Saturday I finished my first crit, after my early bird disaster. I got to the race early to see Angela in the Pro/1/2/3 race. Doug gave me some much appreciated tips on the course. I also saw Karla and Hanan in the race. Great job ladies! Everyone did great and it was fun cheering. My race wasn't until 4pm, so I chilled out awhile and chatted with some folks. Anthony was nice enough to let me borrow his trainer. Thanks!
Then it was race time. I made sure to line up on the left side to prepare myself for the 180. (the race started with a 180 right away). Unfortunately, I was an idiot and slipped clipping in. I got real frustrated cause I rarely slip. Anyway, then I had to play catch up, which was okay because no one gunned it at the start, although I was really embarassed.
I didn't really know what to expect, so my goal was just to stay in the main pack and be at ease riding close. I did that just fine, as the pace wasn't strenuous. I was really happy with how comfortable I felt with all the other riders. I think I did okay moving around in the pack. There were a couple of breakaways, but nothing that got very far ahead.
The 180s were really easy, especially after all my practice. I could have went around them a bunch faster, but I was usually in the middle or back going into them and people were slower in front of me, so I had to brake more than I would have on my own. Although I was near the back going into the turns, I was really good accelerating out of the turns, and usually passed several people on the few upstrokes coming out of the turn, working my way closer to the front. All that accelerating practice with Larry really helped, because I passing out of the turn without even trying to!
Anyway, the race was pretty tame. There were some primes, I wasn't planning on trying to go for any, but I heard Fred yell at me, so I figured I would try one. Sadly, I got 3rd, so nothing for me...but it was good experience to sprint mid race, be a little tired, then get taken in by the pack again.
The last lap, the pace picked up and on the straight away before the left hand turn to the finish, I was in the very back of the pack. I didn't have time to get a free ride to the front, nor did I think I needed one because I wasn't very tired. So I just pulled to the right of the pack, passing most of the pack on the outside. I had to make a wide left turn because I was to the right of the pack, and then had to brake coming out of the turn because there was a group of woman I needed to move around in front of me out of the turn. This was not ideal for the final sprint. Anyway, I started sprinting, passed a few people, but never quite got up to top speed like I do during practice. I like sprinting for longer. Anyway, I ended up coming in 4th, which I was happy about! But, I know had I been smarter about positioning myself the last lap, I could have maybe done better. But, regardless, I was happy that I placed! More than I expected; I had just wanted to be comfortable riding in a pack. Anyway, it was cool to stand on the podium and win THIRTY BUCKS! Whooo!
I had an awesome cheering squad at the race. Fred was yelling, and a bunch of my friends BARTed in too-- Amy, Miriam, Patrick, Paul. (Amy is going to make an awesome soccer mom!) Angela and Doug stuck around, which was really nice! As did Anthony and Karla! Thanks everyone! I was definitely had the most fans. I think there were people yelling my name at each corner, which was really fun...and I am sure all the other woman in the pack were annoyed with this "Beth person".
Because I don't have a team, I thought I'd create my own team kit. I safety-pinned "Shuck's Wheels" on the front (cause Fred's last name is Shuck and he builds wheels), and I put my own special sponsors on the side: AARP and Geritol.
Paul took a bunch of really cool pictures- those are to come. But, until then, here are a few I saw online on the NCNCA website.