Monday, February 26, 2007

Eye of the Liger



Went out to Snelling this weekend for the races.

Our Cat 3 team has been having a blast so far, so I was looking forward to this event.

We of course, had all kinds of plans for the race. Who was going to do what and when. We think we're so smart.

We had about 30 something women in our race. I like that. The wind started picking up. I like that even better. And no hills had suddenly popped up on the course. I like that the best.

Lots of team represented, including Alto Velo, Davis, Mako, EMC, Mintys, Bellas and others. It was all the usual slow and go for the first lap.


About midway through the second lap, my wing man Laura flatted. I was devastated. I looked around to see where the other bellas, Nancy and Heidi, were, and they were gone too. And so was about a quarter of the field. (Turned out that someone threw tacks across the road)

So now I was all alone. All of our planning....suddenly meant nothing. My usual job in the race...now irrelevant. I had a small moment of panic. But then, as I took stock of the situation, I felt a little liberated.

Although I will completely slay myself for my teammates, and they are my inspiration for training so hard and the reason I am still trying and training, I would be lying if I didn't say that once in a while, just once every once in a while, it would be nice to ride a little ... ummm .... selfishly ... just to see.

You know?

So I changed game plans. Being a solitary rider amongst teams, I could not chase everything down (Or so I thought but have since been told that thats what a solo rider has to do - blech). I decided to let other teams chase, but to watch for breaks that contained the major teams.

At the beginning of lap 3, a break sort of slid off the front in the cross wind. It was lovely in its subtlety. I saw it happening but noted that it contained none of the teams in the pack, so I was not worried.

Then I waited just a wee bit too long for those teams to react. And when they didnt, or couldn't, I tried to get across. And I failed pretty miserably. The pack caught me before I caught them.

My move, the cross winds, and our frantic chase splintered the peloton. Now we were only about 8 chasing 4.

I was hoping to catch my breath and then get the group organized to chase. With 2 mintys, 2 davis and 3 emc, I figured organizing shouldn't be a problem. Except one super strong minty kept surging super hard and then going to the back to rest, then rushing to the front to surge super hard. Her efforts were valiant, but all they did was disrupt our chase. Her surges meant that we had to jump on her wheel, and then recover.

At one point it looked like we were going to organize, Alexis from Tibco and Amanda from Davis were great at trying to get our little chase to calm down and to organize. We finally got the rotation going and were ready to pick up steam. We inched closer to the group...when Minty surged again. Sigh.

I watched the group of four ahead crab crawl up the road.

There comes a point when you need to flee the sinking ship.

Unfortunately it was Carrie Potter, not me that fled. And I second guessed my ability to make it to her.

And she made it across.

I was so mad at myself. What was I afraid of? Failing and getting dropped? Yes.

I was taking my turn at the front on the bumpy section while i was ruminating all of this. I was way over on the wind side of the road so that I could give my chase mates plenty of room in the cross wind. When Minty surged hard on the complete other side of the road, leaving me to scramble yet again from my spot at front to get on her wheel.

Now I was pissed at me and pissed at minty (only race pissed, not for real pissed). And mad that I kept being so damn afraid. I mean maaaaaad. And I don't get mad.

I vowed to shred the pack apart if I had to and to get across to that break. And if I didn't then I was going to lay it all out in the field sprint even though it was for the last of the tshirt spots.

At that moment I didn't care if I got dropped. I didn't care if I pissed off minty. I didn't care if my legs couldn't handle what my heart wanted. For the first time in a long time I wanted a chance to win. I mean really wanted....a visceral want.

And then I flatted.

21 Comments:

At 10:24 PM, February 26, 2007, Blogger McSassy said...

"I didn't care of my legs couldn't handle what my heart wanted."

OMG that one line....

That is the key to being a bike racer and not a bike rider with a number pinned on.

Caliente Estupendo!

MS

 
At 7:05 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger X Bunny said...

another successful failure!

the field better be prepared....i think they may see some sparks coming out your ears at the next one!

 
At 7:12 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger Flandria said...

"another successful failure!"

I like that one too!

 
At 7:21 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger Ippoc Amic said...

I second mcsassy...love your description and the emotion and just all of it...and of course the little crazy eyed kiki

 
At 7:56 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger marscat said...

thanks for sharing all the hard stuff so honestly.

 
At 8:26 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

sabine is remembering how to push herself cross-eyed ... just like the kiki.

 
At 8:54 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger PAB(a.k.a.CID) said...

she's not gonna start attacking my feet is she?

yikes.

-

that was a great report, i loved every word.

 
At 10:06 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger nicknameless said...

you never fail to inspire ;)

thanks Sabine!

 
At 10:50 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger trac said...

OK this has nothing to do with your actual post but did you know that:

Lion males have a hormone that makes them huge, and lion females have a hormone that suppresses this huge-ness in their lion fetuses. So in lion-lion mixes, it's all good. Tigers don't have these hormones. So if you mix a male lion and a female tiger, you get this huge-ass liger because the female tiger can't supress the little liger fetus from growing exponentially large. When you mix a male tiger with a lioness, you geta teeny-weeny little tigon because the lioness is supressing growth on a tiger baby with no growth-inducing hormones.

And that is the difference between a liger and a tigon.

 
At 11:35 AM, February 27, 2007, Blogger X Bunny said...

did someone say comments had to have something to do with the post?!

 
At 12:11 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger Dr. X said...

Awesome report on the hormonal growth determinants in ligers & tigons! Oh, I heart the race report too, except those last 4 words.

 
At 12:35 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger PAB(a.k.a.CID) said...

that was a very cool comment, trac.

Are ligers and tigons very common these days? There was one at the SLC zoo when I was a kid and it seemed to be a big deal then.

 
At 3:04 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger jeninsb said...

ah, you write so good. so much passion. so beautiful.

as for the bike racing part, well, you wouldn't want it to come too easily, now would you?

 
At 3:24 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger MoJito said...

If only you raced like you wrote, it'd all go so smoothly.

And how come everyone likes ligers, but no one likes tigosn? I vote for the underdog. Err, I mean undercat.

 
At 3:33 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger Velo Bella said...

I think Kiki is a tigon. A wee cross eyed tigon.

 
At 3:40 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

That was a hard race. I thought I had the guts to lay it all out, but I didn't really find them until Sunday, after getting burned on Saturday.

It's always rough when a chase is disrupted by good intentions. Both of the minties in the 3s at Snelling are really approachable, though, so if it happens again...

 
At 3:42 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Oh, crap, I just re-read my comment & it sounds really patronizing to me. Crap. Not intended that way.

Tracie is a bio-stud.

 
At 6:25 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger Velo Bella said...

i'm not gonna say anything

we might need that skill to serve us later....

 
At 6:41 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger Lilly Bella said...

Sometimes the first pedal stroke is realizing you can...

I on the other hand come from a discipline that never quits a RR, so when I flatted I kept going if it wasn't for wanting to cheer you in, I would have finished last...but finished, because in my world failing is not finishing. Everything else in between is a pedal stroke towards success.

 
At 7:05 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger trac said...

news just in from Ligers Anonymous: Ligers don't typically live very long because they keep growing and growing and growing. If they live long enough to reporduce, you can get a second generation of mix-breed cats. A liger and a tiger = a titi. A liger and a lion = a lili.

OK I'll make myself stop now!! For some reason I never turn down a good opportunity to show off my liger-knowledge.

 
At 8:58 PM, February 27, 2007, Blogger Lilly Bella said...

wow I'm a lili

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

 

>