Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Diamond Valley Road Race - 22 miles

Thunder clouds were rolling in but I drove up to Diamond Valley to see if anyone would be racing tonight. On the way i got stopped by the cops. I wasnt really concentrating and was doing 74mph on a long, straight, wide 55mph stretch. For the first time ever, being polite (and perhaps English) worked out and I didn't get a ticket. It was a worry because I have been keen to hang on to my UK driving license and didn't want to do a Nevada driving test and exchange my license for a Nevada one. This alone could get me an $800 fine.

On arrival at the race, I was pleased to see there was no lack of attendance or enthusiasm. Everything was very well organized, by a lady called Christine I think. It is her first season running the events and she's doing a good job. She got everyone to move in to hear her pre-race briefing, and everything went very well.

As the first race of the season the Bs, Cs & Ds were assigned 'mentors' to help with their racing. They were very much needed. Cycle racing is all about riding intelligently and conserving your energy. This means cycling close together and getting into a routine of taking your turn at the front.

Each time I got to the front i got shouted at because I broke away from the pack and made the next person work to hard. That might sound clever of me but it was very stupid. I found it hard to get the feel of just creeping slowly ahead before pulling over. I didn't much like riding so close to other people but I could really feel the difference in the slipstream, so I will have to get used to it.

At 3/10ths of a mile to the end, the front riders made a break. I had known for a couple of minutes what they were planning and was frustrated by how relaxed they looked as they prepared themselves. As they went I tried to follow and was surprised they didn't go that fast, though it wss fast enough to leave me alone between the group that had broken and the group behind. The next 2/10ths were hard. Coming up to the line an amusing chap who had been encouraging me throughout the race came past me, but not as fast as I expected, so I came back at him - he beat me by a wheel!

After the time trial, which I had entered as a 'D' rider and came first, I moved up to the Cs this time and came 5th out of about 10. I'm sure running 5 miles at lunch time and my more extreme attempts to lose weight have not helped my cycling but it's something to do.


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