That’s racing. Seems a very fitting start for this blog entry, because today I had a little problem that pretty much ended my race. After less than desirable results last week, I was ready to put down a hard effort today. I lined up on the second row, which wasn’t altogether bad because I was in first place after the first 100 meter. I held the holeshot through the first corner and then sat up to let the riders back come around and set tempo. With it being a hot and windy day, the last thing I wanted to do was cook myself on the earlier laps! The 4 of us looped around the twisted up course for two laps and then all hell broke loose.
A rider bridged up to us and quickly came around me. I sat on his wheel for several turns until I realized that a gap was opening. So, I started to move back around him. Only problem is I moved at the wrong time–I started around him just before a turn. My thinking was outside line, swing wide and then hammer it. I yelled out that I was coming but he jumped for the same line. We came together briefly, which caused him to unclip. When he did, he stuck his left foot into my front spokes. Ouch! I didn’t go down or break any spokes, but he had to stop and eventually dropped out (sorry again!).
I settled back into racing but didn’t feel right. My effort and heart rate seemed way too high for the output. I looked down and saw that the front tire was wobbling and rubbing on the brakes. I watched it wobble for a few rotations and then decided to ride on it. When I crossed the barriers the next time, I realized it was worse than it looked because the front tire stopped spinning as soon as it came off the ground. I rolled through the next section and then jumped off to release the front brake.
“Oh yeah!” I was running Bert’s 23mm wheels! The brakes were too tight to release even though I loosened them when I put on the wheels. I struggled with it a few more seconds and then gave up and jumped back on. And I went backwards from there, finishing in 14th place. The power required to push through the grass, wind, and bent front wheel was just too much.
So, big shout out to Bert for letting me tear up your sweet wheel, and a big apology to the rider that went down!