Tag Archives: Randy McCreight

King of the Mountain and Pawn of the Sprint

I’m tired. The good news is that it is a taper week and this 42 year-old body is going to get some rest! One thing for sure is that it didn’t get much on April 10, 2010.

It started early with my alarm going off at 5 AM. Just before 6 AM Bryant Young and I were loading up his car for the drive up to Rock Hill, South Carolina for the Rock Hill Classic Road Race. I would be racing the Category 4 race and Bryant would race in the 4/5 35+ race.

The Garmin got us there on time. We had the opportunity to leisurely get stuff together and to warm-up. Turns out Bryant had even more time as they split his field and put him at a start time more than an hour later than his original time.

My field, which also included the 50+ Masters racers, left right on time at 9:45 AM. Unfortunately, the musketeer who was supposed to fire his black powder gun to start our race misfired… twice. Finally, Chad Andrews, who was calling the race, said “BANG!!” and we rolled off.

My teammates Billy White (Cat. 4) and Randy McCreight (50+) rolled off with the field. From that point until about mid-way through the race, there isn’t much to report. The terrain was rolling and initially there weren’t that many turns we had to make. I was simply sitting in and taking it easy in anticipation of an attack by some of the 50+ Masters guys.

Then we started to approach the King of the Mountain zone. I was about 15 back at that time. When looking at Google Street View, I picked the location. Now that we were out on the road, I wasn’t so sure. Once I thought we had passed it. Ahhh, there was a 1K to go sign.

Two 50+ riders had a slight gap going up to the top. I put it in my “climbing Paris Mountain” gear and settled into a steady pace. Before long, I was at the front. Then I was going off the front. It wasn’t really an acceleration. It was just that no one was coming with me. Then I passed the two riders leading and crossed the KOM with a gap of about 20 yards. It was rather anti-climatic.

Once over the hump, I grew concerned. What if someone launched an attack while I was still recovering? Things did speed up, but not enough to cause much trouble. Before long, I was fully recovered and actually feeling better than before the KOM. Maybe I just needed to get my legs warmed up with a good climb.

We all settled in for a bit, but then Dave LeDuc went off the front and got a pretty good gap. Then Chris Calder went after him. Basically, no one wanted to go after LeDuc and we figured if Chris was man enough to go after him, he would have to be man enough to STAY with him!

I’ll hand it to Chris. The junior racer stayed up there much longer than we anticipated. I was impressed. However, we did reel him in after he dropped back from the elder pro.

I spent some time at and on the front at this time. The idea was to make sure that I was there should any break begin that I wanted to be a part of. I also wanted to be near the front as we made the final turns of the day. It did wear me down a bit and I had to back off to recover some before the final push.

It was then that we entered a section of the course where there were two quick right-left turns relatively close to each other. We had captured LeDuc by this time and field was all together. It was in the final fourth of the race and people were starting to get tired — but also antsy and faster. It is a dangerous combination.

In the first section I made the first right-hand turn and was setting up for the left when I heard people yelling. Looking into the next turn I could see a rider sitting on the asphalt with his bike. Off of the right side of the road was another rider who overshot the turn. Whew! Billy and I made it through that one okay!

Before you knew it we were back into another one. I was right on Billy’s wheel as we made the right turn. I recall thinking how synchronized it all looked as we were leaning to the right. Suddenly, the rider beside Billy got out of shape and bumped my teammate. The way he wobbled, I thought he was going to slide tackle Billy.

That would be bad enough except when Billy slowed, I came on his outside. Billy had to correct which sent him straight and I had to react as well. We straightened out together and then leaned hard right to get back in line for taking the left-hander. My heart was in my throat as we managed to make it through unscathed.

Then it was just a matter of being in the right position for the right-hand turn into the finishing straight. It is about a 2K distance from the turn to the line. I wanted to be in the first ten around that turn. Then the goal was to lead Billy and Randy to the front if possible and get as many of us in the top 10 as possible.

The turn found me about 15 or so back. I was blocked on the right side of the field. The pack was so thick, I knew I wouldn’t be able to work over to the left side for when the yellow line rule was pulled giving us the whole road. The move was going to have to happen down the white line.

Really only one rider was keeping me from making the move. As the field begin to surge to the left of me, I began to have that feeling of panic that things were getting away from me. Finally, I gave up waiting for the perfect hole and muscled my way along the sandy and rutted line to get around the blocking rider. Now, I saw an opening to move toward  front.

Problem is, it turns out I got there a little too soon. Suddenly I was on the front with about 500 meters to go. I knew I wanted to wait until around 200 meters to go. I saw a rider to my right attack and by that time we were just outside the 200 meter line.

I launched with him and we drag raced down toward the finish. Then he started inching ahead. Then he was moving in front of me. I was spinning away, but not gaining… just losing ground slowly. It hit me that I was not going to win… again after coming so close.

I sagged. Then I saw him ease. I picked up the pace, but he reacted and held the gap. Then another rider took advantage of my momentary lapse of fight and moved past me. I tried to hold him off, but it was too late. My disappointment at not getting the win led to me not getting second either. NEVER EVER QUIT ON A SPRINT AGAIN!

Photo by Eddie Helton

Bryant started after we finished our race. He rode strong for the first half of the race and then got caught out after an acceleration from a turn. After that he was left to finish the ride pretty much alone. Then he bonked. It was the first time ever for him. Two and a half hours later he rolled into the finish.

I really try to see Bryant as just a regular guy riding his bike. However, every time he does something like this, I am just amazed. It was fun and inspiring spending the day with him.

Overall, it wasn’t so bad. I won enough money to pay for the registration and some food for Bryant and me. Even the third place – with the it-doesn’t-count-for-anything KOM seems better the farther I get away from it. Besides… now it is time to start planning for the next race!

It was the worst of times. It was the best of times.

I rushed out of work to throw my bike into the back seat of the convertible and head out to Donaldson Center for the Tuesday Night World Championships. The big question of the night was whether I would have the legs to hang with the A group for the six laps planned for the evening. What happened was I learned some valuable lessons.

The first lap seemed to be slower than normal.  This made me happy because I didn’t have time to warm up.  However, I determined it wouldn’t matter anyway.  Even if some riders attempted a break on the first lap, I was going to do nothing about it.

That first lap was just under 19 minutes, but things picked up in the second one.  We knocked two minutes off the first lap time.  It was on this lap that I started to learn my first lesson of the night and experienced the “worst of times.”

A break had formed and I was sitting about fifth wheel in a chase group.  My teammate, Reece, was up there with about six other riders.  My group crossed the tracks and slowed.  It was at that point I made the mistake of becoming a strategist.

I looked at the riders around me and determined that if the opportunity presented itself, I could attack, create a gap, and then bridge over to the break to join Reece.  The pace line fell apart and I was near the front.  I accelerated and the rider next to me responded but miss shifted.  I then sprinted and got the gap I was wanting.

The problem was 1) I got caught out in no man’s land.  I got a gap on the riders behind me, but could not seem to close the deal with the break ahead of me.  What to do?  Do I continue fighting to join them or do I back off and go back to the chasers? 2) I created a gap on the riders that were around me.  However, there were some stronger riders sitting behind them.  They were able to come around and then get on my wheel.

By the time I got within 10 yards or so of the break, these stronger riders started to come around me.  As they passed, almost to a man they looked over at me.  My mind interpreted their glances as saying, “Why did you do that?”  I had just pulled the field up to the break and shut down the chances of my teammate.

This was confirmed when on the third lap Reece came by me and looking back said, “I buried myself to get up in that break and then I look back and see you bringing the field.  What’s up with that?”  I could tell he was not happy.  I didn’t blame him and spent the next several minutes with my tail between my legs.

It obviously got into my head because a little over half way through that lap my teammate John came up and put an arm around my shoulder.  “Relax,” he said.  “You are tense. It is making you weave.  Take it easy.” It was just what I needed.  I relaxed my shoulders and arms and tried to focus on putting the energy into my legs.

I was praying by this point that Reece would get into another break.  Finally, in the fourth and fifth laps a break formed.  Not only was Reece there, but John had also pulled himself into the group.

That left Mark, Louis, Randy, and me in the main field.  There was no way I was going to try to bridge to the break!  It was then that I started to experience the “best of times.”  We four riders started to mix in with any chase attempts to confuse their rhythm.  The first concerted effort came from the Spinx riders.  Mark and I slipped into their pace line and tried to slow them without actually blocking them.

It is harder than it sounds.  You want to slow any attacks, but you don’t want to just get in front of them and stop.  I tried to get into a rotation and when I pulled through hold a controlled pace that was slightly slower than the chasers.  At other times, I would hang back off the back of their rotation and just let them do the work.

This continued with various individual riders and teams as we completed lap five and continued into lap six. It was funny, but I didn’t even think about how I was feeling.  It was so much fun working with my teammates to help extend the gap for Reece and John.

Of course, going into the sixth lap I started arguing with myself, “Ok, you’ve done your work, just go ahead and sit up.”  That was the wimpy side of me.  “Don’t quit.  You’ve been doing that a lot lately. Suffer to the end.” That was the competitive part of me.  The later won out.

That sixth lap was tough at the beginning.  Knowing the break was safe and we were now racing amongst ourselves, it was taking a bit more effort.  However, the farther I got into the lap, the better I started to feel. By the time we started the climb toward the finish, I was moving right along with the leaders.

Overall, it was a great night.  Even in my mistakes, I learned some valuable lessons. I do fear that I might be getting the reputation for being the idiot that chases down all the breaks.  Several times I would be in a group and a rider or two would look over at me with a look of expectation on their faces.  It was as though they were expecting me to start an attack.

Thankfully, I learned my lesson and was able to disappoint them while Reece brought home a third place.

Getting slapped by French Broad

Saturday was the French Broad Cycling Classic in Marshall, North Carolina.  It is one of the few road races around the area this season.  I wanted to be a part of it.

I met up with my teammate, Matt Tebbetts, on Friday evening.  He and a couple other of the POA Cycling Team riders were participating in the Time Trial portion of the three stage race.  John James and Mark Caskey were also there in their alien helmets.  We talked for a bit and then headed out to dinner.

We debated going out to view the course in our cars.  However, it was starting to get late and I figured I needed food and sleep more than I needed to drive the course.  Looking back, I’m kind of wishing I had!

My number for the Frend Broad Cycling Classic Road Race

My number for the Frend Broad Cycling Classic Road Race

Turns out I didn’t sleep that well.  Perhaps I was too keyed up for the event.  Word was the the course was pretty tough.  However, I was feeling pretty good and really thought it was going to be a good day for me.

Matt and I headed from Asheville to Marshall.  While in Asheville, we tired to find a place to eat, but it seemed everything was closed.  We settled for an egg sandwich from McDonalds.  It wasn’t what I would have preferred, but it was something in the stomach.

Marshall is a cool little town.  It reminded me just a bit of a small Swiss town.  There was the main street running along the banks of a small rushing river with a bridge crossing it and then heading up in the mountains overlooking the town.

Things were well organized.  I was able to get registered in no time.  The only issue was the fact that there were only two portable toilets for the hundreds of people on hand.  I waited in line for sometime, but finally gave up and rode into town to use the facilities at a local coffee shop.

Matt, Randy McCreight, and I then went out for a warm up.  Matt started having trouble with this shifting and after we tried to make some adjustments, it only got worse.

Still, we had to line it up as it was about time to start out.  Around 8:41 AM, we rolled off.  Almost immediately after we rolled out of town we started a climbing a slight elevation.  This set the stage for the entire ride.

Randy moved up to the front – he was racing with the Masters 50+ group that was racing along with us Cat. 4 riders.  Matt and I hung around about 20 riders behind him.  Our goal was to sit in there until the first climb when we would move toward the front to join him and try to stay with the leaders to the top.

It was interesting in there!  We had a good amount of easy climbing and often we would find ourselves on larger four lane roads.  There were some sections with some downhill runs through winding roads.  At those points, it got a little scary as you did not know how well the guys around you would be able to control their bikes.  Thankfully, there were no incidents.

On one climb up a larger road, I heard someone yell out, “Chain!”  I wasn’t sure, but I thought it might be Matt.  The good news was that we were just about to crest the hill and I knew he would be able to catch back on.

Before long, we were nearing the bottom of the first climb.  The only real incident up to that point was the dog that came running out in to the peloton.  It happened while someone was calling out that there was gravel around.  It led someone to joke that the dog’s name must have been Gravel and he came running when the rider started calling out his name.

Matt and I started making our way toward the front.  Randy was moving back a bit and before we started the climb, the three of us were together.  Then it was time to select the guys who would be there for the final climb.

This was a section I was looking forward to.  I still had a good feeling as I started up right on the wheels of my teammates.  However, the feeling didn’t last very long.  I tried to get in a cadence that I could maintain for the climb I had heard would be five miles long.  Watching the very front group take off made me concerned because I knew I could not sustain that for five miles!

My rhythm kept me there for a bit, but then I noticed that Matt and Randy were slowing moving away from me.  I fought the urge to go chase after them.  Red lining at this point would be bad.  I kept moving along catching some riders and being overtaken by others.  It was my hope that more ahead of me would falter and I would be able to stay in contact with the larger group ahead of me before we crossed over the top.

Then it hit.  I felt an empty feeling in my stomach.  I knew then that the gel, power bar, and egg sandwich were not giving me the boost I needed.  The accelerations were gone from my legs and I was just slogging to the top.  As I got over – it came up much sooner than I thought it would – I could see ahead of me that there was no group.  I had a rider just behind me and one up ahead.

The three of us hooked up and started to chase.  As we continued I would move in and out of feeling good and feeling like crud.  I tried to do my best to share the labor with the other two guys.  It was hard.

Then I saw a large group just going into a turn ahead!  With that encouragement, the three of us picked up the pace hoping to get to the group so we could recover a bit before the climb.  Then there were only two of us as our third member dropped.  We got ever so close – within 80 yards – but it was too close to the bottom of the final climb to try one last dash.  We would catch them right at the base and be too tired for the climb.

We started up and once again I tried to find a cadence to keep me going to the top.  I knew this one would be about two miles for sure.  This should be about like Paris Mountain.  However, as we continued the climb my Garmin showed that we were holding to a 9% to 10% grade.  This was tough!

I tried to pull myself up to the riders ahead.  My hope was that they would be the motivation I needed to keep going.  However, I found my greatest motivation in seeing the riders coming up behind me!  I did not want to add insult to injury by having people who I dropped coming around me.

I did get caught.  I watched a couple of riders come around me.  I looked at their numbers – each one started with a 7.  That meant they were Master racers.  Didn’t bother me to let them go.  Then a rider passed me with a 4** number.  I determined he would be the last one.  Through the 13% grade and on to the finish we continued.

Before the top I passed some other riders who had passed me earlier.  When I neared the turn at the top that would take us past the finish line, I stood and did my best to catch a Cat. 4 rider before the line.  Unfortunately, he saw me coming and held me off at the line.

I didn’t even stop at the top.  I just kept rolling knowing that the road would take me back to Marshall.  At first I was kicking myself and declaring that I would never race again.  Every decision of the day was second guessed.

However, it was a beautiful day and the road was enjoyable.  It was hard to keep a bad attitude in that environment.  I also had some riders come by me that I knew had finished behind me.  They were happily chatting amongst themselves and having a good time.

It was childish of me to throw myself in a funk.  Sure, I finished 34th – my worse road race finish ever – but at least I wasn’t last and I was closer to my teammates in the end than I thought I was.  The course that was unknown to me when we started was now more understandable and I know how to race it next time.  Yes, I’ll do it again.

What will I do differently?  I will give everything I have to stay at the front on that first climb.  The long downhill following will give me time to recover.  Trying to save myself during that first climb didn’t help because I had to give energy on the climb and then even more trying to chase back on.  I will also eat more during the first half of the race.

As I look at my data from the race, I realize that I did have more to give.  My heart rate during the 3 or so miles of the first climb was a high average 174 bpm, but I know that I can get away with up to 180 for that period of time.  On the final climb I should have just thrown myself at it like I do when I assault Paris Mountain.  I should have crossed the finish with a heart rate of 190 bpm – that would have been an all out effort.

Either way, the farther I get away from the race the better my feelings about it.  Shoot, at 41 years of age it was kind of cool to be racing up that final mountain with guys half my age – and beating a couple of them.  I’m also glad that I am not satisfied with my finish.  That is what gives me the motivation to improve.

Am I ever thankful for my helmet!

I’m writing this late Tuesday evening because I’m not certain if I’ll be able to get out of the bed in the morning.

Things started out very well. After arriving at Donaldson Center for the Tuesday Night World Championships, I met up with some of my teammates. A group of them were about to go out on the country route. This is a route that does not follow the normal Perimeter Road circuit. They called to me to join them.

I started to follow, but then remembered that Reece was in the house and I was feeling pretty good. It would be very hard to pass up mixing it up in the A Group tonight. Finally, I decided to turn around and head back to the main group. Part of me is glad I did. Another part of me wishes I hadn’t.

Several of us POA guys were on the front to begin. I figured that if we were up there, we could pedal as slow as we wanted! That didn’t last long as some others came around and picked up the pace. By the time we were over the railroad tracks and headed for the start/finish there was an organized move to get away.

I worked to help bring that group back after a short time and tried to stay up near the front of any chase group. Most times one of my guys – normally Randy or Reece would be up in the break. As soon as one break would get caught another POA rider would attack with the next group to go off the front. During the evening, I only went off on one of those.

The rest of the time I was sitting on riders who were trying to chase back my teammates. It was in the process of this that I learned something about cycling I did not know. It was a good thing to file away for the future.

I have learned that when you have a teammate up the road, you don’t do anything to help close the gap. At the same time, you have to be aware of riders who are dangerous to your teammate. Say, if a Spinx guy starts to bridge across and he already has a Spinx rider up in the break, you don’t want him to get up there and turn the odds in their favor.

You handle this by not working with him as he attempts to bridge over. You also want to be in position so that if he does manage to bridge over, you are there to help even the odds. There really aren’t any written rules about this, but there are some unspoken rules of etiquette. That is what I learned tonight.

I had Hank up in a break about halfway around the circuit. A Barley rider and Steve Baker (Hincapie) were working hard to get across the gap. I was not wanting to help in any way. However, I knew if either of them made it up there, I would need to be there to help Hank. So, I sat on them.

This was the right tactic. However, I what I didn’t realize was I was violating the unspoken rule of etiquette. I was getting in the middle of their rotation. As the Barley rider came by me once he yelled, “Pull through! Don’t be afraid of the wind!” I yelled back, “I’m not going to help you pull my man back.” I wanted to come back with the fact that I had already done my time in the wind. “Well, if you are going to sit on then at least go back and sit on fifth,” he replied.

Here is were race awareness comes to play. As far as I knew, it was only the three of us. They were the only two I was aware of around me. I didn’t realize there was a fifth rider! Even if it was only the three of us, I should have hung back in third place and let them know I wasn’t going to help them.

Hey, I’m still learning. One thing is for sure, I don’t want to be one of those guys no one wants to ride around because he is either dangerous or a jerk. I learned a lesson and I’ll try to follow it next time. I do have to add though that I won’t be intimidated.

Speaking of being a dangerous rider. On the fifth lap I slipped back a bit as I had Hank, Matt, and Reece up ahead of me. I was tired from covering all those moves through the race. However, I was satisfied that my team had good numbers. I got on the tail end of a string of riders to recover some for the last lap. Unfortunately, I realized too late and I had latched onto a slowing group!

A gap formed and I tried to come around and catch them. Soon I was stuck in no-mans land with one other rider. I don’t know who she was, but she was stout! The two of us kept digging to see what might happen. I kept hoping that the group might slow as a break will sometimes do when it is larger.

As we went through the dip at the bottom of the hill leading up to the start/finish I could see the group nearing the top. I decided to just put my head down and put out a good cadence and if I had them in sight as we began the final lap, I would give it one more push. I started off taking the lead.

As we began the climb, I heard the rider following me let out a gasp of air. It distracted me for a moment and I started thinking that soon, I might be all alone. I looked down at my computer to see if I was to far into the red zone. It was at that moment I heard her say, “Watch ou…!” She didn’t even get the “out” out when I slammed into a cyclist in front of me.

I was going 20 mph at the moment I hit him. My wheel rode up the left side of his rear wheel. It flipped my bike up over it and I was slammed down on my right shoulder. My head followed and I felt the pain in my neck as it whipped to the ground and my head bounced off the asphalt. For a moment everything was spinning, but I never blacked out.

Before long there were riders around me. They asked me if I was okay. I told them to grab my leg. The only thing that was hurting right at that moment was my right calf that was seizing with a cramp! We got that under control and I stood. Wow! No blood. I think the reason why is because I didn’t slide at all. It was just a body slam into the pavement.

My helmet was busted in the back. Looking inside, I could see where the material had a crack across the inside. My jersey was just a little roughed up on the right shoulder. My left brake lever was broken – though the shifter still worked. Only thing I can figure is when I went down, I grabbed the shifter and broke it. Besides that the bar was askew. I’m really hoping my steer tube was not bent. As for the carbon frame and fork? Not a bit of damage. Not even a scratch. I was amazed.

I apologized to the guy I ran into and helped him make sure his bike was okay. Again, amazingly, it was just fine. Most thankfully, so was he!

Another lesson learned. No matter how hard you are digging. Don’t assume you know what is happening ahead of you. Always look out at least 10 feet in front. What happened to me was I looked up and saw the group. What I didn’t realize was that it was made up of two groups – the A Group breakaway and some C Group riders returning from the country route. I took off after the faster group and didn’t look up again thinking they were the only ones ahead of me. I found out otherwise.

I made my way to my car and just sat on the back staring at the ground. I felt like I had been beat up and I was very embarrassed by my accident. I was about to mist up, I felt so bad. Then Reece came by and told me that the POA guys had pulled off the win! There were enough guys up front to help get Reece to the line.

What is it they say? All’s well the ends well.

Good night.

Just what the doctor ordered

I was wrong.  Last evening’s ride turned out to be great!  I didn’t even have that “I’m about to explode” feeling on the second lap.  I guess being a cyclist isn’t all bad.

This time I made it out to Donaldson Center with time to spare.  Everything was in order on my bike – I was sporting my new Quarq CinQo Saturn power meter.  I even had time to ride out on the course a bit before heading to the start to hand over my 5 bucks and get in line.

We rolled out and I counted at least 8 POA Cycling teammates in the group.  Actually, I believe it was nine.  It was good to see the spidey suits out in force.

I dropped immediately toward the back.  I had no idea how my body was going to respond to the effort.  Thankfully, on that first lap, though there was a group that went off the front, things went easily and everyone spun along to loosen up.

Even the second lap continued to be relatively laid back.  The speed did increase overall, but there weren’t any attacks that had me trying to hang on for dear life with my tongue hanging out.  I was proud of myself for staying about mid-pack to near the rear.  I made an effort to try to work as little as possible.

Coming into the third lap I began to pay more attention to my teammates and tried to stay in contact with at least one of them at any given time.  Since John has always been my “unofficial” coach, I kept an eye on him and basically mimicked what he did.  That was the best way I knew not to have him tell me I did something stupid during the ride.

The fourth lap arrived and I was feeling amazingly good.  It was time to start moving closer to the front – but not too close.  It was not time to start being a hero.  There were still 14 miles to go.

Then it arrived… the fifth lap.  A gap formed almost immediately.  I couldn’t tell exactly who from my team was around.  I thought we had one guy up in the break, but I wasn’t sure.  Louis and I moved toward the front and we tried to figure out how we were placed.

If we did have someone up in the break, I wasn’t in a big hurry to go after them.  They would have a better chance without the group swallowing them up.  Then I saw the rider I figured was out there coming back to us and looking over his shoulder waiting for the group to join him.

As we were going up the climb before the golf course, John really turned up the wick and I followed.  Before I knew it, I was on the front of the chase group.  I sensed I was on the point and people were happy to let me be there.  That wasn’t what I wanted.  I peeled off and sat up to let someone else come to the front.

Then I came up beside Randy and told him, “I’ll be glad to try to go all out and pull you to the break and then drop off.”  I knew if I did it, I wouldn’t be able to stay in the group.  However, I also knew we had no rider up there and Randy could give them a run for their money if I could just deliver him there with fresh enough legs.

Randy responded (sounding rather doubtful), “You can give it a try.”  So, I started up the remainder of the climb with Randy in tow.  This is when I wondered what the week off the bike would do to me.  I was either going to be really fresh and able to pull or I was going to be really weak and croak.

As I climbed toward the turn where the “club house” is two Barley riders came flying past me.  My first thought was that they were wanting to chase as well.  So, I got on one of the riders’ wheel.  He certainly didn’t keep up the pace he had when he passed me.  That should have been a sign.

Both riders kept a reasonable pace, but I wouldn’t call it a chase pace.  From behind I heard Randy say, “Move around these guys.”  I realized too late (rookie mistake) that those guys weren’t chasing.  Most likely they had a guy in the break and they were covering Randy and me.

So, I went around and started to hammer it.  Of course, by this time the entire peloton became the chase group.  Here I was once again asking myself, “What are you doing?”  This was not the plan for the evening!

Just as we reached the bottom of a downhill before starting up another roller, I knew I had to get out of the way or I was going to get run over.  I was out of juice.  As I moved to the left, I saw Randy continue forward.  I felt really awful that I was dumping him right at the bottom of a climb with him pulling the entire field!

As I hugged the yellow line, I kept waiting to see POA riders go by me.  Ah, there went a couple.  Hopefully, they would be able to get up there and help Randy out a bit.  Me?  I had shot my wad.  I did recover enough to jump on the back of the field for a bit, but I started to yo-yo and finally decided to just let them go.

The best part of the night was when I was unloading my bike from the car.  My legs felt sooooo good.  It was that comfortable soreness that comes from a good workout – tiredness that tells you you are going to sleep like a rock!

All those negative feelings from earlier in the day?

What negative thoughts?