Occasionally I have a race day effort that leaves me with colorful swirls in my vision, Town Hall was one of those days yesterday. It was touch-n-go for a little while.
Although the planning has been going on for a while, the real work started Wednesday night when registration closed. Some pizzas and beer made prepping the numbers and reg forms go by much easier. Friday was course setup day, starting at 7 am. Once the tape was up, and signs hung, we took the opportunity to ride a few laps. Greg had added a few extra sections, including an extra switch-back, and a chicane behind some big cement tube. Although, arguably the best feature was the awesome TP that got stocked in the cement block bathrooms. Crucial.
I tried riding the course on my single speed with a 44 – 19, and although I could just barely get up the top of the hill, I was way over geared. I decided to swap my front ring for a 42, and count on the course getting faster by the end of the day, as the grass gets worn down.
We had over 400 riders pre-reg, which is awesome, the race keeps getting bigger each year. However, we’re already running short of parking, and there isn’t really room for more.
Most of the race day was a blur as I was trying to help out in registration. The weather was absolutely perfect, the course was dry and getting faster, and people were having a good time. As the start of the A race got near, I grabbed my numbers, got changed, and started the tire pressure rituals. I decided to go a bit lower then I had for Charm City, and ended up with 25 in the front, and 29 in the rear. Then just enough time to get in a short warm up, and off to staging.
Race predictor had me at 8th, but I knew that there were at least a couple of Day-of registrants. It’s good to have so many races with the same group of guys, because I know who I’m going to be chasing. On a really good day, I can stay near guys like Joe and Mike, but not actually beat them.
There wasn’t much point in going for the hole shot, so just tried to make sure I was in the top 6-7 going up the hill. We actually took it pretty easy the first lap and the group stayed together tightly. But after a few laps, I lost contact and the group started to split up. I spent the rest of the race trying to catch the rider a few seconds in front of me, but couldn’t manage to get any closer. Finally rolled through in 6th, I’m happy with that. I could see Willem chasing me a few seconds behind, so it was motivation to not let up.
After rolling across the finish, I immediately parked the geared bike, and grabbed my single speed. The course was much faster by now, and the gearing was just about perfect. For some reason, I always feel much more confident on the SS bike, and think I can carry more speed through the turns. Maybe it is just in my head.
It was actually a really good single speed course, surprising perhaps, but I was really starting to feel a good flow, and just rode steady and managed to stay pretty smooth for our little 3 lap race. Coming into the finish I heard Jon yell something about walking across the finish line. I thought, what cool trick can I do on a bike? Somehow I decided on a wheelie despite the fact that I can’t, and never have been able to ride a wheelie. So up I go, and right on past the top to sprawl out a few feet from the finish line. Totally worth it.
That moment when you realize you’ve gone a bit too far…
However, shortly after finishing the SS race, I started to get those swirling colors, that are sometimes the precursor to a migrane. I got really nervous and we dashed off to get some fluids and coffee, which often helps. I start getting really nauseus as well, although that is usually just anticipation of the migrane that might be coming. The colorful swirls start in my peripheral vision, but slowly fills up my entire field of view until I’m reduced to tunnel vision. At this point, it either fizzles out and I feel generally crappy, or develops into a full fledged migrane and the wretched suffering is awful. Fortunately, I was lucky and after another hour, I only felt like crap. Thankfully, I haven’t had a migrane in several years now, but the possibility of one coming back makes my stomach churn.
They used to happen in high school after really hard 5k races, but have become quite rare now. I have no idea what triggers them.
I had a great time, the course was fun, what a great way to spend the day with a bunch of friends.