Ah, to be racing in the City again. Tho I once lived nearby for some time, this is the 1st time I raced in the NYS Crit Championships in Harlem. Danny G, Eric Schou & I made the 3hr Trek from Albany. We wanted to be good & early. Early race organization left everyone wanting, but the races themselves did not disappoint.
All three raced the 4/5, a challenge just to avoid the sketchy riders. DG was looking typically strong near & at the front. He would place 12th on the day. He & I tried a minor attack, but found ourselves basically pulling the group along. We were top 6 going into the bell lap. Coming out of the last turn I began my sprint, then some clown smacked into the side of me, almost taking out my front wheel. He hit me right when my inertia was going the opposite way. I was fortunate to stay up; my front wheel will need some attention. Eric look very strong, & _almost_ didn't crash. Couple of dudes pulled a real bonehead maneuver in front of him w/ 1-1/2 laps to go; he was lucky to come away w/ only a small rash & bruise on his arm. And did I mention the three big pileups? Makes a good case for staying at the front. Would love to do another crit w/ larger team presence & w/ a better plan. Oh, the possibilities.
So, I had another race I had signed up for, the 3/4. What poise. Virtually none of the screaming, biting, yelling & kicking of the 4/5. And when a civilian chose the wrong moment to cross on a corner, the bunch just dealt w/ it. Alas, no teammates to ride with. But hey... Instant cheering section! And I could hang w/ the bunch. With ~4 laps, I bridged up to a group of three, figuring if I am gonna blown up, might as well do so doing something spectacular. The break disintegrated after about a quarter lap & I was sitting on the front riding sortof tempo. Not tactically wise, & I was starting to reach deep into the pain bucket. Ultimately, I finished somewhere in the pack.
My goal was just to sit in & make it around the course 25x. I did that, & more.
Then we had to drive home. Appreciated the company from Eric S.