schmalz Branch Brook March 25, 2017

I will begin this race report by reporting the fact that it is nearly a week after the fact. This is because: my races (I did two of the elderly events at Branch Brook) were incredibly uneventful; and I have been waylaid by illness this week and haven’t been in the mood to ruminate about riding around in circles. I will spare you the revolting details about what is ailing me, but I will give you two clue words: “backside” and “spray”. I however, choose to look on the bright side of my current intestinal infirmity and focus on the fact that my power to weight ratio is trending in a positive direction due to one of those numbers decreasing with every rush to the bathroom.

But enough about my current condition, let us look back to last Saturday when I was a bright and hopeful 48 year old who hadn’t a care in the world. After two weeks of undeniable proof that God hates bike races (he/she honestly does, the previous two week’s worth of Branch Brook races were canceled due to weather), the Branch Brook Series was once again up and running. My plan was to do both old person races, the 45+ and the 35+, as I am both old and enjoy being really tired. In previous years, I’ve planned on being competitive in the 45+ race and using the 35+ race that follows as an extended motor-pacing/cool down session because the field would usually include a bunch of the “younger/older” racers that were there for the 1/2/3 race.

A brief aside about how awesome I am

As you may have heard, I had been Zwifting this winter, and due to my immersion into the virtual world of ftp and watts per kilogram; I’ve come into this spring season better prepared than years past. To put it plainly, Zwift doesn’t allow me to be the lazy pile of schmalz on the trainer that I’ve been in previous winters. The day before the Branch Brook race, I did an openers workout on Zwift to prepare myself whereas in previous times, I would’ve done a much less structured ride. Doing more structured efforts on Zwift (including doing imaginary races) seems to have really help in my winter preparation. It has eliminated a lot of the time I spend outdoors, but I guess the trade off is being mighty.

And I was feeling frisky on Saturday morning. In the 45+ race, I was able to be involved in the race and go with moves and all that sort of stuff. Wonder Wheels was working to defend their yellow jersey, so there were tactics afoot and I got involved when it seemed like a good idea. The 45+ field was pretty large and many of us haven’t had a lot of pack time this season, so there was the usual amount of springtime bumping and swearing. I found myself near the front during both green jersey sprints and I was feeling good enough to YOLO sprint for both of them. I scored points and used adult language in one of the sprints due to a springtime swerve from one of my sprinting compatriots. The race moved along and was coming to its inevitable sprint conclusion and like most older racers, I did a quick calculation comparing outstanding mortgage balance and future college payments (while compensating for any life insurance payouts) with the relative sanity of the field contesting the sprint, and I decided that the conditions were favorable for unleashing my mighty mightiness.

The mighty mightiness finished 9th. I lined up and did the 35+ and felt fine. I returned home afterwards feeling good about myself and went about my week—which eventually turned to crap.

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