I had moment early in Lap 1 where I thought: “that’s it. I’m done with racing.” 89 entrants in my category — eighty-nine! — for a midweek, early season, 40-minute race. I staged in the back third and Lap 1 was pretty much my preview, a leisurely clusterfuck.
“I’m done with this crap.” In particular: I am done getting elbowed by guys I will end up passing anyway.
Blind Date needs a Le Mans Start. Something to thin that herd quickly. With a long drop early in the race, that only puts more pressure on to start hot before the first turn. Ridiculous.
After the field thinned — and, seriously, with 89 entrants it will eventually thin, the race took on a familiar rhythm:
- not-quite-fast enough through the long east-side descent;
- recover a few places climbing back to the west and through the S-curves along the north end of the Dairy property;
- ride the long “run up” and gobble a few places there;
- nearly eat it dropping to the west side of the velodrome;
- pick off another bird or two in the ’drome;
- lose a place on the singletrack and barriers before Santa’s Village;
- grab back three or four places in the Village while everyone else recovers;
- lose one of those places on the grassy infield before the finish line.
Repeat 3x (four, if [as last night], I’m lucky). Do it again next week. I’ve done about 100 laps at Blind Date by now and they are never spectacular. This is never a good race for me. On a good night I have fun. Last night was a good night.
Weather: mild, dry, rain earlier in the day but still dusty.
Anyway, my motto for this season is: “in it for the race, not the place.” There’s no points at the 50th percentile.
Footnote: I’m not wearing my HRM in ’cross races this year, thus no Strava