Bike races have a tendency to be sausage parties. Sure you get a handful of women showing up, but for the most part, it’s a bunch of guys.
As a result, the women that do show up tend to receive a lot of attention, at least from the unmarried racers (I think). While I was stretching out before the DMV crit last night, I got a good chuckle as the prettiest girl present would have another guy start chatting her up every two to three minutes.
Apparently none of these guys remember A Beautiful Mind and that John Nash came up with the concept of a Nash equilibrium in just such a situation. Instead of chatting her up, they’d have been better off ignoring her and talking with her teammates. Incidentally, what is it about the Ski Utah team that attracts so many women? Chances are better than not that if there’s a woman at one of the road races, she’ll be in Ski Utah kit.
As we lined up to start the race, I realized that DMV must have a reputation as a tough course. Whereas Tuesday night there were probably close to 100 racers in the C Flight at RMR, at DMV we had a grand total of seven. Unfortunately, these six other guys had all self-selected to come to this course, presumably because they liked their chances.
One of these days, I am going to learn something about race strategy and tactics. Within just a few laps, three of us had a nice gap opened up on the remaining four, and a racer from Bingham’s had been on the front the whole time. He was obviously the strongest rider, and I should have let him continue doing the work and continued sitting in, knowing the gap would likely only widen. Instead, I suggested that the three of us work together to get further away, got on the front, and pulled all the way to the “West Valley Wall.”
My legs were already burning when we got to the climb, but I continued to push it all the way up in order to stay with the other two. I was hurting at the top and had to slow, but fortunately, the other two needed to as well.
We had another racer bridge to us, and then shortly after that, I got dropped on the climb. It took me a few more laps, but I was able to get back on. But the solo effort cost me, and I was soon off again. Back on one more time before I was detached for good.
I finished fourth, which nominally is my best result of the year, but considering the field size, it’s smack in the middle of the pack. Unless you count all the B flight racers that we either passed or who dropped out entirely.
For what it’s worth, there was no yelling, grumbling, or animosity during or afterwards. The C flighters were all smiles as we congratulated each other on a good race. I like this course. This was also start number 10 for me, so I’m now eligible to upgrade to Cat. 4. I may sit on that for a while, though, at least until I try out the UVU course next week.