Upon coming home Bree and I have both realized that Norway has given us some serious power in our regular cycling life. With the season winding down, there aren’t many big rides for us to do, but the Rocky Mountain Crit series had one final race that I decided to try.
The last time I rode a crit was several years ago at the Utah Summer Games. There was only one race and I got totally destroyed. I think I only made it one lap around the course before I was lapped and had to pull off of the course – a whopping 6 minutes of riding. This time, however, was different.
The race was really fast though not nearly as frightening as I had remembered. I was able to keep up with the pack, and even took place in a few breakaways. The energy in the pack was absolutely incredible. The entire group would speed up and slow down, discernible by my heart rate (see below) and the noise in the pack. Every time the speed would increase, the whir of tires on pavements, people shouting as tires bumped and collisions avoided, and the clicking of shifters would make itself known. It seems that the only purpose of the first laps are to tire the group out. The last three laps are crazy, though. On the three-lap announcement, the speed picked up, riders started dropping, and the maneuvering became much more aggressive – and unpredictable. In the end, I held 3rd place until the last 20 or so yards when I was out-sprinted and boxed in by a handful of riders (a 40mph finish wasn’t fast enough, it seems).
The crit was a great time and I’ll be all over it next year. Even Bree said she would give it a go!
For those into data, here is a snapshot of what the race was like: