Garmin Data for LARPD #6 Cross Race Hopped back in the Jetta Racing-mobile this past weekend to go to Livermore, where there's a fun series of races on Saturdays. I've been toying with the idea of upgrading in categories after my two good races in the Bay Area Super Prestige series, but I stuck with the Men's C race for a couple of reasons. First, it's early in the morning, which meant I'd be home to hang out with Kristen and the kids earlier, and also, I was hoping for a high placing.

Short version, it wasn't quite in the cards. On the first lap of the course, in a section through one of the sandy rodeo pits, a rider fell directly in front of me. I had no time to react, and ran into him, and our bikes got tangled together, with my left brake lever getting tangled in his rear wheel.

It took us what felt like an eternity to get them pulled apart, as riders steadily passed us. Once the bikes were finally free, I hopped back on, only to discover that my chain had jammed as well. That probably took another ten seconds to sort out.

Looking at the Garmin data, I'd estimate that I lost 20 seconds or so, and probably 15 places in the field.

The rest of the race was spent trying to get back those positions, trying to chase people down. It was a very fun and challenging course, with lots and lots of twists and turns -- the downside of that is that there weren't a lot of places to really drop the hammer and try and gain big time. I think that I'm still better at power output than I am at bike handling, so some of my skills at this point might have been neutralized.

Ended up 11th, which felt like a let down. Crashes are just part of racing, but it's hard to have your race completely turned on its head by something you had nothing to do with. What I am happy about it how I handled it during the race, just trying to get the speed back up and get toward the front.

After the race, I found the rider who had taken me down. I'm not sure exactly what I expected...maybe a "Hey man, sorry about that." I know that during the heat of racing that sort of apology isn't going to happen, but afterward, I thought he might have that to say. I think I'd say that to someone, at least.

In any event, he didn't.

I don't know what to think of that. It comes off as a little bit of a dick move to me, but maybe I'm just being naive or overly-sensitive. Any thoughts from more experienced racers?

So now I'm focused on this weekend's BASP race at Sierra Point. My math after the Candlestick race was correct: I'm in 10th place for the series in the Men's C category, which I think will mean a call up to the front row at the start. I still think I should probably upgrade categories, but the thought of a call-up is too much to refuse.

One thing for locals: this is a night race, with the last few categories running under the lights. But what that means for us slow guys is that we'll be racing at 2 PM, rather than our typical 8:30 AM. Come hang out -- it's supposed to be a beautiful day on Saturday. I'll be the guy in the Team Oakland kit.

AuthorMark McClusky