The Sterling Classic Road Race is just 10 miles from my home and is going off at 10:25am this morning. I'm going to ride over and do it. The last time I did it was 2 years ago in a torrential rain storm. It wasn't a great experience. Ata Cycle had just given me a new MC-2 (Museeuw) to race and I crashed it on the second of ten laps by slipping out on the courses highway section where the painted line is raised just enough to make it a treacherous hazard when wet. Fortunately I wasn't injured. The pack was moving at around 30 mph when I hit the deck and I just hydroplaned across the rain covered road and neatly collided into an innocuous mulch bed just happening to be there, not unlike a high-jumpers landing pit. I was amazed at how relatively gentle it felt but I wouldn't want to do it again.
There was pain though. After collecting myself, checking the bike and assessing my odds of catching the pack I began the chase and it sucked. Filled with adrenalin I hammered to get the pack within touching distance just before the course's meaningful climb and this was a mistake. I hit the base deep into a red-lined state and just couldn't hold pace going up so the pack floated out of sight again. Once I got over the top I mashed for a couple awfully painful miles and saw that I was getting the distance back. Throwing caution to the wind I put in an all out effort descending like a banchi on the courses downhill section to make the connection before the highway section.
I wanted to be sure to catch them before the highway because it's where the group rolls really strong and fast. If I didn't connect before this section I'd never catch them. Anyway, the long and short is that it took a bleeding from my ears effort to make it but I used up all my stores in doing so.
From that point on in the race it was all I could do to just ride in the pack and finish midfield and I suffered in a bad way the whole time. Suffering can be awesome, even fun when you're racing within yourself but it can also scar you if you're not. I skipped the race last year for latter reason. I went and had fun watching it instead.
The weather today looks like it is going to be a banner day! Bad racing sh#t can still defiantly happen in awesome weather but somehow the sun shine and cool air make things feel a lot less discouraging going in.
Peace and RS.