Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Brave? Not So Much

A couple weeks ago I finally registered for Barry-Roubaix. Yes, that Barry-Roubaix, the Killer Gravel Road Race. Last year, if you'll recall, I decided to do this race not at the last minute, but close. I registered on-site and then I went out and smoked the competition. Okay, well maybe the phrase "smoking the competition" is strong. But it was definitely the best race of my racing career. I ended up beating all the beginner women and something like 18 beginner men. I definitely felt triumphant.

I think there were three main factors that went into having such a successful race:
  • I had trained a lot over the winter.
  • Once I saw myself passing people and being successful, I stepped up my game even more because I was determined to do even better.
  • That race is truly the perfect format for me. There's nothing sketchy or dangerous on the course, so all I have to worry about is riding.
Needless to say, registering for the race again this year was a no brainer. Where my indecision came in was in knowing which group to sign up with. Should I race Beginner again, or should I race Sport? Some things I thought about:
  • Technically, after you win something, it's probably ethically shady to register for Beginner again.
  • This is my third season of mountain bike racing and I've spent three seasons racing Kisscross. Even though I still suck, it's hard to make a case for me being a beginner. Maybe they should have a class called "Sucky."
  • My fitness is not in the same place it was last year at this time.
  • The Sport course is 12 miles longer.
  • I have never, ever raced in Sport before.
  • Moving up to Sport will have little effect on my season since I'm racing mostly endurance races. In endurance racing, all the solo women are lumped together instead of being separated by class.
In the end, I decided to race Sport. And although I thought about all those factors listed above, the real reason I chose to register for the Sport race was fear. After having such a great race last year, I'm afraid that this year's race will pale in comparison. If I raced Beginner, that difference would be obvious, but in Sport it will be a bit easier to disguise.


Anonymous said...

You are moving on up. Just tell them your last race was with Dave Wiens.DG

Anonymous said...

If you did great last year, move up and know you may be giving someone else the chance to feel as good as you did last year! Think positive, I'm sure you will do well!

Ali B. said...

I would like to race this race. I am also at a loss about signing up for SPORT or expert. Of course I want to race expert, but I haven't been working out at all. I mean, some Jillian, some drinking, and a little trainer here and there... but NO real bike stuff. I raced expert last year but did not do THIS race. Besides, all that racing was MONTHS ago. Conclusion: I will be smoked if I race expert. I will most likely be smoked if I race sport. Maybe I'll cheer. blah!!!

Agonizing Ali