Allow me to register my disappointment first with my teammates, who, when offered the option to ride the Tour De Syracuse, said, "yes, let's do this thing," and then when the moment of truth came near, said, "no, this thing, let's actually not do it." So, since I was the only one to show up (and because I write this thing anyway), it gets to be a personal blog. Second, allow me to register my disappointment with myself, for getting intolerably drunk and riding my bike, at very high speed, directly into a railing. In true Pyrrhic victory fashion, the railing came home with me to be stuffed and mounted, at the cost of my ability to walk and maybe a minor (ok, major) concussion. Third, I am disappointed that I did not heal faster. I am not, contrary to the way I act, made of steel, though if there were any justice in the world, I would be.
Anyway, I spent the last week limping around, not seeing a doctor, not training OR resting my leg, and eating lots and lots of candy. Luckily, I had only signed up for the crit and not the full omnium at Syracuse, which meant I could run my plan of blowing my knee out in the race and then limping home, where my youth power would fix everything up like those old people in 'Cocoon.' Knowing this, I didn't expect much out of the race, but its really kind of disheartening when your worst predictions come true. I felt good at the start, even breaking at one point, though I was immediately swallowed up by the pack (or, finger quotes, "peloton"). I did my patriotic duty as pack fodder until a gap opened up between the fast guys (us) and the faster guys (them). Then I took a long pull down the windy stretch and then another gap opened up between the fast guy (me) and the faster guys (everybody else). See what I'm doing here? Anyway, the fast guy got pulled with two laps to go, at which point he immediately sat down and wished he hadn't been so dumb as to come out. Disappointment.
The course itself was really fun, the wind less fun, and it was good to see some familiar faces kickin' around ('sup Army?). Everybody always wants better weather, but really, it was nice enough. The fields were split, mercifully, because those old dudes are fast. Also, the younger crowd has an entirely different tenor than that noted last week, which works well for me because I can't take anything seriously. I'll just have to change my race strategy from "go slower than everybody else" to "go faster than everybody else. Beyond that, anybody know any good knee surgeons?
Before racing, I'd fallen off any bike in any serious fashion maybe two or three times, and that was when I was six. Now, I've managed five chance encounters with the ground since March, with the scars to prove it. A recap: Stevens, my second race ever, I'm unaware that braking in a turn is bad. Result: can barely wear pants for a couple days. Delaware: I run into my teammate at very low speed with a very large audience. Yale: I fall off my bike after trackstanding like a jackass, dropping my chain directly before the start of the crit. Penn State: I run over someone's rear wheel, resulting in a purple and bilious-yellow-green mass on my hip, which has now turned into a sort of carapace to protect me from similar accidents. And now, last weekend, running my leg into railing so hard that the hurt comes out the other end. If I had any sense at all I'd take up canoeing.
Here, enjoy the dubious honor of seeing my inexpertly shaved and tanned legs: