Sometimes getting into something new is nerving. Let’s rephrase that one. It always is.
Summer of 2002, I thought it’d be fun to enter a my first bike race. Sure, I’ve raced my friend up a hill before but this was something else. They were going SOOO fast. Covered head to toe in brightly colored spandex, groups of riders swiftly circled laps at the Alameda Navel Station for the Tuesday Night Twilights.
Back then there was no need to sign up for USAC or other buggy barriers to entry. I just paid $5 to enter and $2 for a one day NCNCA license. Wow, that must have been back in the ‘candy bar for a nickel’ days.
I’m dressed head to toe in what looked like a high school runner who wanted to play bike racing. Helmet from toys.r.us, glasses from the gas station, shoes from Performance, and a baggy running t-shirt that was coveted from a prior running meet. So I was dressed like that because… well, that’s what I was.
So it all starts. I’m going so so so fast. Well, for about 30 seconds before I hold back and get dropped to pace myself. Who needs drafting. Mistake 30 seconds into my first ever race. I’m hungry.
I learn. I improve. I come back.