IMG_8425 (1024x683)I decided to race Sport for the first time at this past Sunday’s Coastal Carolina Off Road Race Series #2 at Brunswick Nature Park in Wilmington, NC.  Being my home trail, the mileage is very comfortable for me and I wanted to stretch myself.

Also, I figured I would be good “chase bait” for all my riding buddies starting in the classes behind me.  The only way I figure I can honestly say I was ahead of them during this race was to be in a class that starts before them!

Unfortunately, I left my iPhone at the house and wasn’t able to monitor my 18 miles like I do EVERY time I ride, so I was riding blind somewhat. #StravaJunkie #StravaWithdrawals

A few surprises and lessons learned on Sunday…

1) I was pretty amazed that I just about matched my 2nd and 3rd lap (only 1 second off).  I did feel like the 3rd lap was my fastest but I guess it was an illusion.  I did feel like I was in a good groove at the third lap and could have kept going.  Maybe this means I could have pushed it more, not sure.

2) It can really slow down a lap and momentum when you have to spend most of your lap pulling over to the right to let people pass.  I knew this was part of the game starting up but didn’t realized how many people in the classes behind me were actually going to pass me.  Maybe there is still a magic starting place for me.

3) I learned you cannot just change racing divisions in the middle of a race:-)  I realized half way through the race that if I would have raced Single Speed, I would have placed 3rd since there were only 2 riders!!  I yelled out to the officials after my 2nd lap that I haven’t changed gears the entire race and please switch me to single speed, but they didn’t fall for it.  Then, after the race, I realized I should have been convincing them to change me to Expert while I did a 4th lap and then I wouldn’t have ended up at the bottom since 2 expert rider DNFed!  I guess I will have to throw money the next time in between laps…kind of the reverse act you see at Cyclocross races where fans are holding out $$$ for riders at the top of the hills!

All in all, I was pleased I finished 3 laps at somewhat of a race-pace for me and did not cramp up in the legs.  I felt the potential right at the end of the last lap when climbing a final incline but was able to adjust and prevent it.  This is great news as I really don’t want to end another race with locked legs and IV fluid in the local Urgent Care (Thanks Tree Shaker in Charlotte!!)

One of the best memories of the day is my son racing his first kids race!  He was so excited to get a medal and reminded me several times that day it is his first medal EVER for bike racing!  I hope he continues as it will be a special treat for me if he enjoys father and son rides as he grows up!