Monday, February 22, 2010

The big race...

I am back in the land of the Kettle Fries and it is a great place to be...munching as we speak!

Game over.....race done...bad habits back in place.

The big weekend in Methven didn't go off! Having said that; was fifth over the line, second in category ensuring a podium finish, did eat breakfast with Robin Malcolm from Outrageous Fortune and did stay in a five star B and B. I guess I was expecting a lot of mayhem; 800 rowdy women cougaring virile young urban lads, carnage on the streets and all that other good clean fun stuff.

I think I am getting old....girls weekends seem so sensible now, good footwear, classy accommodation, excellent wine, all food groups on the pyramid covered. Where are the hangovers, self revulsion and the nagging anxious guilt gone?

Back to the race....lined up at the start line up front, would have slept there overnight if allowed. Watched my heart monitor rise and fall as we waited for the big go...registered riders A - D took off with one to two minute intervals then we randoms were let off in waves of 50. Being up front in the first 50 ensured I didn't have to weave through lesser mortals. The adrenalin was doing its job as I kept in the top 20 from go...the other girls up there were very quiet...surreptiously sussing each other out and making lots of mental notes.

About half way round the leader led us up the garden path as we all viaed off the actual route alerted (five minutes too late) by the dickhead spectators watching us go the wrong way. With the reaction speed of a navy seal I instantly turned around and biked like a demon to catch the now new front team of the peloton. Back in line in the top 20, heart back to pace we meandered along and came across the D, C and B grade riders and engulfed them in our giant vortex. With new experienced and wily leaders we carried on at a very doable speed no one prepared to waste themselves and all doing their bit to rotate.

My trusty sidekick soon to be asskicker Emma shadowed me relentlessly, watching my seasoned ass keeping its place in the top 20 as instructed by superguru Neinka the night before. My speedo showed me all manner of details as I pressed indiscrimately at the buttons, none of which I could use to my advantage to the race. Wouldn't show me the distance travelled so I had no idea how far I had to go. I started to tire of all the go slow tactics and the lack of hills meant there was no breaking of the large group. With about five k's to go the atmosphere grew tense with the impending attacks imminent. An over aggressive jostling ended in a loud and ominous crash just behind me. I didn't recognise the agonising cry as Emma's and pushed on shakily. After adjusting my hyperventilation and justifying not stopping to myself, I powered on to finish the job.

The finish line was soon upon us without the helpful assistance of sign saying so. As Neinka's arse lifted for a sprint finish, I followed suit and hung onto her for grim death rising in euphoria over the finish mat then realising it wasn't the finish mat, only the first of two pads. DoH! Two passed me to get over the second pad. Big lesson. Keep riding till there is noone around you. Officially fifth over, unofficially 3rd over. I was thrilled to be in the top ten and in one piece with no flat tyres.

The race crash I heard and the two others I heard about marred an otherwise fabulous experience for me. Following a lead car with the leading ladies made me feel like a real biker not just a pretend one. Having said that, it is not a place I want to continue to reside in. The 'hard cores' can have it. I'm all about the social, camaraderie of riding and drinking in the atmosphere as opposed to grinding everyone else out regime. The podium finish was also another project I have wanted to experience and now have so no need to do again.

Onto my second bowl of kettles now.....

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