So sometimes it feels like these blogs almost write themselves and sometimes the words just don’t want to flow at all. This time my sewer is backed up. Here goes. I went into Sac CX Race #7 with podium hopes. And why not? I made the podium the last two races and I liked it. My coach had me ready. (It’s been a long race season.) I may have hit my Saturday openers ride a little hard but all systems felt good to go. The race was held in Howard Park in Ione, just a little south of Sacramento about 50 minutes from home. After a light breakfast, (mistake), I’m on my way. As usual I arrived at the venue early to do my bit of set up, mostly the timing/finishing arch and the speaker system. The weather man said cold, well California cold, and I had plenty of clothes. Turned out to be warmer than predicted so off with my parka and on to my MC duties. I’ve had trouble in the past putting down the mic and getting my warmup in but not this time. The course is little different from last year and I had a great race last year so things are feeling good.

Me and my Paru ahead of Kurt

         I get called up so I’m on the front line of the Men’s C 55+ group. I decided that there where two smooth lines on the starting straightaway, right and left, and rough in the middle. Chris, who has a lock on the series, lines up first on the right. So thinking I’m being smart I grab the left side spot. It’s slightly longer as there is a right turn coming but I’m thinking the smoothness will be worth it. WRONG! At the starting whistle Chris hits the right line and most of the rest of the 55+ers drop right in behind him and it’s a fast pace line. I’m on the left side alone and quickly dropped by most of the guys. Boo hiss, now I’m in chase mode yet again. I’m guessing about eight or ten 55+ers are ahead of me. So it’s time to hit it. I slowly pick guys off but after the first lap I can’t tell if they are 55 or 45 or 35+ers or just guys warming up for the next race. Late lap 2 I catch glimpse of a long time racing buddy and 55+er, Kurt Barton. I decide that he will be my race. I’m going to “get him”. I get around him after a long chase. Then promptly crash in a ditch crossing I’ve done 3 time today already. This time though I tried to hit it a little faster to gap Kurt. My front wheel hit the bottom and I hit the far side. I jump back on my bike so fast that I’m literally 3 pedal strokes in before I even say “ow”. It’s my knee and……I catch back up to Kurt, “Nice recovery!”, and get him again not too far from the finish line. So I beat Kurt but when I check results, it turns out he and I were battling over 5th place and not the podium spot I started the day wanting.

Jack and his tuba!
After Scarlet’s cleaning.

         So after a quick change I’m back in MC mode. A friend, Scarlet Anne, grabs my bike and cleans off the mud for me so I can get back to MCing quicker. Thanks dear. :<))  I’m starting races and doing podiums and all goes as usual except for the the A race, the last race of the day. First we had one of our regular junior racers, Jack Hargrove, play the national anthem on his tuba, yep, I said play the national anthem on his tuba, as the racers and fans sang along. Fun. Then I couldn’t find the starters whistle so I started all the waves with my best attempts at a primal scream. Both the tuba playing and the screaming were well received. CXers are a cool bunch. So then it’s break it all down and get ready to do it again next Sunday at Laguna del Sol, a clothing optional resort. It will be the last race of the Sac CX series. We will finish it all off with a naked race followed by the series awards. I will be on the overall podium and will be trying for one last same day podium. Wish me luck.

         Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Ione

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