Tuesday, December 11, 2012
watch out... I'm in charge of bike maintenance for 6 weeks!
Last Sunday was Limestone Cross, the last stop on the MAC series schedule. I have been following the MAC series in support of the open women’s 45+ class. The MAC has been leading the way for female masters by offering this class, and it has gone from 2-3 racers to nearly 20. I compare it to men’s 55+ which has also taken off in many areas. Women and men alike are staying active and racing as they get older, which is very cool. Some of them actually kick butt and race competitively with elites, but for many of us, a master’s class offers an appropriate competition experience.
Weather predictions were for light rain on top of a few days rain that had already fallen. I was pretty certain that the course would be moist, but I watched the weather forecast closely the day before to keep an eye on temps. If we were expecting heavy rain with temps dipping down towards freezing, I would certainly have opted to stay home in bed. Two or three degrees could be the difference between a sloppy race and hypothermia. I have been close to there twice and did not want to re-live that experience. Luckily temps held steady in the 40’s, so the race was on for me.
Everything was going well and on schedule as part of my pre-race routine. Then as I was getting ready to head to my start, Larry stopped by the truck and told me Art had crashed on his hip, could not walk, and would I take the truck down to pick him up near the start line. Art was done for the season and he knew it, yet he insisted that I stay and do my race before we went to the hospital. As you read this, you must be thinking that we are crazy for this type of thinking. I was prepared to leave the venue when Larry delivered the message at the truck, and yet I let Art convince me that I should race. Perhaps we are crazy, but if you follow any of my racing, you will know that my first national champion title came while Art’s leg was in a cast. I guess we just enjoy supporting each other as much as racing ourselves.
Distracted and minus part my warm up, I took the start line and raced. The course was pretty fun and it supplied my only wet cross course experience this year. It has been so dry this year, that I feared being out of practice, yet I thoroughly enjoyed the handling aspects of this token wet race. The temps and light rain were, for the most part, very comfortable. It was a few moments to rip my lungs out, burn my legs, challenge my balance, run around like sugar crazed kid and forget about what lies behind or ahead.
A little disappointed not to hang and socialize at the last race of the series, we were both faced with the reality of getting Art to the hospital to face the facts: another broken hip. Luckily all the parts from his replacement hip looked to be in good condition, but he was faced with a 6 week heal. Art knows the routine well and will be back on the bike soon. Some may wonder if we should not race in fear of these things, but people are known to get hurt in the bathtub or on the couch while hardly being alive. Some of us just need to feel alive.
In the mean time, I am registered for January Nationals in Wisconsin. The predictor puts me in second place, which means less about my racing ability than it does about the need to get more ladies my age out here racing. I doubt that I will actually go, but who knows?