I woke up on Saturday morning and picked which bike to ride.The side walks were wet and it was raining a bit. I did not think a single speed would be necessary, nor did I think Hi-Fi would be appropriate, so I took my SuperFly. I got to the Lambert Park close to when I had hoped. I was instructed to park on the side of the road, so I parked and started getting ready. People started showing up. It was good to see the usual suspects.
I opted to ride to registration as it would give me an idea of the snow condition. It was the same slushy-ice that I road/pushed my bike through a couple of days earlier on another trail. I took more air out of my tires. That helped a bit.
As I was messing around I heard the race director say something about needing to "stage bikes". They had opted to change from the usual "shake out" before the lap to a le mans start. I was not really prepared for that. I am sure that was not mentioned on the web site.
Most of the le mans start was plowed but then we had to "run" through some deep snow--up to my knees deep. I was in good condition when I got back to my bike. Tapping the icee out of my cleats I start to get on my bike. I look up the trail and notice that no one is riding everyone is just running their bikes. There is no way I can ride, so I get off and run. I drop a couple places. The trail crosses over the road in just a little ways and I suppose that people will be jumping on their bikes there. Nope everyone continues to run. So I am running and running and pushing my bike. The trail opens up again. This has to be where people start mounting their bikes. Nope...still running and pushing. Have I mentioned before that I HATE to push my bike.
Finally I opted to jump on my bike for a little bit. I am somewhat successful. I notice their is a girl that was ahead of me off to the right. I wonder what she is doing. I continue to ride my bike. The next race marking I look at closely. It says "Sport". I realize that I missed the "Expert" turn off. So I turn around and start running my bike back to the turn off. It is much farther back than I thought.
I am not very close to anyone now, so I try to get on my bike more and more. Very little of the trail can be ridden. I am growing more and more frustrated. This goes on and on. Finally there is an open stretch down hill. Excited to be on my bike, my speed gets a way from me and I go down. Luckily it is fairly soft.
The snow was soft enough, deep enough, and trodden down enough to make it very difficult to ride.
My second lap starts. I am so far off the back it is ridiculous. Realizing that there is no way that I am competing with anyone, I spend my second lap just trying to ride as much as possible. Some poor guy got stuck behind me. As I kept trying to get on my bike, I would apologize to him and ask if he would like to pass. He would delightfully decline. I was still frustrated. Finally, the second lap was over and I had been HUMBLED.
My booties filled with snow and melting on my feet by the end of the "foot race"
In retrospect several things went awry. First, I was excited to ride/race my bike--not push it. Second, I tweaked my ankle and it was bugging me a little bit. Third, I should be more accepting of my environment and do what needs to be done to compete. In this case, I may have placed better if I was content continuing to push my bike. Lastly, I should either pay more attention and/or know the course to ensure I stay on track.
As I got back to my car and emptied my booties of snow, my brother called to see if I wanted to spend some time with him. We just spend some time hanging out. Ultimately, it was worth it staying behind.