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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I'm Working On It

Yesterday was another Big Ride Day: ride from New Westminster to UBC, race for 30 minutes, ride to Main Street station, take the train home. It's over two hours on the bike no matter how you slice it.

As part of my winnings from my glorious 4th place in the hill climb, I tried out a Steamrollers burrito last night. I give it my highest compliment: it reminded me of the burritos I got in Los Angeles. I have quite a few more free food coupons for them, and I intend to use 'em!

The race itself was not bad. Three guys got off the front on the first lap, and I decided to let them go, but the group of us at the front pushed the pace and made everybody else in the race suffer: result, I was one of four riders in a chase group. Unfortunately, we spent most of the race unable to keep clear of the women's group, to the annoyance of them and to the detriment of our chase. We caught one guy eventually, and I was feeling good, but with two laps to go, I was drafting down the hill as we went past the women (again...), and the guy ahead of me bobbled to the outside as I was trying to come around him. I showed discretion rather than valour and gave up on the turn, taking a clear lane off the course to the outside. It was more my fault for trying to overtake there than it was his for being unsteady.

By the time I got back on course, the group was gone. I soloed to about seventh, maybe ninth at worst.

I was pretty optimistic, though: until the incident, I had a serious shot at third place. More importantly, I felt like I was instrumental in setting the tone of the race: by pounding hard for a few laps at the start of the race (especially up the climbs) I helped shred the pack. With my flatiron-grade sprinting skills, that's exactly what I needed: less competition.

I've done dorky amounts of work in previous races, but this time, instead of leaving me gutted and incapable, my hard work got results: I dictated the pace of the race with the help of a few others, and we effectively shed all the pack fodder (something the short course at UBC is quite good at on its own) with some consecutive hard climbs.

Plan for next race will definitely be to keep an eye on the guy with the big arm tattoos, and to stay on his wheel no matter what.

Today's schedule at work includes something slightly topical: I have to give a short presentation explaining blogs.

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