Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Throw an Elbow!

Blind Date #4
M.M. Blomberg

First-aid lady smiles and greets me with, “You again?”. On this chilly Wednesday night, I find out she had already cleaned and patched up twelve other riders and I was lucky number thirteen. Arriving just behind me is a men's A rider who crashed in the Velodrome (12 mph buddy, that’s all you needed to ride the wall) and had some nice road rash to show for his efforts.
Another sunny Fall day at Alpenrose but long shadows and a drop in temperature arrived earlier than usual for the 6:00 PM race. By 7:00 PM the single speeders and B’s were racing in darkness. Welcome to my world. The course was just as fast as last week, with more grass added through the S turns down the field. Less gravel on the uphill climb from the bottom of the field was a welcome site, making this an excellent section to sprint. Our run up was much drier and more racers opted to ride the right side including the some of the beginner men and women’s B’s (video coming).
All of the A ladies were at ease and chatty at the line up. Guess we were happy Alice “Whoosh” Pennington (Team S&M) finally stayed home and took a night off from crushing. Tonight was about me and the Tangerine Flame putting the Orange Crush on these ladies now that Alice was out of the way. My competition was Julie Browning (CyclePath), Christy Love (Team S&M) and Amy Rice (Lazy Tarantulas). Off the line, I was neck and neck with these three through the first lap. Amy lost her position when she ran into a stake in the grass section by the Velodrome allowing me to sneak by. One racer down, two to go. With Julie building her lead, I stayed on Christy’s wheel lap after lap, creating a gap with the rest of the field. I made up some time by riding the run up a couple times too (YEAY!). By lap 5, I overtook Christy (she kept chasing) and set my sights on trying to catch Julie. Now I’m in 2nd position and feeling strong.. Then it happened..... Thump, crack, CRASH!!! Caught my heel on the 2nd barrier and went down HARD on both knees. For those keeping score, GRAVEL - 2, KNEES - 0. Christy made sure I was OK as she passed (as did Amy) and told me to take a minute. A minute? Are you crazy?! I can’t take a minute in this race! Climbing back on the bike was grueling. Knees are screaming, blood running down both legs but I am trying to find a way to fight my way back into the race. Two more riders overtake me. Ughhhh. Come on knees! By the time I hit the gravel hill climb I have recovered enough to chase again and try to regain lost ground. Kim Rueter (Sorella Forte) and I went back and forth for three laps, all coming down to who took the run up better each time. Kim was just ahead of me into the bell lap and I gave it everything, trying to ignore the screaming in my knees. Beating me to the run up, I thought I could catch her as we entered the final barrier section into the finish. Not tonight. Beat me by a wheel across the line putting me in 6th place. I might not have laid down the Orange Crush tonight, but I put up a good fight.

Csaba moved up in his group taking a 17th place finish. Sarah, (you should see her bruises!) coming off of her illness this , put in a good effort but there was talk of a little Argie Bargie in the ladies B's and beginners. Just throw an elbow next time Sarah!

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