I keep forgetting to mention that I race bikes. Aside from one second place finish at Mt. Hamilton, which was a strange miracle, I can’t say that I’m very good at it. My biggest weakness is my great disdain for pain, particularly pain derived from crashing. And it seems that whenever I’ve raced “smart”, that is, inches behind the wheel of the rider in front of me, I invariably end up flat on the pavement or wrapped around a telephone pole.
So I have invented my own tactic that works “okay” in road races. I wait patiently way in the back, with enough of a gap that if people start crashing, I’ll have room to stop. My theory is, eventually, people will knock themselves out of the race, and I’ll be the last one standing.
As I say, it’s worked “okay” in road races, but it’s just not the way to race criteriums, and here are the pictures to prove it.
This is me in blue, with the huge gap in front of her, in the Women’s 3/4 race at the Carrera de San Rafael, literally a block from my apartment. The building behind us is the Mission of St. Raphael. That’s former National Champion and Olympian Laura Charameda, by the way, in yellow and green. Please don’t ask me what she was doing in our race. Mentoring will be her likely story. I just followed her most of the time, as she was the smoothest wheel.
After viewing this next shot, Miguel remarked (he took these shots, by the way), “Wow, Katie, you’re getting closer.”
I mean, at least I’m not dangling completely off the back.
We also dropped most of the Category 4 racers. I say that with a certain amount of pride, because I thought the pace was very fast. I’m happy that I could hang on.
The funny thing is, my “careful technique” didn’t prevent another rider from slamming into my own back wheel. Now that was a new experience. We were out of the saddle going uphill, and I felt my bike dart to the left. I thought, “Okay, I thought I could ride a straighter line than this.” Moments later, I heard someone scream an obscenety and then a loud, metallic thud.
“Oh, I guess that was a human being,” I thought.
She jumped back in the race the next lap and finished much higher in the results than I did.
I’m coming back from a strange sickness, but I hope to start racing in March. Let’s see what more exciting things can happen!