Finally the hip strain from the pedal unclip and the compressed disc in the neck is healed enough that I can consider racing off road. This race is run under NORBA rules for a change so I *have* to race beginner unless I upgrade.
Broke all the rules for doing well by a.) not verifying the start time until this morning and realizing I have less than two hours to get to Monterey. b.) no warmup c.) forgot to adjust tire pressure for conditions so go off with 45 PSI
Get to old venue with forty five minutes to spare, then realize, I needed to read the flyer a bit more closely and have to drive to the other side of Fort Ord to travel about half a mile in thirty minutes due to construction.
Register with fifteen minutes to spare and line up and the guy next to me points out the guy who won the last five races, a Clydesdale but he must be plenty strong to win five races. Decide to attempt to follow him...
Race starts off with a pavement section and find myself second wheel. As we go into the first descent the Clydesdale takes the lead and I tag along. I have no trouble climbing with him but due to lack of practice at speed and way too high pressure find myself bouncing all over the place on the descents and having to make up ground on every climb. The climbs only last two minutes max so it's hard to figure out the correct pacing, plus I want to do well tomorrow so need to not dig too deep. After washing out the front wheel for about the tenth time, I give up on followng him and he drops me on a descent.
Don't have much company for a while, get to the late race pavement section, and the one big climb. Have to use the middle for it and get passed again but he falls on the next descent and I pass him back and don't see him until the end of the race.
On the second lap someone passes me on the descent after the finish and I start reeling him in on the climb but hold back a bit - am I going hard enough to blow, hard enough to hurt my form for tomorrow, dunno, but going hard enough to catch is going to hurt and I cut my losses and throttle back to time trial pace and he gradually pulls away.
Don't see anyone else for the rest of the race except for slower riders from the prior 18-34 wave.
S: 21.6 kph