I've never been a hard core racer type. I'm certainly competitive though. I just don't like driving to all the races, and paying the entry fees. Call me cheap.
But I do get out and race. And have a good time doing it too. I'm maybe a top-of-the-mid-pack-fodder for the most part, but occasionally have a good day. That makes it all worth it in my mind. When everything fit together.
Everything fit together pretty well last weekend at what has now become the traditional 'end' to the season in the area. Decorah hosted the something-ith annual nightshift bike race. A very low key, very fun event. What makes it fun is the people it draws. You'll find shop rats from LaCross, Viroqua, Plattville, Dubuqe, and now, PdC. Kinda cool. Anyways.
I headed over with Ryan after running the shop all day. He generously lent me his Light & Motion Stella light. A small, helmet mounted (THE way to go) LED light. Man that thing just blows away the lights I ran years ago. Halogen? Phhhpyt. Those things are a joke now. So we got there in plenty of time but fiddlefarted around in teh parking lot too long. Long enough to miss the start by about two minutes. So I didn't start exactly where/when we were supposed to. We went the wrong way looking for the start so that ate up more time than it should have. We waited for a few riders to go by, then we jumped in. I felt surprisingly good considering my knee is still acting up from the hyperextension back on the cross race weekend. I ended up riding behind Ethan Hartig from Dubuqe for most of the race. Ethan is a 13(14?) year old ripper of a rider. The kids good. The course opened up a bit and I was able start passing folks on the way to the finish. Ended up 16th over all, and 'first' in class. Both Ryan and I are honest guys though, and gave up our places to those who actually started where they were supposed to.
So that was that. And coming up in the future is this. Probably going to be one of the hardest, if not THE hardest race I've attempted. I sent a psotcard to Issac, the organizer of the Ragnarok 105 race held up in Red Wing MN. The course is 105 miles of gravel road goodness. Like the TransIowa, the coruse isn't marked. At the start meeting, you're handed tulip sheets, or cue cards, with directions printed on them. Getting lost is a distinct possibility. Seeing as how the race date is April 18, getting cold is almost garanteed. Hell, it could even snow. There will be for sure be snow on the north slopes.
So now I have to get a training plan in order. Something to keep me in shape thorugh the winter. Training for a specific event isn't something I've done before, so this'll be interesting.
To that end, I'm looking at doing the unthinkable. Having trainer rides in the shop all winter. Nothing too serious, but something to keep the wheels spinning.
listening to: MPR, The Current.
PS: VOTE! Please. Find time in your day tomorrow to cast your vote.