Tales from the inaugural edition of Roll In The Hay with BOB ‘Cross, third category

A hot one.  Skratch doping today.  A bottle and a half today after breakfast, which may have been overzealous because I had to stop just off 495 and emergency piss in a vacant lot.  But allow me to regale you with tales of bodily function another day.  That reminds me, I’m sitting on a great one from Baystate two seasons ago.  Today it’s a race report.

Oh my God, I have to race a bike today.

I’m glad I have the mentality for this right now, because I sure as hell don’t have anything else.

If you’re just catching up, I have an 8-month old baby who wakes up twice a night and according to Strava I ride an average of 1 time per week, 18 miles, for an hour and twenty-three minutes.

We take off and I sit contently on the back of our 20ish person field.  Although we’ve barely started, I feel like things aren’t going to get completely out of hand.  Despite having what feels like almost no fitness, I think I can wring out enough to stay within reach of at least someone today.  This will be a hard day, but not a complete waste of time.  Actually, that’s kind of a lie.  I felt awful.  I was dead meat.

After the start we take a right turn just past the pit, 18 seconds into the race.  I know I haven’t raced on tubulars in a year, but something feels waaaaaaaay too squirmy.  I know I have them aired up kind of low, but not this low.  And the race is over thanks for coming out.

The rear tire is flat, and I’ve got an entire lap to ride on that wheel before I can pit.  Lovely.

I make the best of it when the bike is moving straight, but turns are a gingerly affair.  A terrific glue and tape job is the only thing keeping me upright.  A few minutes in, in spite of things, I look back and I’m still leading at least one rider by a reasonable gap.

Another minute in, I’m driving left on an off-camber section at speed, and it’s too much for the tire.  I wash out and nearly decimate a section of course tape.  Stop, restart.

And my chain is jammed between my small ring and chain catcher.  Of course it is.

Off the bike, cranking the shit out of it, trying to get it to jump back up.  The guy trailing behind me passes as I stand there holding my bike by the top tube.  This is now less than less than ideal.

An infinite amount of time later, I come back through the pit.  A nice gentleman throws my spare wheel on, but I have zero will to fight.  I am tired, everyone is gone, I now have only one good brake (rear rim is now much narrower and the pads barely contact it), and I want to pack up and leave.

For reasons unknown, I stay in, getting lapped repeatedly.  I have no idea how I willed myself to finish.  I really, really did not want to be out there.  I saw three to go and started looking for a place to turn off.  Three turned into two, and just before one to go I’m sitting up, hoping to get lapped one last time to end the suffering early.  A minute slower and I would have had my wish.  24th place and lanterne rouge.

I’ve been hanging by a thread all year, and having been sick and inactive for the three weeks was probably the last thing I needed.  I probably also didn’t need to see Rush the night before and fill up on Amber Road and shitty concession food, but I did, forsaking half of the usual awful night of sleep I get.

I’m totally screwed.  This season is going to be so hard.  But look at this.  How is it not worth it.

See you at the back.


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