In accordance with the contract made with the voices in my head, I strive to type something about every race I enter. I raced the masters handicap race at Prospect Park on Saturday, Matt S and Andrew M worked hard to bring back the pack ahead of us. Matt kept attacking and finally got away with about two to go. Paul C and Kevin M joined with Kevin taking the win from the break. I sprinted in for 11th, which was first sister kissing position.
FBF June 10, 2014
Due to the unholy confluence of upgrades and tire deflation, I found myself in the leader’s jersey at FBF, because someone has to do it. If I were a better person, I would realize that I was renting the leader’s jersey at best; but I chose instead to connive to keep the yellow shirt. To do that I would need to escape from the pack, because there’s three or four guys who have out-sprinted me every time we’ve contested the sprint at FBF, and sitting in would just be a slow death, points-wise.
The would be extra difficult because there wasn’t any wind blowing on Tuesday night. Jesus M lost points last week after a flat at the end of the race. He’s super strong and he would also have a motivated group of teammates with him, an escape would take a near fatal effort. If I were a better person, I would’ve raced defensively and hoped to cover any promising moves, but I chose instead to trade attacks with teammate Aaron—because if you’re going to rent a jersey—you might as well treat it like any other rental and beat the crap out of it.
Wearing any yellow jersey, even at the three fourths category level, brings about extra attention. This may sound shocking, but wearing a bright yellow jersey with matching shorts, gloves and socks can be quite conspicuous. When I won the three fourths series in 2010, I didn’t take the lead until the last race, so I didn’t wear the jersey in any races that season. But I’ve worn it before in other seasons at FBF, so I knew I was in for extra attention. If I were a better person, being followed in yellow wouldn’t irritate me, but I think we’ve established what kind of person I am already.
So that’s how the race rolled, Aaron and I traded punches together and individually with Jesus and his team, with Jesus and team handling everything we threw at them. Soon, it was all over but the sprinting.
At the bell, I made my way to the front. My only chance at renting the yellow shirt for another week would be by finishing ahead of Jesus. Something I’ve only done twice in races without burst tires. If I were a better person, I wouldn’t bother trying to accomplish such a thing, but I set about to try anyway. By turn two I had settled in to position behind Jesus and life coach Mihael, and that’s how we rolled for the next half lap, with Jesus’ teammate moving up to lead him out.
We went through the final turn and made our way towards the line. Jesus took off early with the tailwind and Mihael got up to follow. The sprint was on and I was gaining ground on Mihael. I chose to leave him behind and move to get on Jesus’ wheel, because he was distancing us. I needed to move from the left side of Mihael’s wheel to the right side, and if I were a better person, I wouldn’t have misjudged the distance between my front wheel and Mihael’s rear wheel, but sadly I did not. My wheel contacted his and I caromed off to the right like George Clooney getting lost In space. I stayed upright because of good fortune and a panicked sense of balance that I am glad that I possess, but really don’t want to test very often.
I am very grateful that my self-inflicted blast into the stratosphere didn’t knock anyone else over, and if I were better person, I wouldn’t have blamed Mihael for my own idiocy, but I did. We had a spirited debate on the drive home, which was later updated to an admission of Mihael’s correctness.
My rental of the yellow jersey is over and if I were a better person, I would say I didn’t care, but I think we’ve worked out what kind of person I am.