fat lady singin'

Race Report: Opus #7, May 30, 2006

Yeah, look, I'm still alive. I tried to post on Friday but it wouldn't let me (update: when I posted this post the one from Friday magically appeared. Stupid Blogger. You can't fool me), and then I went camping and there is no internet in the woods, and even so I got shit from Andy last night because apparently I had eight whole hours at work in which the most important thing on my calendar should have been blogging, despite little speedbumps like not having anything to say. I mean, I guess I could have posted this: "Went camping. Drank a lot of beer. Went another whole week without touching my bike." Yeah, you read that last part right. Didn't ride 5/18-5/22, went running and made my legs hurt, did Opus, did the hill ride, didn't ride 5/25-5/29, did Opus. That is a good way to get legs o' wood, and that's exactly what I had last night.

Which brings me to my race report. Paula P had twisted some arms and gotten all the 1/2/3 ladies to stay home for this one, so this was a special cat 4 only Opus. Still there were 18 of us at the line, seven of which were Birchwood. Karla pretended to be scared when she saw us but I think she was just trying to psych us out, and it didn't work. You go ahead with those mind games if it makes you feel better, Karla. All of us who saw you wearing blue and silver shoes know the truth.

(No, I don't know what that means either.)

Anyway, off we went, and the Blue Train went to the front immediately. Gilby had been making some noise about wanting the first sprint, so we let her sit in while the rest of us pulled for the first two laps, only to have her take off at the beginning of the third lap. I guess she changed her mind. That confused me enough that I momentarily forgot what I was supposed to be doing, and by the time I remembered that the first sprint was not our only goal for the race, I was two thirds of the way back in the pack. Whoops. Then there was some sketchy stuff where Maria stuck her handlebar in my left butt cheek and gave me enough of a shove that I also bounced off of Karla, who was on my right, but if you have to go bouncing off of people those two are a good choice because they both kept riding steady and nothing came of it. Thanks, guys! Then there was some more jockeying for position. I suck at that. It is apparently really easy to push me out of line because it happens ALL THE TIME. I was in a shitty position going into the sprint, and what with the aforementioned legs o' wood I found myself on the wrong side of the gap when all was said and done. Up ahead a group of four had formed -- three of 'em ours, and one of 'em Karla. It wouldn't have been too hard to catch them, but I figured three out of four was too good of a situation to waste by accidentally towing the whole field up, so I sat up and moved to the front to block. Gilby joined me there and together we controlled the pack for a few laps and kept the pace low to allow our girls to get further up the road. It was going great until out of nowhere Penelope went rocketing past us on the outside to bridge to the break. Three out of five still seemed like decent odds, so we let her go (but not without swearing).

Gilby and I took care of the pack for about half of the remaining race, covering the few small attacks that happened, but really it was quite uneventful because the Bellas had their two strongest riders in the break and weren't any more motivated to chase than we were, and none of the other teams had enough riders to mount any sort of chase. With five laps left in the race it was getting boring. Apparently Gilby was thinking the same thing because suddenly she attacked and instantly opened a huge gap. I looked around and nobody seemed that interested in chasing her, so I figured what the hell and jumped after her. It took me about half a lap to catch her, and then we started working together to try and bridge to the break.

Long story short, it didn't happen. But the field behind us never got organized enough to catch us, and there was a prime (not to be confused with the points sprints) for a 30-minute massage gift certificate that only the two of us were in contention for--while we appreciated it, what exactly were they trying to do by pitting two teammates against each other? How vicious a fight did they think they were going to get? I said to Gilby, "You want it?" and she said "Sure!" so I faked a sprint and let her have it, cuz we're a shiny happy communist team and share our prizes anyway! And a couple laps after that we were done. I actually did try to outsprint her at the finish, but you wouldn't have known by watching. Again, those legs o' wood. I gotta start riding again.

Up ahead, I guess the sprint points were getting divided pretty evenly. My teammates later came to the forehead-smacking realization that sharing points is not the way to get the win for the team, and indeed they wound up with third through fifth. Oh well, live and learn. Gilby and I at least had lots of fun playing the tactical game, and you know what I found out? Blocking is awesome, because you don't have to go as hard! Which makes it a great job to have when you haven't been on your bike in two weeks.

Afterward we had a pizza party, courtesy of MWCMR, and watched the men's 1/2/3 race. As the pack passed about halfway through, Hollywood yelled "Do the wave!" at us. This seemed like a good idea, so we all lined up and the next time the pack passed we did the wave. Hollywood loved it, since it was his idea, but everybody else was like "what the fuck, freaks," which nearly made me pee my pants laughing. (I said nearly, you ass, yes you, I did not have to ride home in wet chamois.)

And thus concludes Opus for 2006. I got exactly no points despite Gilby constantly threatening me ("If you don't get at least one point this week, I will start a rumor that you were seen doing a brick workout!" -- IT'S NOT TRUE, PEOPLE), but I did get the First Cat 4 title for four of the six weeks that I was there, and now I can return triumphantly to the Tuesday Night Betty Slugfest, the real world championships.

Thanks again, Loon State. You guys rock.


Blogger Strats said...

Actually, rumor has it the 1/2/3's weren't saying "what the fuck", but rather, "show us your tits". Which probably sounds like a good idea, but would actually probably cause the worse crash in Opus history. But, for many of those guys, they probably haven't seen a tit in a while (certainly not cyclist-chick tit, since there's just not enough to go around), so it's probably worth a crash.

5/31/2006 1:07 PM  
Blogger Strats said...

By the way...sounds like we have the same training schedule.

5/31/2006 1:10 PM  
Blogger Eclectchick said...

Gosh, I LOVE reading these race reports!! Seriously, it's almost like being there. Almost. Since my hamstring is NEVER going to heal, I guess the race reports will have to do.

5/31/2006 1:46 PM  
Blogger annie said...

Never? Really? That sucks, you've been nursing that thing for HOW long now? :'(

Sarah, are you TRYING to get all the filthy google searches to land on my blog? Try saying "tit" a few more times, why don'tcha....

5/31/2006 2:58 PM  
Blogger Strats said...


5/31/2006 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey this isn't what I was searching for! Google is really crappy these days! ;-)


5/31/2006 3:41 PM  
Anonymous andy said...

I believe it was pete saying that, sarah...

5/31/2006 4:16 PM  
Blogger Alyson Wilson said...

Great race report... and great blog. Keep spinning... and typing.
-Alyson, thisnext.com/blog

5/31/2006 5:30 PM  
Blogger karla said...

tit, tit. Just trying to help!

5/31/2006 10:40 PM  
Blogger annie said...

Dang, guys, I just checked my statcounter and NOTHIN'. I was so sure that someone out there was constantly googling "show us your cyclist-chick tits"....

6/01/2006 8:39 AM  
Blogger Eclectchick said...

I checked stat counter once to see what keywords were being found on my blog. I couldn't believe my eyes. Someone found my blog by searching for "nude triathlete"!!!!

Now I think twice about using particular words - which definitely cuts down on the fun factor. Oh well.

6/01/2006 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Well, for what it's worth, our school blocked your page today -- only the second time I've known that to happen! It says something like "weighted phrase limit exceeded," which might mean that the word "tit" can appear only so many times. On the other hand, it did NOT block the "mooning" scene the other day..... I have been very careful about checking your blog at work since! ;-)

6/01/2006 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anne Grabowski chiming in...
Nice Report. Sounds like you're doing well racing the Crits.

6/03/2006 9:19 AM  

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