Wednesday Night Crit time. Headed out to the Resource Center/Complex or whatever it's official nameis for a little training crit time.
I got a late start, got there with enough time to spin a couple laps in an attempt to warm up and get ready for the high pace to shortly ensue.
Warming up in a thermal context was no problem as temps. had reached a comfortable 100+ level. Fortunately a nice southerly wind kicked in to add some cooling. (insert sarcasm into the preceding)
A t-storm blew up of to the northeast and cruised by to the east, providing nothing but some good gusts, at most.
Promoter Andy Hollinger announced they would offer a prime on every lap tonight. Oh, great I think, that should allow some time for me to warm up in the first few laps of the race, as crits are always pretty slow to start and the primes will surely help keep the group cohesive. (insert heavier sarcasm here)
In perfect compliance with Murphy's Law, the race started fast, really fast, or so my legs told me. I settled in to hide from the wind and survive until the system settled into a groove and the pace dropped. Or so I thought. About 3 or so laps in I find myself at third or fourth wheel into a strong headwind. Pace kicks up, I shift into a heavier gear accordingly. Or my hands go through the motion but the bike doesn't respond. I fiddle the shifter a little, finally clicking in another gear--and again with no response. At this point I am turning some serious RPMs to try and keep the pace but a gap is starting to open up between my front wheel and the rear wheel in front, where the blessed draft zone awaits. Not good. I shift again, and maybe again. This time there is a response, in the form of a double or triple shift. I bottom out as the rpms drop precipitiously and try shifting into a bigger cog to ease off and get nothing. Seeing the gap beginning to stretch I do the only thing I can and pull off before I gap off the group behind me, drift to the back and slowly drift further...off...the...back.... My heart rate is high at this point from the last roller coaster of a minute, and I finally get into an acceptable gear and try to get back on, but the wind is in my face and the gap is quickly stretching. Soon after I begin to blow up and realize that, horrors of horrors, I have been dropped like a cigarette butt. And I am not getting back on. Pull off and decided that my fate is sealed, so might as well try and adjust the cable tension to see if that can help work out the sudden shifting dilema, then jump back in for a nice time trial session. I twist the barrel adjuster a bit after giving the cable a solid tug and the shifting seems fine of course. Hop back out and begin to cruise. After a few slow solo laps I see the pack closing in from behind, so I slow further, get lapped and jump back, solidifying my position out of contention. Spend the rest of the race cruising slower then accelerating for each prime as we hit the start/finish. The same thing ensues lap after remaining lap until I watch the race end from the back of the pack. Cruise around another lap or two to cool down, pack the bike and head home.
Not exactly a susccesful evening but still fun, as it should be. It should be noted that the shifting on my bike was essentially flawless the rest of the night.
So Wednesday is in the bag, thankfully, roaring failure that it was. Still got a good ride in either way, which is what matters in the end.