "dress rehearsal" of how to grab the win in the real finish. I won the sprint handily.
- Bad move. Apparently, the Revolution girl did not like the way that "dress rehearsal" turned out and decided after that to join up with the field that we had been avoiding for so long, because she did not want to duke it out with Kenda and I one-on-one-on-one anymore.
- That made me angry. The feeling I had before the race about the crash in the field draft in turn two hung over me like a shadow. Not racing in the peloton on that course was my number one motivator for being in a break in the first place. Not to mention the simplicity it takes out of the tactics against two competitors when we were all now mixed in with everyone else.
- With less than a mile left in the race, after going around turn 2 fast and safely 48 times before, my wheel suddenly felt light in the draft of the peloton, lost traction, and down I went. I don't know why this time was different than any of the other times, except that now I was in the group and didn't get to pick my own line through the off camber turn. And we were going FAST because it was heating up to the finish.
- Luckily, my first instinct was to keep moving with the flow of the crash landing, and I twisted and barrel rolled with the skid. Thus, a nice distribution of sores everywhere rather than any major injuries.
- Too bad Spanky didn't have the same senses.
- I took out some other women as well, and for that I am really sorry. I was feeling a little smug just the day before (when caught in a pile up crash, but not injured) about how in all my years of racing I have never been the cause of a crash. Now I caused one that included my teammate Jeanette who is totally ROCKING this race series and WAS sitting in a podium spot for the GC before I ruined her finish. Luckily, I think I was the only one to hit it really hard and everyone else is racing again today.
- I am bummed I am sitting here blogging instead of racing today.
- I am most bummed that I didn't get to finish the race.
- When I used to play games with my little brother Russell, and he thought he should have won when he didn't, he would say "I don't care, I know I really won in my heart". It drove me crazy! We were so competitive. But now I love it and think it to myself with a smile when these things happen. Miss you Russ.
- I asked Jeanette after the race, in all seriousness, if they would still count my race and put me in third since the crash was within 3 km of the finish. She told me I'd been watching way to much Tour de France.
- Oh, I saw Sterling Magnell of Rock Racing, who is in the leader's jersey in the men's pro race, in the ER room as I was leaving. I made a joking comment to him about our battles, but he just sat there stone faced, angry, and too-good to acknowledge me back. Come on, Sterling, my crash ruined my modeling career too, give me a nod!
- Mama's recount here. Who could ask for a better traveling/ER companion then someone who has earned the nickname Mama? It is her birthday today, so give her a call if you're friends!