In the VCA the racing season has officially ended. BAR points were added up and protest period announced. On group rides you see many CX bikes with road tires, some with knobbies. The temperature out is telling us that we should still be racing, but there are no more to do.
Then came along the Bare Bones Racing Series at the Sportsplex. Five weeks of training crits. Bare Bones is right. It cost $10, or $30 if you prepay for all 5. One category, Open. No prizes. The officials volunteer and the money simply pays for the permits. It is a true training crit.
Last night was the first one. Thirty-nine racers lined up. The start time was 7 pm and I think that is going to change. We raced for nearly an hour and ended up sprinting in the near dark. But for an end of season training crit, riders took this serious. There were many attacks, chases and tactics played. It all ended up as a group at the end though.
As for me, I felt pretty good. I went with a number of breaks. I bridged a number of times and chased a lot. I am starting to get the hang of recovering once in a break and being able to contribute something without getting dropped from them. One of the most promising breaks occurred near the end of the race. We had a gap and because there were only 4 laps to go, I thought the pack might be hesitant to chase...I was wrong. We got caught on the bell lap. At that point it was just get in and finish with the group.
But this training series comes at a perfect time. It will keep the flame lit for those who are road only racers and take them into the off season with a little bit higher fitness level perhaps. And for us cross racers, it is a great way to get some high intensity work to prepare us for the CX racing.
I just love the fun, no pressure training crits...especially this time of year.