Friday, March 23, 2007

A Thousand Deaths

Actually, it was only 2 deaths, but it felt like a thousand. Today was the Oak Glen road race here at Redlands. The promoter was sad that he had to lose the stage last year so he brought it back this year, in a big way. 114 km, 3 climbs (only one decent. How does that work?), and a very motivated pack made for a hard race.

Our leader, Dotsie, managed to get a flat when everyone was gearing up for a mid race sprint (14 miles into the race). This was the call I heard over the radio, "Alison, put on your brakes and come back here for Dotsie. Alison, PUT ON YOUR BRAKES!"

Dotsie got back on and I got to "drive it" up the first climb. It was SO fun. Imagine riding up I-70 from Sliverthorne to the tunnel. It was just like that. I dropped 2 of my teammates, oops, as well as some other "riff-raff" we didn't need in the race in the first place so it was ok.

After some more racing (that was hard) we get to the second feed zone and our feeder is no where. So, for the second time, I go back to the car and stuff myself with bottles. I am an expert at doing this as the first time was a most horrible experience I don't care to write about (it involved me getting passed by the team car, having to chase back on followed by a lot of cussing and being mad). Now, I have 6 bottles in my jersey, the road goes up, and girls are attacking. Are you joking?? I'm about to cry. Death #1 has occurred. I say over the radio, "I can't do it. I have the water, but I can't make it up to you. I need help. I'm dying." Finally, I make it up close to Andrea and yell "Andrea! Do you need drink?" She yells back, "YES!" I peddle a little more, then yell, "Then you have to slow the FUCK down!" That got her attention quickly (her radio wasn't working) and she slowed down and helped me with the bottles. After feeing Alex and Dotise, Dotsie said, "you have been fucking amazing today." (we cuss when we are tired) That made me happy enough to promptly got dropped. :)

Surviving that death in the middle of the race was, in the end, a really cool experience. It sucked at the time (really badly), but it will make me stronger. Plus, it made for a really funny story at dinner.

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