A warm day with a dry wind but at Tabor the wind has little effect. There is only the hill the repetative familiar hill. Today’s race was much like any other. There was the start, nothing major to report, I was in back. Second lap I decided to work my way up and somehow ended up completely in front at the base of the hill. It’s kind of glorious up front, it’s really just you and the road, you feel powerful. I kept asking why isn’t anyone passing? Maybe I’m going to have a good day. At the top and on to the decent I was still in front….now it just feels wierd, like the whole pack is taunting me, letting me fry. Never a good thing to be in front so early for so long.
I decided to fall back and sure as shit I could feel my legs, big time. I played with the gears, shifting up, then down, then up, then down, spin, mash, spin, mash. Nothing helped it all hurt. 3rd, 4th, 5th…lap. Just hangin’ in the back. Some laps feel ok like I’m recovering, for those I feel hope seep into my being. Other laps I feel thrashed, and the debate begins. One voice begins the softening of the ego, “No worries mate, there is no shame in popping off the back. Just ease up a bit, the pain will go away and you’ll feel better for it”. Then a harsher more stern voice jumps in, “No quitting you smuck! You’ll recover, just hang in there, think of the people you know who are watching and cheering, all they care about is you staying in the pack…don’t quit, almost there”. This happens each lap with different variations and strategies from the debating voices.
Final lap. I’ve survived and feel some reserves. There is hope for an acceptable mid pack finish but alas….Mid way up the last hill I hear, to my right, the sound of sliding tires. The guy to my right swings in front of me, I break, swerve as well, but no body falls, nothing seems to come of it except lost momentum. I rode through the finish a bit dazed with a kind of pleased but wasted look on my face.