Sunday, August 9, 2015

Back to Racing, Or...The Power to Stop Traffic! was the Boston Harbor Circuit Race--my final road race of the season (still have the TT tomorrow). For the first time in, well, I think...forever, there were more OOA gals than the other teams. Starbucks had three, Bike Sale had three, and we had four! We are counting Jasmine. Even though she is a junior (just 15 years old), and wears the RAD Racing kit, she is one of us OOA gals! 

Boston Harbor is 5 laps around a 6 mile course. It's on home turf, so we are very familiar with it. It is also one of our team sponsored races, which means we provide the "staff". More on that in a moment.

So, the race. My goal was to conserve energy (ie, don't spend time on the front,) so I could stay with the peloton (can you consider 10 people a peloton?), and not get dropped on the hills. For the most part, I did that fairly well. I usually like to stay near the front, but with only 10, I ended up being more toward the back half (but, remember, there were only 10 of us, so even being near the rear was not so far back).

On the first lap, after coming up the bit on 81st (after the big downhill), where it kind of flattened out a little, my back decided to spasm. For some reason, I'd totally forgot about that little problem I have when I haven't been doing my planks, and stretches (which I have not been doing for the last two months). It doesn't last long and I just have to keep pedaling. I was somewhat concerned because there was a much larger hill coming. If it spasmed on the not so bad hill, what was it going to do on the big hill? But, I discovered something. On the first go up the big hill to Zangle, I got out of the saddle for the last quarter or so. When I sat back down, and the road flattened out a little, there was no back spasm! Hallelujah! So I did that every time.

Round and round we went. One lap, two laps, three laps. At the end of the third, and beginning of the fourth, I ended up on the front. When I passed the finish line, Jeff asked me what I was doing on the front. I yelled to him that I wouldn't stay for long. I just wanted to go down the first hill once without having to hit the brakes so as to not run into someone in front of me. As soon as we headed up to the turn onto 81st, I got off the front. Some might say they just passed me because it was an uphill--okay, they might be right. But, mission accomplished, I was no longer in the wind. When we finished lap 4, Jeff gave me the thumbs up. 

Into the final lap, the pace picked up...for awhile anyway (perhaps it was just for show--make it look like we were really racing). On the backside, away from all the spectators, we returned to our not so speedy pace. Of course, everyone was really trying to conserve energy for that last go up the hill to Zangle. We came up the hill not a whole lot faster than we'd been doing, except I noticed little Jasmine was pretty speedy on this last one. At the 1km, the pace picked up, but still not sprinting. At the 200m, Jasmine did pretty much what we had hoped she would do; she sprinted and won! Jean, me, and Debbie gave it all we had, and came in 4th, 5th, and 6th. I tried to get out of the saddle to sprint, but my butt refused to rise. Still, I t was a good race.
Yay, Jasmine!
The official results.

The Power to Stop Traffic

I had two jobs for the afternoon races. For the first shift, I was the Finish Line Marshall. I signed up for this, having no idea what it involved. It was really quite minimal. All I had to do was close the road at Zangle and 73rd during the finish of the Cat 3 Men and the Masters Men races. This is necessary because they get the whole road at the 200 m.

My second job was being a Corner Marshall on Corner 3 for the second afternoon wave. Corner 3 is the busiest corner of the race. It is the intersection of Woodard Bay Rd. and Zangle. It takes four Corner Marshalls because of the way the intersection creates a triangle. I was on the downhill side of Zangle. It was the Men Pro 1,2, and the Women Pro 1,2,3 races. The men did 8 laps, and the women did 6. The other times I've been a Corner Marshall (at various races), I've seldom had to stop any cars. Oh, I close the road at my spot, but there has hardly ever been any cars anyway. Not today! Every time we closed Corner 3, I had a line of cars! It was awesome! I had the power of...the STOP sign! I've been at the mercy of flaggers many times on my tours. This time I was the flagger! Okay...I'm getting carried away. But, it was fun to actually get to do something!

So, that was the day. A great race, and a satisfying job! Tomorrow is the WSBA Masters Championship Time Trial. Then maybe, I'll be able to get out on my new cyclocross bike! Yep, Hal Jordan is finally here! Sorry, I haven't even had time to photograph his handsomeness. As soon as I do, I'll post the photo.

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