Though the weather report was the opposite of what you’d like to hear for a race day, Ryan and I got up & went to the Marx & Bensdorf Long Road Training Race just north of Arlington. My race (Men 4, 5, masters, women, and juniors) started at 9:00 and went 6 laps on the 5 mile course. The temperature hovered in the upper 30s and the skies looked as if they’d start spitting at any time.
The starting line:
I didn’t know a lot of the riders who were there, and I didn’t want to go easy off the line and get caught up in any sketchy riding, so when the official said go, I rolled down the first hill then maintained a steady pace up the next hill to the first turn. I glanced over my shoulder and chuckled a little- I had rolled off the front of the pack and had a cute little gap going. I figured I’d roll with it since, even though I was destined to be caught, the process of chasing would drop a nice portion of the 30 starters. A few miles later, on a rolling section of tailwind, I looked back to see the field closing in. I sat up to catch my breath and positioned myself near the front of the pack as they came by. Lap 2 and 3 were reletively uneventful. Here I am doing my best Jens Voigt impersonation up the hill and through the start/finish area (the pace had slowed too much on the hill, and I didn’t want anyone to catch back on…)
Johnny Mac from Marx & Bensdorf looks like he’s the only one enjoying the free ride!
Somewhere on lap 4 is where the break occured. I’m not really sure how I missed it, but it was a bad move on my part to not get in it, because it ended up staying away.
Since I used to ride with Memphis Velo and am good friends with some of the guys, I figured I’d help them with a little pace control since they had someone in the break. It was nice training. On the final finishing strech, the pack started to get jumpy. Not wanting to get caught up in a hairy pack sprint for 4th place, I bailed out! It’s not normal behavior for me, but a field sprint in an early season training race isn’t worth bumping elbows over. Maybe I’m getting old…
After grabbing a snack, I headed out for some more riding, but ended up not getting more than one extra lap because my hands froze up. Damn. I needed the distance, but I’d rather ride the trainer than go through the pain of circulation loss, so I called it a day and retreated to the warmth of the car.
Ryan’s race started soon after. There were only 9 starters:
Read his blog for a race report. Afterward, a group of us went to Mezcal in Arlington for some lunch and beer (though I behaved myself and only had lunch). While we were there, the sleet started. By the time we reached our house, a solid inch of snow had fallen.
Here are some shots from the back yard:
As of right now, the snow has blanketed the entire front yard, and is still falling. I hate snow! I want to go for a long ride tomorrow, so the snow needs to disappear overnight, mmmk?