Sunday, April 1, 2007

Junior Gearing, Asthma, and Historical Markers

Ward's Ferry is a two hour and fifteen minute drive from Davis, which means leaving home at the ungodly hour of 4:45 am for an 8:00 start... and I thought that P/1/2 races would mean we wouldn't have to get up so early. NOT! (what is this NOT joke?) This suit is NOT black, and we did NOT drive 2:15 minutes to race 12 miles...

Alas, we did. When your coach is cranking out 400 watt painervals each time the course tips upwards, and you are completely spun out in your 52x14 each time the course tips downwards, racing is hard... throw in the random chest-constricting asthma strike, and the outcome is inevitable. AWfoSho did one lap at race pace and three more on cruise control just for miles... El Gigante's equation was similar in the 3's... one lap at speed, one more just for miles.

My day was slightly different... I thoroughly enjoyed nine hours in the car: 2:15 there, 3 following the race, 2:45 back... NOT! Consolations, however, included numerous gold country historical markers (someday I will stop and read them all), tiny little tourist traps like Sonora, Dry Town, and Angels Camp (everytime I drive through them with their old-west store fronts I can't help but picture muddy main streets, cowboy boots, and ten gallon hats along with placer pans, picks, and shovels), and twisty little descents that squeal tires as I try to keep pace with those rocketships on their human powered vehicles (there is nothing like chasing a race in a car full of bicycle wheels when the racers are going downhill)!

One of the coolest things about racing on country roads in the NCNCA is the places those races take you, the history you are riding through, and the sites you get to see... without bike racing, I'd be missing Mark Twain's Calaveras County cabin, the church featured in Little House on the Prairie, and hillsides blanketed in orange California Poppies. Bike racing just fills the glass that much fuller! Did I mention that there is a really cool fishing show on the radio at 5:00 on Saturday mornings... NOT!

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