Sunday, June 28, 2009

Keith Berger Crit: Sometimes, you gotta sit up

Interesting day. Uneventful race.

Interesting day for a few reasons, the best one being the following:

I show up to the course and start pinning on my number. I was standing and chatting with a guy (lets call him red kit) I've raced against a few times, and as these things often go, we've built up a sort of camaraderie. The usual ball busting and 'hey how have your races been' kind of chatter. We give each other space in a race if we're near each other, and I'd let him in front of me if he was caught in the wind in a non crucial lap.

Simply put, we respect each other.

What was hilarious today, was that another racer (with whom I'm on similar terms, lets call him blue kit) came up to me today and said, "so I'm going to crush you today right." Wait, what?
I replied, "I'm here to make friends, not enemies." We had a good little laugh, and it was funny because red kit joined in. Harsh, dudes...

I'm pretty tempted to put in some red vs blue right now, but I'll let you do the honors and just link a youtube search. Enjoy. It's incredible.


As for the race:

We lined up, as everything was getting under way, I let out a huge burp. Alright, maybe two burps. This was followed by a wonderful quote from Shrek. "Better out than in I always say."

Broke the ice a little bit and everyone laughed. I should burp more often.

And so the race began.

I did zone out for a second and almost kept going straight at a turn. That would have been terrible, but it didn't happen.

I didn't feel right at all. I wasn't having any issues making attempts, but I just didn't feel 'right'.

I started in the back again, and tailgunned for a little bit. I really need to stop doing that. For some reason, the old noggin' wasn't working and it took me a few laps to figure out the course. That's a little ridiculous...

Turns out that the sprint would have suited me. Corners 3 and 4 come pretty quickly and you have to hold position coming into and out of both of them to have any shot at anything. I like long sprints, so jumping right after the last corner was my plan.

I moved up slowly through the ranks.

I ended up gaining position coming through the start/finish lap, but ended up expending too much energy in the wind since I was on the outside every time. Shoulda been on the inside as I was a few times.

With 2 to go, I was at the front. Big mistake. I tried to get into some shelter and managed to get on a teammates wheel. Good.


My teammate adjusted position to avoid a pothole, which is fine since he had the room. As a result, however, he moved right in front of the guy next to me. I lost my wheel.

I drifted back to try and hide for a little bit.

In the last lap, I desperately tried to move up yet again. As did the rest of the field.

Perhaps too desperately.

I jumped on someone's wheel and followed them onto the outside. All of a sudden, I found the field shifting and adjusting. The inside was pushing out. I had to brake. Hard.

I managed to complete the turn inches away from the curb. Phew!

I looked up the road and I was about a third of the way back. I see red kit go hard on the outside again and I get on his wheel. He weaves a little bit to get where he wants to go. We have a stretch of road and two corners left to go before the finish.

I look around me. I'm still a third of the way back. If I push now, I'll be able to get into the top ten, but go backwards when the sprint starts. I.e., I'll probably be a hazard to those around me.

I sit up. I finish 2nd last in 44th.

I've had a good few weekends. Now it's some time to build up some strength again and dive back in when the time is right. Not for a little bit though, I'm exhausted...

After the race, I watched the other races while marshalling. We (CVC) put on the race, so I did my part to help out. It was a good day!

It got even better after I got home since my housemates decided to take a trip to Millers Pond to go for a late night swim. What a way to end a weekend.

An Aside

A few people asked what I had written on my legs today.

I had two quoted, one on each leg, for motivation.

One, on left leg, from Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse Five':

"Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why."

Two, from Svein Tuft (

"We will never be here again."

I looked down at them a few times when I was pushing hard.

I'll post later this week about what those quotes mean to me as they're the only 2 sets of words that I know will be permanent for me.

For today, I should add the other favorite quote from Vonnegut:
"So it goes..."

Aside 2

Supposedly, people actually read this thing. I don't quite believe this. You know that you can periodically comment to let me know you actually exist right?

So comment!
Maybe??? (Pretty please??)


  1. I'm just posting a comment to offer as evidence that you have at least one reader. Even if I don't post another comment, you can trust that I'll still be lurking and reading. I love to read other people's observations and adventures to help give me a more complete picture of the races I enter, especially when those write-ups are as entertaining as yours.

  2. I always associate "So it goes..." with death.

    This is my first season really racing. I'm learning to deal with races where I don't. Live to fight another day, or just settle with finishing the race rather than going for a sprint when you're not in control of enough elements.

    No worries. It happens.

  3. Here's another comment - but you know I always read anyway!