I tried to find someone to carpool. There was one fellow cyclist that wanted to join me, but for all travel and race on Sunday. I just didn't think I could drive 8+ hours and race in one day. Besides, I would've had to leave Louisville before 5am. I was invited to join some cyclists at their hotel, but the room was more than I wanted to spend. Another friend posted he'd found something close for $39.95, but I couldn't reach him to find out where. Then I received and invite to stay with someone I met last year at Storm the Greens. So Nice!!!
I arrived at the course @ 4:30 on Saturday afternoon, kitted up and rode the course for 3 laps. I'm glad I did. Even though the conditions were different this morning since it had rained overnight and the roads were still soaked as I drove to the course this morning. The course was great except for the horse and dog manure everywhere. We started on pavement, uphill about 400 yards or so to a right hand on grass and immediate barriers. Then a left hand turn to a off-camber straightaway. Another 90degree left turn up a steep hill (which I was able to right all 4 laps) and then my least favorite part of the course, a gravel parking lot that was at an incline into a headwind. The course was fast. The up/downs behind the pond were great, I loved those. You could take them at speed. I'm not fast on the single track but it flowed well and I nailed it each time, except for one little mishap with a briar patch. Into the 3rd lap I lost all go. I had no energy, my thighs were killing me, I couldn't breathe and my heart rate was high. I backed off, put it in a harder gear and powered through while focussing on lowering my heart rate and breathing. I got my 2nd wind on the 4th lap, too late. I went to upshift into my big ring on the last downhill before the uphill sprint finish. My chain went over the big ring to the outside and dropped off. I wound up pushing my bike over the finish for 7th. Not a stellar performance, but I didn't crash or fall which is nice to say, finally.
I've decided I don't like driving 4 hours alone. It's just not something I want to do again. All the way home I second-guessed my decision to go. It wasn't a cheap weekend, even though I didn't have to pay for lodging. But this is what I like to do. So I'm gonna finish out the season and think about goals for 2011. I'm thinking I want to create a network of friends that want to race and possibly go to races together. I thoroughly enjoyed last year, even though I only raced once it was full of camaraderie. I truly miss that.
Next week is Lexington, then Dayton, then 2 days in Indy with one day before leaving for Bend. I should think about Christmas shopping soon.
ps Don't get me wrong! I have definitely made some fast friends with women in my races. It's just that they all live out of town.
peace to all