Omloop von MidWeek!

Locally here in Toronto, the MidWeek Cycling Club does yeoman service to the cycle racing community by running a popular Tuesday night crit series. It's very well run, with an early "B" race and a later, faster "A" race. In addition they run an excellent "Learn to Race" program, which eases in the newbs and helps keep the crash carnage to a minimum. (I took that course before I started racing, which helped immensely; I later stole a lot of their drills & ideas on handling and dealing with contact, and taught the same stuff to new members of the Dark Horse Flyers.)

...And then we got to the race.
Last season I only got out to one MW race, but this year we have tried to schedule particular nights (every two weeks) to get the DHF team out and race it together. Meet at High Park, then roll out to the course about 15 km away; makes a good warmup.) Last Tuesday was the first of these. Too bad it was such a crappy night. It had rained all day; windy and cold (around 6°C); the forecast called for the rain to end by race time, which it did – about 2 minutes before race time, which made the ride out less than pleasant. And the 30km/h monsoon headwind most of the way there was no treat either. Most likely had my DHF teammate Jon Houle not shown up, I would have packed up and drove home.

On Midweek's site you can replay the race, over and over...
And the whole way there I was still figuring I would probably bail on the race itself; too wet, slippery dangerous etc. Or hoping that maybe it would be cancelled. But the rain had pretty much stopped by 6 pm, and the road though damp wasn't particularly slippery.

My long-time trainer, Mike Robinson, tells me I need to stop thinking, trust my conditioning, and just go for it. And he's right; I need to develop more of a competitor's mentality, instead of my current approach: talking myself into it the whole way, and even once the race starts I'm thinking about bailing. But then, I'm staying in the pack... I'm having fun... I'm taking a run off the front... Ok, maybe one more lap... Well, there's only a few more to go might as well get a finish... hey there's an opening to move into... and then I'm actually racing in the last lap or so. Granted, at that stage I was racing against two 16-yr old girls, but what the hell, they were racing against me too. so sure, I still wanted to beat them. (Got one, the other beat me.) Age and guile only halfway came through against youth and talent that time.

And apparently that finish actually earned me 3 series upgrade points. Astounding; points in two consecutive weeks. Next up: Niagara, with the dreaded Effingham Hill. Not likely to keep the points streak going there, but if I can get a better finish than last time, I'll be pretty happy.


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