I have been drinking significantly more than usual lately, but as a cyclist that could really just mean "a few beers." And of course as a 145-lb cyclist, a few beers is enough to get me to agree to MC with RMM at Lowell.
I've had a lot going on my life (see previous post, infrequent readers -- thanks for and thanks for the emails/comments, frequent readers) so this race was already marked as a "do shitty, have fun" race. Tacking on a "get up too early, don't warm up, spend four hours on your feet" to it was no big deal.
What was a big deal was trying to not be terribad at announcing. I'd say something like "I have a newfound respect for Richard Fries," but I already knew it was going to be hard, which I why RMM cornered me when I was drunk to get me to sign up for it.
It went ok, which is not the same as "good," but it was a good experience. I would like to try again. Maybe at a place where I can actually see riders numbers, and we have two mics.
Anyway! Race time! I got pinned up all of 6 minutes before the start, didn't get a preride lap in, lined up dead last. I didn't care. Racing bikes isn't deep or meaningful, but it helps for getting over that stuff. Even if you suck. Maybe especially if you suck.
So we start and I'm DFL, until Hopengarten somehow managed to bump Matt Aumiller and flat his tire on the first slight bend. Matt was appropriately displeased and hey, now I'm beating one person!
I tailgunned around for most of the first lap. It was not noteworthy, although a slow trickle of dudes did get put on the chainstay cam. By the end of the lap I was "warmed up" and ready to race my bike super effectively for a brief period of time.
I starting making my way through the Cat 3 gruppetto I had fallen in with, picked up several places, only to throw it all away on the barriers. I slowed down to hop 'em like a boss (in traffic, like a fool) and Matt Budd kinda ran into my line while I was hopping the first one. As a big, big CHICKEN I slammed the brakes on, dismounted between the barriers, and everyone came back around me.
Alright Cat 3s, now you're pissing me off. I hit the rideup like it owed me money and passed no less than five people on the way up. Ian Schon had to run and hilarious/pathetically chased the chainstay cam (coming soon!) for as long as he could. But that was that.
Except for this one Wheelworks dude, who had clearly been doing stuff like "eating" and "sleeping" all week, because by lap three I wanted to take a nap and he wanted to HAMMER. So he came back around, I did not do anything about it, and soon he had ridden away. I later figured it out it was John Mosher, a badass 45+ guy, so I can live with that.
From here on out it was party time. Illegal-in-Massachusetts 4Loko handups on the rideup? Yes please.
I can see why that stuff kill college kids, because I only got a small gulp down and my throat was still burning 3 minutes later. Next lap I asked "is that 4Loko?!" and wisely took the cup that was not. Vast improvement.
I was hopping the barriers each lap, trying to impress the ladies hanging out on the rideup, but any style points I had built up were vanquished by on lap seven, when I got off balance and stuffed the front end so hard on the landing I was sure my tire was gonna rip off. Somehow it stayed on, but I looked like a fool, put a foot down and dumped the bike. Since I'm already a huge wuss about hopping, that was the end of that.
I think the only other thing worth reporting was that my decision to toss my gloves like a pro mid-race was definitely regretted by the end, when the sun was nearly gone and the thermometer said 38 degrees.
Chainstay cam coming soon, right after I meet my support group at the bar. Thanks for all the kind words internet, but you can stop now, cuz I GOT THIS.
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