So the summer race series has begun in my part of Connecticut, and I’ll be racing every Wednesday night I possibly can from now until September. These races are my absolute favorite. They are only training races and so don’t count when it comes to rankings and upgrade points, but that doesn’t make much difference to me, since I’m pretty unambitious on the bike. All I want is to have a good ride.
Tonight’s race was entirely uneventful, which is just the way I like it. We rode 18 laps, which works out to about 14 miles — a short race since we were running out of sun. The races will get longer as the evenings get longer. There were maybe 35-40 guys in the pack and one other woman. It was a points race, meaning that riders earn points in a series of sprints and the winner is the one with the most points, rather than everything hanging on the very last sprint. So that meant the last five laps were especially fast, as those were the laps that counted. The pack started to get strung out at that point — a sure sign that the pace is fast — but I hung on to the end.
The one potential problem was that my calf muscles started cramping up on the short hill that ends every lap; in the second to last lap I was afraid my calves were going to seize up on me, and I would have to drop out, but I managed somehow to keep them under control, and once I got up the hill, I tried to stretch them out a bit and give them a rest so I could make it up the hill the next time around.
I love seeing my cycling friends at these races, and I love the low-stakes nature of the whole thing. There’s no way I’m going to win these races, so I don’t have to get too nervous about them. I just sit in and get a really good workout.
I’ve had a hard April as far as riding is concerned, as I’ve written about before — I’ve struggled with sickness and have been too busy to train much and have felt unmotivated. But these races will help me get my usual enthusiasm back, and for that I’m very grateful.