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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Curse of Davis (dun dun dunnn)

The Davis 4th of July Crit is my 'cursed' race. For three years in a row I've taken 2nd in the Jr race, and have always had some problem in the Women's race.

My first year (and also first time racing as a W4) I was dropped from the main field. I wanted to drop out of the race completely, so when I saw my step-dad, I gave him the 'This sucks, can I quit?' look, the response was a shake of his head while he pointed down the road. My lesson from this...put your head down and peddle and you won't be dissappointed with your results. The "results" being that I was glad that I didn't give up and I also didn't finish last.

First year at Davis, 2010

The next year, when I could compete in a W4 race and knew what to expect, I was unfortunate enough to have been caught up in a crash. It was unbelievably hot, someone rolled a tube going around the last corner, bringing a few riders down, one of those riders rolled in front of me which caused me to flip over my handle bars and land on someone elses bike. My feet came out of my shoes (which were still clipped into my pedals) and flew with my bike across the street fracturing a pair of borrowed American Classics. That was the only time I have ever had to drop out of a race (it sucked, both crashing AND dropping out).

See, no shoes, and the bike I landed on is not mine! Second year Davis, 2011
This year I raced the W123. I knew through all my experiences at Davis that I had to be towards the front of the peleton to be safe from crashes, and also to avoid the Yo-Yo effect that you get when you are on the back of the the pack. So I had a good position on the line. When the ref  blew his whistle, I clipped in perfectly with my right foot, but almost imediately after I pulled out of my left pedal. I clipped in, but pulled out again (sometime before the race, the tip of my cleat had totally chipped off, so its like walking in a shoe that is ten times your size, your foot slips out). Finally I was clipped in, sadly I had lost positioning and found myself in the place that I had most wanted to avoid, the danger zone, the back of the peleton.
 It was all out chaos back there, surge after surge, and those primes! All of those primes! Back to back primes, and even back to back to BACK PRIMES! My ears were literally ringing from hearing those bells playing there happy song of death over and over again. That ringing sound soon turned to sirens as my legs finally gave out, and I was dropped from the peleton.
I rode along contemplating whether I should drop out of the race or not, I thought back to my first year of Davis and remembered that Mark had me continue the race. So that's what I did this year. By the second time the pack lapped me I was feeling a little better so I caught on to the back of the peleton, but  two laps later someone in front touched wheels with another and went down. I did not go down, but had to slam on my brakes, and watch everyone ride into the distance, I was dropped again; but I kept on riding! With about five laps remaining, the field lapped me, I caught on and was able to finish the race without dropping out or getting pulled; but I was even more certain that Davis was cursed for me especially when Mark said to me, "Ya know... you could have dropped out!" You see, having a broken cleat is like having a bad mechanical problem with your bike. I couldn't even get out of my saddle to sprint and better my position in the peleton without coming unclipped....SCARY!

"Uggghhh" Davis 2012
I am happy to say that I had a great experience at the Little City Stage Race this past weekend! It was wonderful. I raced in W3/4, taking 4th in the crit, 11th in the TT, 6th in the most challenging (but fun) RR ever, and 8th overall. I defeated my largest problem in the crit, which is "MOVING UP" (a little inside joke), I had the best positioning and was always where I wanted to be.

Little City Crit
 I am so excited to race again this weekend, Lodi, here I come! : -)