Sunday, September 25, 2005

I'm not being modest.

Sometimes in a mass start when I tell people things like, "you should go ahead of me; I'm really slow and it's easier than passing me down the road," people assume either I'm fast but modest, or slow and have low self esteem. If it's the former, very nice people often say, "oh, you aren't slower than me!" (women usually say that) or if it's the latter, something like "Oh, I'm sure you'll do just fine!" (men usually say that). The truth is, I'm neither. I'm realistic. I'm very slow, but I don't feel bad about it because I think that over time I'll get faster.

I say this because I did my first "road race" today, the 4th annual Tour de Acoma, in Sky City, New Mexico. Beautiful scenery. Your choice of the century, 50 mile, or 25-mile. (I chose the latter). I finished in 1'35". That gives me, I think, about an average of 15 mph according to the really cool triathlon calculators I've found online. Husband did the century, or started it, but had a really nasty blowout at 25 mph that took the tire with it, and possibly the rim. The whole situation is being evaluated at Albuquerque Bicycle as we speak. I'll keep you posted. He was immensely disappointed because it was his first road race, and his first century. It has also increased my general level of paranoia over long distance cycling, because I'm feeling that I could finish it, but worried about mechanical disasters - like this one.

However, the Tour de Acoma took us around the Acoma pueblo, past some really cool scenery, up near El Malpais, which is an old lava flow in that part of the state. The road was good, though the cattle guards--4 of them on the 25-miler-- are something I could do without. If you've never seen a cattle guard, it's many metal slats perpendicular to the road with a hole underneath. They're usually about 2-3 inches apart. As usual, fellow racers were super friendly, and even the loose dogs stayed in the middle of the road and stared, instead of chasing and barking. There was some hill climbing and a headwind on the way out, which means that the ride back was pretty pleasant. I recommend it. These are good events to do if you need to focus on your cycling. And you can impress your friends at work the next day. "What did you do yesterday? I went to church and took a nap". Then you can reply, "I rode a 25-mile bicycle race". Way fun.

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