BASP #1 – Merritt College – Oakland, CA

It’s been a while since I’ve been so nervous about racing but there I was, high noon Sunday afternoon, right in the middle of the thickest cloud with a light rain and a tense cold with 17 women right along with me.  The whistle blew and, clumsy start, I was behind most of the pack.  Seemed to be a rather relaxed group, oddly.  Over the barriers and around some turns, then to the run-up, I passed some riders that seemed hesitant on the whole remounting thing.  Pushing forward, some lose their chains and I believe some lose the air in their tires, yet I was not one of them.  No, I kept onward, the fire burning inside me, the rain coming down harder for the last few laps, and I accepted all of this with joy.  Around the final corner, my lungs burned deep and my legs pushed heavy and hard.  I crossed the finish line and caught my breath, watching others in my field came in one by one.

This is the first year in B’s that I’ve done and I’m proud to say that Ifinished 5th out of 18. There were a lot of strong women out there today and it’s a good to know that I’m being chased.  Looking forward to the rest of the season!

Earlier that Sunday, Shaun started things off with a puncture ridden effort in the Master 35+ B race. Part way through the first lap he got a flat and was forced to run to the neutral support for a spare wheel. Starting from the back of the pack, Shaun ripped through a good portion of the field before luck again struck and his spare was then flat. This time he ran the rest of the way in to the finish.

As for my race, well let’s just say I’ve done better. The trouble began when I tried to pump up my new tubular tires and found the valve extender was stuck on my now broken valve. Nevertheless, I managed to inflate my tires and scramble out to quickly warm up. My next problem resulted from my efforts to not succumb to punctures. I pumped my tires up way higher than normal and the result was that I now could barely handle my bike. Awesome!

The Single Speed A field was by far the biggest yet this season with nearly 30 racers.  I was not able to jump the field this time and settled for mid pack placing. I worked my way through the mud and jagged rocks to 9th or so before tossing my mud covered glasses to Fergus and David. I thought my vision was decent without glasses, but the poor line that I took right over my bars and full force onto my knee proves otherwise.

A full minute of wincing passed before I was able to remount my bike and get going again. Sure enough next time by the spot where I eat it, I managed to tangle myself in the course tape. A deep breath and I found a portion of my lost composure and rode my way in. Oh well, can’t always kick ass. No flats, though.

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