I started to write this post last week but sometimes things just don't turn out the way we plan them. That's OK!
After weeks, or months trying to get back to a good form, I finally started to feel that I am getting to the level of competitiveness I was aiming for. It has come at the right time and I even finished a couple of races with the leading riders, which does give me an inner sense of contentment.
It has been a little frustrating at times but it doesn't mean I haven't been happy racing, or training. The grade I am racing in has changed. Some riders left, some riders joined because they are old enough and can't handle the Elite ranks any longer and some riders just got put there because of their good performances in lower grades.
That's the way it is and it is not a bad thing. But it has turned it into a harder grade to race. Personally, I have to work harder (smarter, my son once told me) and I have to make sure I conserve enough for when things get a bit hotter in the races. So, I have changed, and that can be seen as a bad thing.
Racing a bicycle is exciting stuff. The one thing I don't like is that the peloton (and I hope BikeSnob approves the use of such word here) still hasn't progressed in terms of etiquette. We are now coached like pros, we dress like pros, our bikes are pro bikes but we seem to believe, still, that win at any cost is the attitude to have.
Wrong! It might even be the attitude of a few pros but they are riders who get small contracts and that's how they end. That's also the attitude of the drug cheats but I will leave that alone, for now.
There is nothing wrong with exchanging a few words or a bit of a touch to let the other rider know that you are there during a race. But we have to be able to show a bit of etiquette and apologise or just clarify our actions afterwards. It is not that difficult and would demonstrate a little panache, not weakness.
Andy and Alberto
Back to the week that just ended, the week leading to the State Championship, I had a real hard time just getting on the bike. In fact, I only went for one ride and that was an easy 3 hours ride on Wednesday. The cold weather, the injury and the early shifts at work did bash me around a bit so I chose not to stress about training and have lots of rest.
It didn't turn out too badly at the end. I had a good time, I raced hard (same did others) and didn't get any cramps. More importantly, it was a pleasant race (if you know what I mean), people just rode how they wanted and to the best of their ability, no condemnation was employed.
I didn't win but I finished second. What else can I say?
Well, I can say it was a beautiful morning from the start.
Week Thirty Two: Race
Time: 5 h 09 min
Dist.: 155 km