Peaking at the Wrong Time.

Last night I was going through all of the data I have collected over the past year, for no other reason than I had collected it and felt like I might want to apply some meaning to it. Usually I rely on Janice to do that for me, but I had nothing better to do at the time. That's not exactly true, because the wife had given me a long list of other things to do that she considered very important. So, I guess going through old meaningless data was the best way to avoid doing what my wife asked me to do.

What jumped out at me, knocking over my beer in the process, was that my personal bests for five, ten, and twelve second power all occurred on the same day. Those are sprint efforts, or at the very least, last gasp efforts before you're finally blown off the back of the pack. I looked at the date, and couldn't quite place the race. 

August 14, 2015.

Then it hit me, spilling my beer again. 

August 14th was a meaningless Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson hybrid/beach-cruiser/e-bike/kickbike/trike race put on by the base gym. The same one they ran through a series of stop signs and stop lights which had no flaggers and we were supposed to obey. We dropped the majority of the field between stoplight one and stoplight two, and further whittled down the field as the traffic lightened up. Then we rode tempo back through the stoplights, dodging lunchtime traffic. 75 meters from the end, we had to make a 90 degree turn into the final sprint. We all knew that it would happen there.

I was sitting 3rd wheel, behind two Speedway teammates (the father/son combo of Mike and Max). Mike dove into the last corner and started winding it up, while Max sat up because he wasn't confident in cornering at speed. A gap opened, so I surged to close it. Seeing nobody close to him, Mike thought he was riding for the win. What he didn't see was me and another guy charging up behind him. He drifted to the right, almost putting me into the curb as I passed him. My pedal stroke stuttered for a moment as I tried to avoid expensive dental work, then I jumped again and barely held off the other rider at the line, winning by a half-wheel. For a meaningless, poorly-run race, the last 75 meters sure were interesting.
My best-ever efforts were in that last 75 meters.

I think I won a water bottle and a Sports Authority gift certificate. The middle son got the water bottle and the daughter got a fleece jacket for school. I got a couple of personal records and something to ponder.

I wonder if I can get the Arctic Bike Club to include stoplights in our crits.


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