- Three races in three days–more back-to-back racing than I’ve done in years and only my second bike race of the season.
- Pro 1/2 category, the longest distances with the fastest riders–didn’t want the risk of crashing in the Masters races.
- $60-plus entry fees (per day!) and pretty much guaranteed not to make it back–but still cheaper than therapy.
But I had been training intensively on the bike and feeling progress so it seemed like the best way to test myself. And when presented with the options of doing something hard, or doing something harder, I’ll invariably choose the harder path.
I’ve always loved the preparation for a bicycle race, from when I was young. Wash and lube the bike. Pack the gear bag with everything you’ll need for race day, plus extra for every conceivable weather conditions. Fill the bottles. Load the car. Pin the numbers on the jersey in the hallowed 7-pin manner. Pump up the tires. Warm-up while listening to music. I did a textbook trainer warm-up all three days because I knew the racing would be fast. One final piss, then swap out the bottles, chug some Mountain Dew, and line up to race. Wait on the line while they call up the better riders. Have a clean start.
I’ve done this, with minor variations, for every race for 30-plus years now and, it’s safe to say, I’m still perfecting it.