Once again, the 1st WORS race of the year has come and gone. I saw lots of chatter about how people were just there to have fun, see old friends, not necessarily to race. Huh? I think that’s an easy way to say “…if I don’t do well, I can just say I was having fun…”
I saw a lot of people racing, and a lot of people having “fun”, but I didn’t notice anyone stopping to take pictures during the race or check their email. Despite the frigid temps, the racing was hot. Iola is a favorite course among a majority of the WORS racers, myself included. It has a little of everything and it’s the inaugural WORS race, so everyone comes to the line extremely amped up.
This year was no exception – when Don yelled go, we blasted up the fire road on the backside of the ski hill jockeying for position. I immediately felt the fact that my warm-up (if you could call it that) in the cold temps did little to warm me up. I also immediately felt the failure of my activities the entire off-season. Last year, I hit the gym quite a bit and continued to do some cold weather riding too. This year I just rode, 2-3 times a week, throughout the winter – avoiding the gym almost completely. That plan worked out pretty well in the 2 early season road races I’ve done so far, but it backfired horribly once I hit the hills of Iola on my single speed. I have zero upper body/core strength compared to last year – those hills sucked the life out of me in a hurry. I’ve become a much better climber over the years, many times making key moves on the steepest hills, but that was not the case in Iola. It took everything I had to make it up the steepest hill on the last lap.
Overall, I felt good and I felt like I left it all out there, despite having a much slower time than last year. I placed a distant 3rd (last year’s finish had me 2 seconds out of 1st). On the first lap I wanted to die and stop pedaling, by midway through the second lap I had found the groove and I used the last lap to wring out any energy I had left in me.
Unfortunately, as soon as I crossed the line my stomach started to cramp up – which turned out to be some kind of bug that kicked my ass for the next 48 hours.
Due to scheduling conflicts, my next WORS race won’t likely be until the end of July. I’m hoping to make a few changes and add some horsepower before then.