25 February, 2010

Roller race Finale

24 February marked the 6th and final night of the 2010 roller race season in da Ville. Considering I'd successfully ridden rollers twice prior to the first night, I'm fairly pleased with the outcome. Happy I was able to participate in 4 of the 6 nights.

The week has turned back to winter after Mother Nature gave us a brief but satisfying taste over the weekend of what Spring will have to offer soon. My hands froze just rolling in my bike and carrying my trainer and gear to the building. That was ok, because once changed and on the trainer things always warm up quite nicely.

People trickled in, but we wound up with 15 competitors (I think that's right). I started talking smack to one of the regulars. He played along. I decided to attempt riding without a spotter. Each night previous someone would stand behind me (others too) and straddle the rear wheel while holding the saddle frame. This is just to keep the rider centered and on the rollers. With a spotter a novice can spin and bounce on the saddle without much concern of falling.

My TT time wound up being just longer than that of my smack talk nemesis. I watched and cheered for all that followed, while staying warm on the trainer and adding a few super spins to get the legs and heart primed. First 1,000 meters was against a longtime cyclist. He is responsible for bringing this event to the city and the equipment is his. We were about even with each other at the end of 500 meters. Then I started picking up the spin, 100, 200, 250 and for some reason changed my focal point to the clock. As soon as I changed where I was looking I rolled to the edge of the rollers and went down. I was down before I realized I was going. I feel bad for my competitor as this caused him to lose focus and he slowed too much to stay be in contention. No harm to the body and none to the bike save a dropped chain. I'm fairly certain there could be a photo of my spill but I've not seen it yet.

After this I took turns trying to snap some photos and keep my legs lose on the trainer. And I cheered and screamed the rest as they spun. It's funny, because as I sit on the trainer cheering on each set of riders my spinning gets faster and faster. I wind up being exhausted at the end of each of their races.

The last 1,000 meter race I was up against my smack talk friend. I started out thinking spin, relax, breath, focus. over and over and over again. I gained ground somewhere around 250 meters, but maybe only a second. By 750 meters it looked as though his attempt at catching me was spent. My thoughts kept saying, exhale, relax, spin faster, don't bounce. I won! It was under a second, but I won. Probably all that smack talk I'd done. :-)

A couple of things. Honestly, my goal for this was to improve on last week's time each time out. I have no delusions about beating any man or teen or youth. I just want to beat me. Second, I wanted to create a level of self confidence and doing this series accomplished that. Competing last night with no spotter was icing on the cake. Falling and not getting hurt just enforces that this is always possible so I should overcome the fears from my bone-breaking crash. Still it will take time.

I met some new people doing this. Had a wonderful experience. Tried to get other women as well as men out there to no avail. Next year, I hope to give a few of those guys a better challenge.

peace out people!

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