Bike racing season snuck up on me. I didn't get a lot of training in over the winter, as I was focusing on running Fuego y Agua. I strained my back early in the year and didn't ride at all in January, and only a couple times in February. I started riding more after we returned from Nicaragua. I did three easy training rides (20, 30, and 50 miles). I hadn't even attempted to ride faster than 20 mph. Then races started.
Realizing I was ridiculously undertrained I decided I wouldn't participate in the first two local races. On 3/10 I went to watch my friends at the Carondelicious Crit. It was a beautiful day. This was the second time I went to a race just to watch and decided I couldn't not race.
So the following day I decided to race The Great Forest Park Bicycle Race. After all, at just 2 miles away, this is the 3rd closest bike race to my house (living in a big city does have some benefits).
The bad news was it was raining, which was scary. The good news was… it was raining, which slowed people down in the corners. The race was much easier than I expected, even with my minimal training. Our average speed was only 23 mph, which is 1-3 mph slower than most Cat 4 crits around here. There was a big crash in front me early on. I slammed on the brakes and skidded to a stop on top of a crashed bike's wheel (sorry about that). I took the free lap (for the first time in my life) and got back into the race on the next lap.
The last lap was fast, and I couldn't really get around anyone. I was poised to move up on the final straightaway… before another crash right in front of me made me hesitate a bit too much. I strolled in near the rear of the main pack, 15th place. It was decent. I didn't crash or hurt myself. All things considered, it could have gone much worse.