yes, i ride the short bus.

Race Report: Ken Woods Memorial Road Race

Today was the soggiest, windiest, nastiest colder-than-a-witch's-tit hellhole of a day anyone could have asked for. And I hope nobody did ask for it, because if I find out who it was, I will kick their ass. That sucked. When I peeled off my clothes afterward I squeezed about a gallon of water out of them. But despite the meteorological nastiness, 38 women showed up for the cat 4 race. Thirty-eight! That is absolutely a new record. I did not know there were that many women in the entire metro area that rode bikes. Hopefully it'll stay that way, because how cool is that?

My race, however, was not cool. Not at all what I had hoped it would be. I made the stupid stupid rookie mistake of lining up near the back, and what with the crazy sketchiness of the other women that were near the back, by the time I finally made it out of the parking lot alive (seriously, ladies, learn a few pack riding skills before jumping into a race... I'm glad you're enthusiastic, but please?) I was at the very back of the group. Then I made the stupid stupid rookie mistake--and this one was extra retarded, jeez, I still can't believe I did this--of just sitting there, even though I knew it would string out as soon as we went around the corner, but in the past it hasn't been that hard for me to get back to where I want to be even as people drop off, so I didn't make much effort to get to the front.

Stupid, stupid, stupid. When we did go around the corner it didn't string out, it exploded. Suddenly there were 50 foot gaps everywhere. I had to put everything I had into leapfrogging group to group, half of which was solo bridges into the wind, the other half of which was dodging slower people who were obviously not expecting anyone to go whizzing by them at twice their speed. It was nuts, and I was burning matches I wouldn't have had to burn if I'd been smart in the first place and moved up before the corner.

So there I was, five miles in and still not on the lead group, but making excellent progress... and then one of my teammates crashed in front of me and went sliding across the road (she's ok, she got up and finished the race), and I lost my momentum. I never did get on that lead group. I passed all the other groups, but then I was alone in the wind and as hard as I was trying to get up there, the group was busy chasing down a solo break so they weren't exactly lollygagging either. I was cooked. Fortunately, Alix pulled up behind me at that moment and we started working together to catch them.

We didn't get them while they were still a group, but eventually we picked up Penelope (formerly known as Bella P... I warned you, P, and you didn't object!), who had been shelled off the lead group, and then Sarah and one of my former GP teammates, and at this point we were so pleased to get a chance to rest that we just let the leaders go. Another stupid mistake -- after we caught our breath we should have attacked and gotten rid of the other three and gone after the next few, but we didn't. We stayed in our little group of five until the main hill at the end (we only had one lap).

I thought we were all going up the hill in a group, and we were going a pretty easy pace, but at some point I looked back from my spot on Penelope's wheel and the other three were gone. Penelope and I traded pulls the rest of the way up the hill, and when it seemed like a good time to sprint I took off, and Penelope didn't really put up much of a fight, so I rolled in alone in tenth. Which isn't bad, I guess, but it wasn't what I wanted, or what I would have gotten if I hadn't been a moron at the beginning. Live and learn though, eh?

Three of my teammates were up ahead, though, including Gilby, and they were seriously kicking ass. I heard later from the girl who came in 7th that those three totally controlled the race the entire time, and no break ever had a chance. This girl was shocked that Cat 4 women could be so organized! In fact, when I was hanging out during the afternoon races I talked to three other women who had been in the morning race, and when we were all introducing ourselves, I said I rode for Birchwood, and the three of them all let out a collective "Ohhh!" in this most impressed and awed tone. I warned you. The Blue Train is gonna be unstoppable.

Of course it had to be a Bella who took first, after all my trash-talkin'--Bella K, who I was in that chase group with last weekend at Durand, outsprinted my teammate Maria to take the yellow jersey in the MWCMR series, and yes, there was really a yellow jersey. But it ain't over yet, Bellas. We will be back. Next weekend, in fact, at the Avon Road Race, where we again have a separate cat 4 field, and hopefully I will be able to keep my retardation in check long enough to get on the front group this time. The suspense is killing you, I know it is.


Blogger the old bag said...

Ouch! I know that course...I know that course in the wind and rain






sucks to learn from your own mistakes, but sounds like yer ready for the big bus next time....

4/29/2006 9:19 PM  
Blogger Eclectchick said...

I thought of youse gals out in the nastiness that was today, racing your hearts out. You rock.

Wondering how Bella P became Penelope . . . there's gotta be a story there.

4/29/2006 11:45 PM  
Blogger Smithers said...

Today was the soggiest, windiest, nastiest colder-than-a-witch's-tit hellhole of a day anyone could have asked for. And I hope nobody did ask for it, because if I find out who it was, I will kick their ass.

Sorry, that was me who asked for it...

4/30/2006 7:51 AM  
Blogger annie said...

LOL, eclectchick, way to post a picture of your own ass! Vain much? ;-)

Actually Bella P is only Penelope because she shares her real name with my teammate and we can't very well have two of them, plus she gave me permission to make up a pseudonym for her, plus I said several posts back that unless I heard otherwise she was going to be Penelope, and I did not hear otherwise. So it is too late now.

Smithers, you are dead meat. Although maybe if you have the power to control the weather, maybe I should be nice to you. Can you arrange for Avon to be totally windless next weekend, please?

4/30/2006 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Tour Guy said...

Hello LadyVelo,

Tour guy here just chasing down somemore cycling blogs and I ran into your ;-)

What makes finding your blog just a bit more fun is the fact that were both in Minneapolis ;-)

As I began to read your post about the rain, cold and generally dreadful day I thought .... hmmm sounds a bit similar. Once I found the "about me" section of your blog I though ... imagine that.

Sorry to hear about the dam split in the race so early on. Reminds me of my old racing days about 20 years ago when I raced as a junior and catagory 3 rider.

I would hate it when me and my guys got to the race a bit late and ended up at the dam back of the pack.

Just as you mentioned.... first corner and things can string out dam fast.

You blog will be added to "Yellow Jersey's Blog Roll" please add mine if you don't mind ;-)


Brian (Aka Tour Guy)

5/01/2006 8:09 AM  
Blogger Eclectchick said...

LOL, Annie!!! Too funny! Truthfully, I don't find any part of my person worthy of vanity, least of all my bootron. I chose the picture cuz it was me, yet still anonymous. However, my bike looks lovely.

As of yesterday, I've now gone back to totally anonymous, actually. I likes it better that way.

Thanks for the Penelope explanation. And you still ROCK for being out there racing in that crap. ;-D

5/01/2006 8:54 AM  
Blogger Squirrel said...

What the hell were you doing in the back....you have game, folks with game don't go to the back, they go to the front and if there is no room you butt in and make it! Geesh Annie your hardcore, bad ass....remember.....wake up and get with the game:) All of you that race those skinny tired rigs in the rain are hardcore, man I'm such a weenie...oh well.


5/01/2006 9:09 AM  
Anonymous kris said...

fun race report!

5/01/2006 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

soon...i'm gonna reques for one on May 29th if things go the way as planned.

5/01/2006 11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know the rule book, but that sounds right, I think. I'm not planning on being a 4 the entire season, so disregard Dennis's comment lol. Like I said, May 28/29 I'm going to request for an upgrade. 75 points??? Was that just a number you used for an example or is it actual?

5/02/2006 10:21 AM  
Anonymous andy said...


5/02/2006 12:27 PM  
Blogger annie said...

for those who may be confused, I made a smartass comment about mandatory upgrades on Amanda's blog and she is responding here. Nonlinear, yes, but you all can probably handle it. ;)

75 was a joke, I was suggesting that if you keep going the way you are, you probably WILL have 75 by the end of the season. I have not counted your points but based on the results in your sidebar I am sure you are way over the 20 necessary to upgrade, and probably also over the 30 that should make it mandatory. Don't make me tell an official on you!

5/02/2006 1:51 PM  

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