After Night Weasels I was a wreck. We shot for the moon and pretty much made it, but being a first-time thing it was way stressful. Chip's blog entry about dropping out the Cat 3 race to do Cat 4 awards is a good example of how strung out we were. When I went to bed at 2am that night, I made a rare good decision: I was skipping Providence Day 1, which was just over 48 hours away.
I also decided not to register for Providence Day 2 until the day of the race, just in case my legs continued to be MIA on Sunday. This was of course stupid, because after spending all of Saturday AT THE RACES my brain was 110% into racing Sunday, legs or no. So I had a back row start, but oooh boy was I excited.
I did the ole "back up 10 extra feet" and hit it with a rolling start trick, and it worked pretty well. A surprisingly number of guys sat down after 10 seconds, so I also went ripping past them. It was actually a bit too good, because I got into the thick of traffic by the top of the hill, had to slow, and then got dive-bombed by the laggers under braking. During the bunny-hop off the pavement John Peterson adjusted his line in a way I didn't anticipate and I watched with horror as his rear skewer went into the spokes of my front wheel. A yelp and brake-check later, 10 guys went past and that was the end of my good start. Check the video if you don't believe me.
I also learned on lap 1 that a whole week off the bike did not do wonders for my snappiness, as Ryan Kelly of all people passed me on the off-camber. This meant I was in the dreaded BRKZ and receiving the full brunt of the crowd's heckling until I could get out of it.
I noticed that my rear tire was making that ominous farting sound when I cornered hard so I started yelling at everyone I could find about getting a bike change. Despite seven years of dating Linnea and I still don't have a telepathic link so it took me a LONG time to find her in the crowd and get her into the pit to swap the bike -- but it was slow leak, so not the end of the world.
The only real problem was going back into the BRKZ on the bike change. I busted out of the BRKZ very briefly, but then it was time to get my bike back -- and I returned to the BRKZ. And now the laps were ticking down, and they were talking about Tim Johnson on the finish straight when I was at the barriers. Time for redemption was running out.
Further confirming the failure of the telepathic link was the fact that I got my bike back with the same wheel on it! Can't believe she didn't figure out I had pit wheels that I never mentioned off in a corner of the pit, and I wanted a new rear wheel. Instead I got my rear tire inflated to 30psi and another 15 minutes of non-farting cornering.
But that's ok! Getting one's bike back (even if it does have a softening rear tire) is always good for a boost. I extricated myself from the BRKZ as well as several other zones -- the BJHZ and the BSPZ, as well as behind-kid-I-didn't-recognize zone.
I got up to the wheel of Collin Huston and prepared to reclaim the status of alpha Colin. Then my tire started folding over in turns again, and we got pulled for being 81% behind Tim Johnson. As always.
WELL THAT WAS ANTICLIMACTIC!