Road Racing (maybe I’ll give it a try!!)
Saturday, June 2nd was a gift hand-wrapped by God! I woke up around 5:15 and the air temperature was 48 degrees! This is a big deal for Nashville as we have been battling heat and humidity all spring.
The Harpeth River Ride is a long standing event in Middle TN and the new sponsor is Nissan. There were over 1,500 cyclists that showed up to do this event. The Radio Shack pro cycling team was present and there was plenty of entertainment to start the day. There were so many cyclists on the road that it took the escort car nearly 10 miles on the leadout to break up the pack.
When we finally got going and were let loose to ride, I hooked up with a road racing team called Treehouse Racing. There were 5 guys riding a perfect pace-line and I could tell they were less than thrilled with me joining! I was riding my Ilicito because it’s the only bike I own! These guys set a blistering pace as we screamed through the country side. We were rolling along at 25 + mph when we came upon Pull-Tight Mountain, home of the “King of the Mountain” competition for the race. We got to the line and all jumped out of our saddles. This hill will steady as we climbed and went on forever up the side of a mountain. The further we climbed, the more space I was putting between myself and the pack. I crossed the line first and my time was 2 minutes and 27 seconds. After we crossed the top, I kept hammering and the rest of the ride was even faster than the first part.
It was amazing to me how the mood changed after King of the Mountain. I was riding pretty hard and I think these guys were starting to take me seriously. As we neared the finish line, these “roadies” were now acting like good ole’ friends! Craig, Jason and Brad turned out to be really good guys and we exchanged contact information after we finished.
I finished the 62 mile metric in first place overall and won the “King of the Mountain” competition. I was awarded a Radio Shack issued polka-dot jersey and had my picture taken with the race organizers. I have to say, it felt pretty dang good. I had a great ride and I made some new friends with guys who appeared to be “too good to ride with a tri-geek!” Today was most definitely a break in routine but I have to say it was refreshing. Sometimes I feel like swim, bike, run is a job….it was so good to experience success outside the normal realm of training. Road racing is a completely sport; I had fun but I cannot justify taking any more time away from swimming and running than I did today!
Cycling I like….BUT Triathlon you are still my number one!!