Six months later, it's still there, although it doesn't appear as angry as it once did.

Now it looks more like I leaned my hip up against a door knob. A faint red circle about the size of a baseball.

I don't spend a lot of time looking at my own ass, mainly because it's not something I find all that attractive. Nobody would. I accidentally caught a glimpse in the mirror the other day as I got out of the shower, and noticed the scar.
It's the only indication that the race ever happened. They never published the results, as the event was part of an installation-wide fitness competition. There was no medals or swag for the winner. As I recall, timing was done with an iPhone. We had race bibs, left over from some "Ironman"-branded 5k fun run. Half the competitors put them on the front of their jerseys. It was that kind of event.
The course itself wasn't all that bad as these things go, with enough hills to shape the race without being excessively punishing. You go to the front early and set a respectable pace, half the riders are dropped withing the first couple hundred meters, and then you rotate through the paceline of stronger riders as the weaker ones fall away in ones and twos once you start hitting the rollers. A long grind for the final elimination, and then a flat run-in to the finish to insure my fat ass can have a shot.

I wasn't planning on doing the race. When I finally signed up, it was only with the intention of setting a teammate up for the win. I certainly wasn't trying to win. I definitely wasn't planning on losing some skin. You never do. I just wanted a good workout leading into the Tour of Fairbanks.
An inexperienced rider. Misplaced trust on my part. An "oh shit" realization. A touch of wheels. Skidding across the pavement. Tire tracks across my back. Adrenaline masking the pain. A quick neutralization and assessment.
As soon as we resumed, my goals changed. The teammate I was supposed to lead out had been dropped, and the front of the race was reduced to five. Everyone's muscles started to ache as the exertion, injuries, and cold rain started to gang up on us. You could see in in the shoulders of the other riders. The finish line was less a place for personal glory than a place where all of the suffering could end.
I did the math, conserved my energy, followed the final attack, and won by a decent margin.
Despite the prestigious nature of the event, I didn't feel much of anything as I crossed the line. I didn't pump my fists or scream like some EPO-fueled Southern California Masters 40+ racer. I slumped over the bars. I mainly felt soggy, both from the rain and the seeping wounds on my hip and shoulder. The aches set in, and I was hobbling around as soon as I got off my bike.
I was still burning through my stockpile of Tegaderm patches when I lined up in Fairbanks, although most of the aches and pain not related to being an old fart had subsided.
Today all that remains from that race is a faint round scar. Eventually that will fade to the point it won't be noticeable anymore.
So much for bike racing glory.


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