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.
7 responses to “Wednesday night worlds”
It’s nice to have something you enjoy doing to look forward to every week. Not worry about winning anything certainly alleviates the pressure, which would stress me out. Do you also race most weekends during the summer?
These sound like the perfect races for you, Dorothy. Didn’t the Hobgoblin have trouble with cramping for a while? I guess it’s a common cycling hazard and can only suggest bananas in the diet as potassium is supposed to help prevent cramps.
Yay for having a good ride! It sounds like you did really well and had a good time except for the cramping calves but at least that was at the end. You were working hard!
Sounds like you had a great first race, with a very challenging, fast-paced finish. I haven’t been on my bike at all and am so not motivated. Not sure what to do about our upcoming ride. I am going to be so slow.
Sounds like a great beginning to the season, since you managed to work through those cramps, something that definitely deserves lots of pats on the back.
Danielle — definitely I can do without the pressure! I have enough pressure to deal with as it is. I do race on weekends in the summer, but not every weekend — maybe once or twice a month. The weekend races generally take up more time and are harder, so I do them if I feel up to it, and if I don’t, I stay home.
Litlove — yeah, Hobgoblin had a problem with cramps, all right, and I think getting the diet right helped him. I could definitely use some more bananas in my diet! I need to keep my calves stretched out as well — muscle tightness has a lot to do with it too.
Stefanie — I WAS working hard, but it was fun. That one thing I love about cycling — even working hard is a lot of fun. If only all of life were like that 🙂
Debby — we can talk about that ride. I’m up for doing whatever you want to do, including chucking the ride and spending the day in bookstores if you’d like!
Emily — thank you! It was a good beginning, and we’ll see if I can keep the cramps away this Wednesday.
I am hyperventilating, reading this.
Oh… I could not ever do what you are describing here, to my shame. I am a heart attack, waiting to happen.
I am cycling, vicariously, through you!