Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Effingham Hill Disaster

(Effingham Hill, last year.)
I went down to Niagara, and rode the race of the day. The skies were clear to start, a chilly spring day in the green hills and dales of wine country, and when the rains came they were gentle enough.
We were eighty in the race, and things stayed together nicely till the fourth lap or so, when the pace was upped and and I spent a good while chasing back on in the wet, the flashing red lights of the neutral service vehicle (a pickup truck full of spare wheels) just up ahead. I pushed onwards, caught the main field and stayed in at last. On the final kick up Effingham Hill, I felt okay, just kept it steady in 39 x 26 and down in the drops, like Marco Pantani. A few riders passed me, and I didn't contest it. What I was not aware of was what lap we were in - I thought we had two laps still to go! You don't win battles without a good look at a map of the terrain now do you?

Well, I had a map printed off at work, but what the race didn't have was a person ringing a damn bell for the last lap. Twelfth place, 37 seconds behind the winner. Still, I finished delighted with my race, the pain instantly gone.

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