I went out on Saturday to try this criterium road racing thing. I must say that it wasn't too bad. After I found the race course and got ready I came across Sean who also works at the shop and is the guy who put this thing in my head in the first place. He was with Rick who I had met a couple of times around the shop who was really starting to get into road racing and he was racing in the same category as me. It was nice to know a couple of people there especially someone else in the race with me.
As we lined up for the start I did not have the same pre race jitters that I normally do. I put no pressure on myself for this race and was there just to test my fitness and get some competitive racing in. The course was a .7 mile loop with 8 turns in it. I got off to a good start and was with the leaders through most of the first couple laps. On the third lap I came really close to losing in when a rider to the turn to wide and I had to make a quick move to avoid him and my bike tire slid out of control for a second. I would like to say that that didn't get in my head but it did and I think it made me to cautious through a lot of the turns the rest of the race which slowed me down and I lost the group I was in and ended up riding a good chunk of the laps alone. For about the last 6 laps of the race I did catch back up with Rick and we worked together to finish off the race and picked up a few riders who popped. The biggest problem was the when the race ended. I got a little confused when the last lap was. I was with a few other riders and we all thought that there was another lap. As we neared the finish line I was in the back of the pack and attacked later on in the course to get them in the sprint and then when the results where posted I found out they all finished ahead of me cause our last lap didn't count. Next time I'll have to pay closer attention. In the end I finished 14th out of 25. I felt I could have done a bit better but I'll take it for my first crit race.
Overall the race was fun and I did enjoy it. I've been thinking about upgrading to a little nicer road bike and now I'm definitely going to do it. I can see some more of these races in my future as a way to train in race situations when there is no mtb races.
I thought about doing the other road race today but didn't want to pay for gas and the race fees for only a 30 minute race again 2 days in a row so I headed out early this AM for a ride on the mountain bike for some single track to remind me where my racing love really is. The only problem was that I was reminded that wilderness park in Lincoln in horribly overgrown to the point where in a lot of places it's hard to tell where the track is. The ride didn't go well. I had a hard time getting any speed cause I was always trying to find my way through the weeds and fallen timber(I need to remember to get out there next time they do trail maintenance). I did ride all of the park for what ended up being a 2 hour light spin. I did have one crash today. I went through a turn and couldn't see the mud and hit it and it was like riding over oil and went down pretty had and bruised up my right side pretty good. Nothing to major and the biggest thing is my bike took no damage. The thigh is a bit stiff now that I've been sitting around a while but it should be good for the race next Sunday. Which I said to a couple of people that this race is huge for me since I'm trying to redeem myself from the dnf that I had in it last year.