Friday, June 22, 2012

Folsom Cyclebration - Robin

June 8 & 10, 2012 – Folsom, CA
11m Time Trial; 35min Circuit Race

TT - 30:06

17th in Omnium - 9th in TT; 16th in Circuit

Time Trial - Friday, June 8th

The whole family drives to the TT start.  I somehow failed to register Troy for the Omnium and I am trying not to worry about him getting in.  Just last night in Bible Study we were studying Matthew 6:  "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of it's own."  It's hard to resist the flesh and have faith instead.  Either way, today God's will will be done and it will be good.

I drop off Troy at registration and park the car.  To my delight he gets in with no problem.  Thank you Lord!  Troy goes first and I'll go next, 15min after he finishes.  Once Troy heads out I try to bike around the undeveloped neighborhood.  I should've brought the trainer so I could be next to the girls.  Warming up on the road doesn't work when I need to stay nearby the car.  Lord, I will be content and do what I can.  It's certainly hot out here and the wind is picking up.  I stretch and wait to see Troy heading back on the levy trial.

He comes back and reports that a water bottle is necessary even for a 11 mile ride.  He grabs me a bottle and off I go.  I'm the first in my wave of Women 4's.  With a 30sec gap between each rider, I hope not to get passed.

120608_folsomcyclebration_tt_robinReady, set, go!  I take off from a foot down position (last year, they held the bike for us).  Immediately I feel flat but hunker down in my aerobars and try to push.  I am confident that I'll ride faster than last year when I was spooked by a girl that had crashed into a protruding fence on the course.  Within the first few minutes I'm already getting passed by the 2nd girl.  Ouch!  I try not to get dejected and continue to push. 

The miles go by soooo slowly!  It's hard to stay motivated until I notice the girl ahead of me is coming back!  By the turn-around, I am so close.  It looks like breaking last year's time of 29:12 is going to be close.  How is that possible?  Aren't I in better shape too?

I drive harder and catch the girl.  As I pass I say "good job" and she says "darn, you all with aerobars!"  I hadn't even noticed before that she didn't have any.  I know she's just expressing frustration and not anger at me.

120608_folsomcyclebration_tt_robin2I cannot wait to finish!  I'm pooped and ready to put my tired legs out of misery!  The time is counting down and by the time I see Troy and the girls just before the finish I'm already over my goal.  I smile anyway and thank God for another opportunity to race.  I cross the line and I am done!  Phew!  Now, it's time for the Circuit Race on Sunday!

Circuit Race - June 10th

Here we go again! 

This is my 2nd time doing this Cyclebration race… and the closest I’ll ever get to doing a Criterium. I’m nervous about the close quarters as last year 3 girls crashed into the guard rail right behind me. My strategy is survival. I know that I must not ride in fear so I’ll be going to the Lord a lot!

Our friend and Victory Velo teammate, Todd Allington, brought his wonderful teenage daughter Hannah to babysit our girls. After we get them settled with her, we warm-up together on the nearby bike paths to stay out of the way of the junior racers. There was quite a lot of wind last night so we are weaving to avoid the twigs on the ground.

We head back to the start for some last minute preparations and head to the start. Troy’s group, Elite 5s, is taking off right ahead of my group, Women’s 4. The head referee tells his group that this is not a race but just a chance to get mass start experience. What?! What are we all here for if it’s not to race?!

As Troy’s group takes off and we pull up to the start, I hang off to the back-left of the pack. Ready, set, go. We start out pretty leisurely but within the first 2 minutes a girl sprints off to the front and the group immediately responds. I am able to stay with the group and fairly close to the other riders but I know I should be closer drafting.

The first lap ends with little drama even with the tight turns and round-about. On the second lap I pull up to the front behind a few girls. The same racer sprints ahead and we take off after her. We catch her quickly and I find myself leading the backside of the course. I purposely try not to exert too much energy and hold a conservative pace. Soon, I am passed and swallowed up by the group. Lord, thank you for keeping me upright! Please keep us all safe!

120610_folsomcyclebration_circuit_robinComing through the start line again we have 4 laps to go. I decide to go out front on the start of the 3rd lap to make the others think I like to lead and then I fade so that I might seem like no threat. I lead up to the 2nd turn and get passed by a few going into the round-about.

The pace the pack is holding doesn’t show a sense of urgency which makes me wonder if the men are going to catch-up with us. Sure enough on the start of the 4th lap, we hear that the men are catching up. I’m hanging back the 4th loop and trying practice getting into the draft. Right before we head into the round-about, a motorcycle comes in front of us to make us “neutral” or to hold up our race. We are coasting and waiting for them to pass. It’s not until we are in the round-about that the men pass. This is unsafe! Lord, keep us all in one piece. The women are shouting to each other to move over and the men are yelling at us to do the same. It’s all so chaotic! Phew, they finally pass and we can resume our race!

We come through the finish line and now it’s 2 laps to go since we were passed. I move to the front again at the start and lead the girls up the hill to the first turn. I again allow myself to be swallowed up into the group. I hope my plan pays off. Lord, I just want to finish in one piece!

One more lap! You can sense the tension rising and I get nervous about getting knocked down. After the first turn, I take the lead and push the pace. I’m totally risking getting killed the last 1K by doing this but I feel like it’s worth it to stay in one piece. I lead all the way through the round-about and the following 2 tight turns. I push hard going to the last turn and suddenly a girl goes by. By the time I make the last turn, I’m at the back of the pack. Oh no! I dig down as much as I can but it does little to move me up. I manage to pass one girl back as we cross the line. Wow, that was tough! Thank you Lord for Your protection! I have a lot more to learn and a lot more confidence to build! I’m so glad I’m done!