Got in an actual warmup and rode the twelve mile 10-12 boys/10-14 girls district road race. Katrina Howard attacked after about fifty yards, and there were four mentors for five riders so we split up the duties and I escorted the third place boy from the time the group split up until the finish line.
It's about 95 degrees and very dry by the time we start the cat 4 race. The pace feels pretty easy, much easier than Berkeley Hills or Wente, until we hit the one big hill. Even then, I underperformed, maybe I am just not ready for racing in this sort of heat and dryness but everyone has to race in the same conditions. Got dropped and the front thirty or so riders rode away. Weird because some of my training rides are harder than this. This was at the twelve mile point so there was still plenty of riding left to do. Got together with a few other riders in my group and we started working until we reached the summit at the nineteen mile point. The descent was fun - until this was one blind corner, I was in the middle of the lane figuring that had to be safe when a few riders from a different pack came along in the opposite direction into the wrong lane and I had to brake hard, then jump hard to get back onto our group. After this, never really felt like pushing on the downhill and got dropped by my companions on the rest of the long fast descent to the flatter sections.
Even so, the wind was at my back and I started enjoying the 30mph mostly flat trip to the turnaround. As I counted down the miles, wondered where the group was or the groupetto I was in was at. A few riders had caught me from behind, one blew and the other attacked, I responded, and my legs would not turn over after I sprinted to get in his draft so I had to recover.
Within 1 KM of the turnaround I could see our group. So close. Only 1:10 to get here. Then within 200 meters of the turnaround was the groupetto I was with until the descent. Rode with one other rider for a couple of miles when he gave up, so it was just me for the next fifteen miles. Finally another rider caught me and we worked together for a couple of miles when my inner thigh cramped. This is difficult to massage out so I had to stop pedaling for a few minutes and let the other rider go.
With ten miles to go am considering getting off the bike and into the shade. Every time I swallow, it feels like the headwind has dried out my mouth and throat so I have to take a swig of water periodically. Then I notice I am not sweating anymore which is a pretty bad sign so I throttle it back even more and limp into the finish, and immediately my calves start cramping up and turning into rocks - on the plus side this didnt happen while I was riding. It took 1:50 to get back from the turn around so riding solo was ridiculously slow for me.
Will have to set goals a little lower for next week and change my race category from the 63 mile road race to the 38 mile road race...
D: 89.4 km