How to lose a crit
Those coming here for thrilling tales of cycling success might want to try another blog.
I am a mediocre bike racer, usually on the bottom end of the mediocre scale.
Thursday night at the Spin Cycle Miller Motorsports Park series I lined up with about 20 other racers in the C Flight. That was but the penultimate mistake in my misguided formula for cycling success.
Here, then, is what I did in the day(s) leading up to the crit and why it was a recipe for failure.
1. After a winter and spring of pretty heavy training, I ran into summer and basically suffered from three ailments — burnout, injury and a schedule loaded with lots and lots of chauffeur duties for four very busy children. Much of May and June was spent not riding, not running and not swimming. I’ve lost a fair amount of strength, fitness and ability.
2. Thursday morning, I got busy watching the Tour de France on the laptop and forgot to eat breakfast until it was 10:30 and we were at the Moran Eye Center with my son. Grabbed a Kolache at the little deli and inhaled that.
3. In my haste to have a fun day with the kids, I then forgot to eat lunch but grabbed a slice of cold pizza on the way out the door as we headed to the community pool for some splash time.
4. Sat in the hot, hot, hot sun for three hours.
5. Realized I was running on empty, but didn’t have time to eat a proper meal at a proper time to fuel up for the race. So I had a grilled chicken sandwich from Carl’s Jr. Not the worst option on that menu, but hardly an ideal prerace meal.
6. Rushed to the race in Tooele with my daughter, barely making the deadline to register — seriously, I got there with one minute to spare.
7. Warmed up by getting about five minutes of rolling around the tarmac with a greasy chicken bomb in my stomach.
8. Somehow found myself off the front on the second lap as the pack decided to really soft pedal it. I was not riding hard in any way when I was surprised to find myself alone in the front with a 50 meter gap. One guy bridged and with virtually no effort, we were suddenly 100-150 meters off the front.
9. So we attacked. More accurately, I attacked while the dude who joined me off the front and said “Let’s see if we can break away” never came around to take a pull. We were off the front for about two miles of the three mile course and had a lead of about 300 meters when I blew up. Interestingly, as I faded, the other guy still didn’t come around to pull. He just waited for the pack to pass us and then caught the wheel of another person.
10. Feeling a little shelled, I tried to latch onto the pack and recover. There was no success to be found and after trying to hold on, I popped and fell off the back during the third lap. From there, it was just a matter of riding out the race until the end. My only ‘racing’ came a couple of laps later when a trio of women’s field racers came up behind me and I decided to pull for them. I hopped in front, dug just a little deep and pulled for an entire lap, letting them recover before I jumped out of the way to let them fend for themselves in the final lap.
There you go, folks. How to lose a crit in 10 easy steps.
On the plus side, I took my 8-year-old daughter to the race and she was AWESOME! In fact, she held off the challenge from some old man on the sprint and took second place.
But seriously, folks, if you haven’t taken the opportunity to race out at Miller Motorsports Park you are missing out. Every turn is fast, there are no potholes, no rednecks in pickup trucks screaming out the window at you and even if you fall off the back, you can get a seriously good workout.