“Your overconfidence is your weakness.” -Socrates I guess, or some guy with a glowstick. You know, in that movie.
Crosstoberfest was not well publicized, as evidenced by pre-registering the day before and getting number 101. At a rather porky 440 points. The course was drool-worthy for a roadie: 96% flat, 96% grass, and 80% straight. There was even a “hill” before the first set of barriers which I hoped would more resemble a “power climb” in the race. The crossresults oracle had spoken, but my uppance was to come. On the start line I was mooning fate, heckling the skinny junior next to me who fantasized aloud about winning the hole shot. I channeled an Old Spice commercial: “Look at your thighs, now back to mine. Now back at your thighs, now back to mine. These are the thighs your thighs could sprint like.”
I do many things in life with a puppy’s enthusiasm and reckless abandon. This was no exception. I picked a gear one cog larger than usual for the long, flat start. On the gun I slammed my foot into my pedal, stood up, and yanked my other cleat out and lost ten places. The starting straight was so long I managed to get back to fifth position by the first turn.
First lap was fast. We hit the starting straight again and the pace died. No time like the present: roadie go. The next three corners I got loose with my traction (enthusiastic puppy style), managing to stay upright and get a gap, with the exception of Marcus from RISD and someone in a dapper vest and tie (Jack, aka Dapper Jack, an elite MTBer who was getting cheerio on his MTB, hopping all the barriers). Marcus and I distanced his rad foppery soon and held him off for good. We were racing for the win.
My coach was yelling “He doesn’t know your watts!” Translation: Marcus, he’ll win in a sprint, try to lose him! Impromptu tactics training, I guess. I’d make it work. Marcus took the lead with 2 to go and I welcomed the break from pacemaking. My plan was to attack the “hill” before the barriers since I noticed Marcus had a hard time clipping in after remounting. Right on his wheel, we came around with 1 to go, but there were no lap cards. Something was wrong “One-oh-seven, one-oh-one.” We were done? Already?
I fumed with anger for a while. They were waiting for me and Marcus to come through to change the lap cards. An unusual way to do lap cards, and I hope they figure it out for next year. It turned out that Marcus is a nice guy and I didn’t mind losing to him. It was a fun event anyway and I’ll be back next year. There were free doughnuts too, and I made it onto the dirtwire highlights reel, failing to hide my “screwed with my bibshorts on” face from the podium.