Yesterday was my final group ride before Boulevard, my first USCF road race. The plan was a coastal pootle to Oceanside Harbor and eleven mighty Descenders showed up for the ride.
I was under strict orders from Alpha not to push too hard – with the race less than a week away, it’s time to recover and let my body peak. No problem, I was looking forward to going for town signs.
Being the first to each town sign is a little game I discovered riding with Mark and while I’m certainly no sprinter, I’m competitive and find the game extremely fun. The Descenders don’t seem to share my passion though, so I often find myself sprinting alone. Such was the case yesterday. The interesting part (to me at least) is that I still keep jumping for every sign, knowing that no one else cares. The good news was that I didn’t have to jump very hard, which supported my goal of not pushing it.
The boys were excited about who would get to Oceanside Harbor first. I’d never been on this ride with them and wasn’t sure where the official line was. As we approached the Harbor area, the pace picked up. Mike and someone tried a cheeky move off the front, but that got chased down. As we turned into the Harbor parking lot, the pace clicked up even higher. There was a lot of motion within our little group as riders jockeyed for position. At one point, Rob tried to share the draft I was using and I shouldered him out joking, “This is my wheel, go find your own!” We laughed.
I tried asking where the line was, but couldn’t figure out the answer. So I just followed. We were zooming around the parking lot, with some traffic getting it the way and it was a bit hectic. I was probably four or five positions back when we rounded the final turn. I still had no idea where the line was when Jim and some others lit their turbos and launched. I sprinted too, but didn’t move up any. It seemed we were sprinting into a dead-end (with cars) so I sat up. Jim took the bragging rights. At least now I know where the line is.
We pootled home, with me jumping out every once in awhile to nab a sign that no one cared about. Hey guys, it’s really a fun game, a great way to spice up those boring coastal miles. Oh well, I went undefeated for signs.