Friday, March 12, 2010

Getting ready for my first road race

My very first road race ever is tomorrow!  I'm headed out to Sequim, WA, for the Tour De Dung with the ladies on my cycling team, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance/ Starbucks.   I've spent much of the night getting ready for the race.  First, I cleaned my bike, which proved to be a formidable task (all that road muck from a winter of commuting definitely added up).  Next, I sewed my number on my jersey....

then laid out all my gear for the day:

I'm feeling pretty nervous about the race, I haven't been doing much training other than my daily commute,  and also semi-regular long rides on the weekends with teammates.  Also, one of my teammates posted a race report about the Mason Lake race last weekend, and it sounds like the women's Cat 4 field this year is packed with lots of strong, fast, riders.

Ideally I'd in like to be in better shape for the first few races of the season, but truthfully I've found it difficult, in the midst of all the other activities and commitments I maintain, to commit tons of time and energy to training for an activity I haven't even tried yet.  Yes, I've ridden lots of miles on my bicycle, and I love bicycles and bicycling- but I have no idea if I'll fall in love with road racingAlso, I'm not sure if I'm going to feel comfortable with the culture of the sport-  I'm a little bit leery of the snobbery that can often be a part of any kind of sport where a certain level of affluence is required to be able to afford the appropriate equipment (this was certainly the case in ski racing culture as I was growing up, and to some extent, at some of the bike shops I've been employed at).

So far I have no reason to worry about the snobbery.  I really am enjoying all the cycling people I've met.  The women on my team, in particular, are all friendly, unaffected, and extremely willing to share their knowledge and love for racing.  Also, though I haven't been riding as much as I'd like, I've definitely had more saddle time than in grad school, which was the original reason for joining the team.  Finally, I suspect that racing is more enjoyable if you are really in shape for it- so that will be good motivation to start getting stronger for upcoming races!  

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