[portfolio_slideshow id=4691 width=1200] I bought the series pass. No excuses now; I have to race.
I am at work, the race is at 6:30 and I look at the clock in hopes that it strikes five. I kit up in the work bathroom, my hands are sweating and I haven’t even left the office. It’s roughly nine miles to the race and there is a bike path that takes me all the way there. Portland is fucking amazing that way.
Russ has a tent set up and kind enough to let me crash the party. I am super thankful for all the amazing friends I’ve made through cycling.
It’s 6:30 and the bunch is at the starting line. The ref calls up the B’s and everything suddenly gets real. Why didn’t I just sign up for C’s? It’s something I’ve been thinking about since I signed up. Yet as I pull up to the front as a B all that nervousness simply falls away. This has been happening a lot lately and I embrace it every opportunity I get.
A whistle blows or maybe it’s a bell that rings. Doesn’t matter because we’re off. My goal for the race is to ride conservatively, to survive and not get lapped. All that shit goes right out the window and I am racing. The barriers are approaching in the distance, I dismount and everything goes smoothly. I hear my wife cheering me on in the distance and I push forward. Racing is hard.
I make a lot of mistakes. Everyone is making a lot of mistakes. The last lap is the hardest and I am looking forward to just finishing the damn race. I am with one other rider and we’re fighting for a mid pack finish. We sprint to the finish but my legs feel strong and I drop him before the line. Never had to work so hard for 12th place in my life.
Racing is hard.