Now that I was basking in some glory winning my first race of the day, the question now was what was the point of racing again?
There’s no way I could improve upon my position and anyone with fresh legs would have a great advantage, so winning seemed out of the picture.
Seeing how I still had the afternoon free, I had the “What do I have to lose I could always make an excuse for quitting” attitude, so why not.
Lining up, I already felt a bit fatigued and since I didn’t have a strong start the previous race, then why push myself at the beginning?
Consistency was at play again as after the straight away, I was in 6th, but I was asking if I really had anything left to make up ground.
I passed a rider after the first turn who stated before the siren rang that this was his first race and seeing the gear high gear he was stuck in, it would be a learning experience when to shift that we’ve all been through.
As I sat in 5th, the race settled and I didn’t really feel like I had the jump at that point to really pass anyone, but there was something more troubling.
When I played college hockey for Daryl Evans, his one quote that stuck with me is when you get tired physically, you make mistakes mentally.
I could tell by taking bad lines forcing me to unclip and periodically forgetting where the upcoming turns were in the course that I had to really focus in order to race, let alone not crash.
Soon, I found myself in 4th behind a pair of evenly matched riders who consistently stayed within a few meters meaning passing both at once would be a tough move.
Luckily, my legs started to loosen and as I was approaching my favorite corner, I made my move.
Not as slick as I had hoped, but I somehow got the job done.
After only the first lap, there was one rider left to catch, but I had severe doubts whether I could ever catch up.
I assumed this guy had fresh legs as the time gap didn’t seem to come down.
Not wanting a win to slip away so early, you start trying to cut corners which doesn’t always pay off.
Trying to take a downhill at full speed, I nearly clipped a stake on the left which caused me to overshoot the right side.
I was about to jump back on my bike, but figuring the win was now gone with this being the middle of the third lap for a race that would probably go only five.
Before I re-entered the course, I checked around and backtracked to pickup my water bottle instead of trying to shave a few more second.
The twins came up on me asking generously if I was okay as they passed by, but even though I wasn’t hurt, my thoughts were questioning if I should call it a day.
I figured to complete the lap since my friend’s tent with beer and tacos were in that vicinity, but somehow, I had closed on the twins before that point, so I kept at it.
Once again, I had to not only pass these two, but a third rider from another race to get back in to second position.
Even though I had one guy left to beat, it didn’t seem possible.
I could see traces of that rider far ahead for what I was guessing was a minute gap, but it was a bit confusing as there were other riders on the course wearing the same SoCalCross jersey.
Oh yeah, things got worse…
Coming into that sharp climb in the middle of the lap, I knew I would be passing a rider who was out of steam on the heart of it.
I called out “On Your Left” as I approached, but the guy didn’t react, so I had no choice but to go right.
Guess what happened at the last second.
It was at slow enough speed that we were both okay (as I thought), but once again, more valuable seconds ticked off and the twins were right back behind me again.
I just kept on racing saying if I started the day saying I finished first and second in two races, that would be quite an accomplishment, but I couldn’t silence that part of my brain unhappy with not winning.
Then exactly one lap after my crash, Fortune’s Fool beset the lead rider as I could see him dealing with a mechanical.
This provided me enough time to get back in front while the rider jumped back on as I tried holding him off until the finish.
Afterwards, he told me it was a dropped chain (part of the reason why I leave it in one ring the whole time) and that he actually was also on the podium for the first race (people look different without their helmets on), but was also facing fatigue issues at that point.
Hustling, it looked like I had a fair enough gap as we approached the finish line, but even though we were going slow….ugghh!
I forgot we had one more lap!!!
Keeping at it, my lead started to grow to the point that I took it easy on the second half on that last lap.
I was jealous of the rider in front of me grabbing that beer before the finish line because I would have taken it!!
Nonetheless, going two for two was a bit unreal, even though there wasn’t a lot of riders racing.
Still, I think it’s time to move up to B’s, but I realize there’s a lot I’d have to work on to be competitive, like turning, mounting, braking and probably a few other things.
Thanks again Dot and Jeff somehow putting together these races week after week which is an amazing feat of it’s own.
The last race of 2018 is in Moreno Valley and if you haven’t had a chance in taking part of the fun, try it out no matter what skill level you are!