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Sunday, February 29, 2004

You win some, but not this one.

Race day. I got to the race on time, though not easily. The Tercel broke down as I was passing the 200th street exit, and I coasted to a stop, assessed the situation, and rode for 30 minutes to get to the start line, still in plenty of time.

The race was fun, good and bad elements. The course was a dead-flat 4km rectangle, and we did just over 50 km in the C group. I felt good, really strong. It was easy to keep with the leaders, and I felt I was putting the hurt on riders more often than they were hurting me. My cornering was very good, and after the first two or three laps I moved to the front and took my turn on the paceline. Paradoxically, this is easier than sitting in the back of the back, where the riders are whipped into a constant brake-pedal-brake-pedal cycle by the oscillations of the lead riders.

It all went downhill on the last lap. I waited too long to head for the front, and by the time I was trying to get up to the head of the bunch, everyone else had the same idea, and the course was too narrow for that. A good drive out of the last corner recovered some ground, but the end result was a clumsy sprint for about 12th place. Credible, and enough to put me in strong company, but I need to learn positioning, and I need to learn to sprint.

Next Sunday the race heads up Armstrong Hill, aka climber's delight. I hit 152 lbs. as of this morning, so I think I might be ready for such a race. A serious hill like Armstrong can really cut down a pack, and I'm hoping that it will put me on the fast end of things. We'll see what happens.

Back to the car. Possibly a fuel-injection relay. Maybe not. It just went dead, classical electrical-component failure. Doesn't seem to have been alternator or battery related. I'll find out soon enough.

My Mom & Dad came out to see me race. Thanks, Mom & Dad! They also helped me get a tow afterwards. Thanks again! No Master's racer could hope to have more supportive parents.

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