Fortunately, the weekend's weather was uncharacteristically magnificent, even as "mild" winters go.
I raced both days. Saturday was my first CRCA club race. The Lion and I headed into Manhattan for the 6:30 AM race.
Not knowing what to expect, we planned our departure to leave ourselves about 45 minutes after we were to arrive at 79th St. and 5th Ave. where we usually park.
The strange thing was there were no parking spaces left within sight on 5th. Hmpf... we parked on 77th, which was empty... hmpf, again... as we rolled towards 5th, we noticed a business-card-sized sign that read something to the effect 'no parking here today, repaving road, all cars will be towed & demolished... your day will be ruined if you dare park here'. Just then, a spot opened on 5th and I told the Lion to gimme his bike & to go move the car. He moved it as I positioned myself and our two bikes in the open spot.
Day-ender averted, we noodled into the park to see a line that rivaled one you might find at a middle school if the Jonas brothers showed up. While I do not know the exact number of racers in all three A, B & C races, there were between 150 and 500 A riders in my field. The Lion and I stuck near the front, but this had the making of a field sprint from the gun... no prize today.
On Sunday, I drove in with Matt, as the Lion was looking for a bit more mileage after the first Spring series race with his Axis teammates. Axis is the strongest masters team in New York. I've struck up a nice relationship between the shop and this first rate group of gentlemen.
As I joked with the Lion all Winter, I'd be marking Axis/Global (their team won the SS outright last season)/Deno's all Spring.
I stuck near or off the front in the early laps, covering and trying to drive any separation that included these teams. Roughly 2/3 through the penultimate lap, the Lion rolled off with another rider. As I sat glued to last years' winners' ass, Tim Spence from Axis went across solo...brilliantly, by the way. As I rolled up next to Jon from Axis I remarked that I would not drive the chase...that that was the job of the two other powerhouse teams. So, every single time the Global and/or Denos guys attacked, I was there.
The rate at which Tim, the Lion and their temporary teammate gained ground was crushing to them... game over. With 1/3 of a lap to go, the Axis guys worked their guest over... Tim took a well-deserved win and the Lion was 3rd. I contested the field sprint, but the Major Taylor boys (also a huge team, but full of sprinters) were sketchy and the most dangerous dude pulled out of his pedal 100 meters from the line, right in front of me...over-geared after slowing, I limped in 8th or 9th in the field sprint for 11th or 12th...
I feel I have really good fitness right now and am biting my lip to not go out and add junk miles to my carefully orchestrated plan because it's beautiful out. A few more races and I should be rocking..
To add insult to injury, I mistakenly put my SRM in my vest pocket to collect race data, ass u ming it would pick up the signal there as a power tap CPU does... new note to self: That ain't the case.
Well, I've wasted enough time... there's no time to get on my bike before going into the shop...