2 crit morning

This morning I raced my first two criterium races at the first annual Brackett Grand Prix in La Verne, CA. Last year I raced a bunch of road races, which are usually longer and more scenic.

Definition of criterium: a bicycle race of a specified number of laps on a closed course over public roads closed to normal traffic ~ Merriam Webster

In general I think I prefer long climbs to short, fast sprints. So this morning was interesting to say the least. It had rained all yesterday and I was not excited to race a new fast format in the rain.
Luckily the rain stopped sometime after midnight and the roads were dry in time for my first race which started at 10:30am.

I was happy that the race was just about 5 miles from where I live, I was able to sleep in a bit, ride my bike there and stop for espresso before having to get to registration, warm up and race.

I first raced in the Category (cat) 4 race (here’s an explanation of categories over on Active), which was fast from the start and I got dropped by the sixth or seventh lap – eventually being pulled from the race. Cornering has never been my strong suit, probably because I haven’t really worked on it, but in those laps I learned a lot…just not fast enough to avoid losing time around each corner. There were seven corners each lap, so they added up quick.
The second race was for racers 45 years old and older, Cats 1-4. Also racing at this time were the 35+ cats 1-4. All I wanted to do in this race was not get pulled from the race – I didn’t want my first two attempts at crit racing to both be DNFs (did not finish). Luckily I was able to finish this one, not quite last. Bike racing is hard. I learned so much today and I’m also exhausted.

Photo: Michael Wagner

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