Winfield Take 2 – Little P teaches me a lesson…

You know you’re a sick roadie when you wake up, see the horrible weather report and your first thought is “YES! Maybe the field will be a little smaller!” Then it dawns on you that the fast guys are just as serious as you and will still be there to tear your legs off…only now you’ll also be wet.

The rain held off.

TQ placed second after messing up and pulling on the way down the straight. #2 jumped and TQ reacted too late. Meh…it’s bike racing.

Our 4’s crew was still busy licking our wounds from the day before. Every conversation make ample use of the word “suck”. “We sucked yesterday.” “That hill sucked!” “RR, when I followed your wheel up that hill all I was thinking was man this sucks.” “I couldn’t even outsprint Lund at the line…triple suck!”

I warmed up actually. It made a big difference. Right before the race little P showed up with his nana and grandpa. They were coming for his race later. They just happened to make my race. As far as little P was concerned though there was a bounce house and nothing else.

Race went about as expected. I have lost my aggression. I just find I am too concerned about burning too many matches too early so I don’t shoot gaps to move up early enough and find I am swinging on the back. In racing if you aren’t moving up then you’re being passed. It’s that simple. It becomes a self feeding frenzy where the pace picks up as a result.

I was climbing OK but kept getting jammed up in the corner. Never carried enough speed through no matter what line I took and found myself working when I should have been resting. Lather-rinse-repeat….no sprint for me. I picked up a few at the end but I was OTB on the final straight. Better than the day before but enough to make me decide it’s time to pay attention again. I can’t just go out and ride once a week and then expect to race well.

Then it was little P’s race. He was racing in the 4 and under category. He’s 3 so half of his cat was older than him. He was woefully undergeared on his trike. No worries about passing rollout. One kid had a wheel so big he could cover the course they had laid out for them in 3 pedal strokes. He also looked like he was 7. f’n sandbaggers….

Little P was excited. I was amazed at how into it he really was. I figured they would start the race and he’d be all looking around at everyone and I would have to be coaxing him down the course. Instead I had to hold him back until they started.

They had to race down to Snoopy. Try explaining what Snoopy is to a 3 yr old who has been raised on Dora, Diego, Blue, Bob and Jack. He gave me a big WTF look. “The dude at the end dressed up in a white costume that is supposed to look like a giant dog” – we have recognition….

At the start he pealed out. His cadence was….3 yr-old kind of high. We initially got a hole shot but quickly lost advantage due to gearing. He was soon dead last and I started to think of ways I could keep him interested in the sport after coming in DFL. Then the rider in front of him stopped cold and started crying. “GO! P! GO! YOU ATTACK WHEN A RIDER CRACKS!” – he responded with a burst of speed.

The crying sandbagger came back around and quickly passed P again only to crack again a few feet further. This only served to get me going more. Little P just kept cruising along on his trike.

3rd was his. There was a quick moment of hesitation at the line as he sized up the poor dude in the dog suit debating whether he was good or evil. Then he kept going.

I told him the race was over. He kept going. He said, “NOOOOOoo!! No it’s not!” I turned him when he reached the cops blocking the road – just before he made it into oncoming traffic. I pointed him into turn 1. He took off.

I tried to coax him into stopping all down the second short straight. By the time we reached turn 2 it dawned on me that he was on a mission. He was riding the whole course. I figured he would give up on the hill but he didn’t. He just kept riding. I walked along behind him raising my hand as riders approached while warming up.

I had to put my hand on the seat on the hill to keep him from going backwards when he stalled but he would always come back and motor on. He took a quick breather at the top and then started the descent. After a couple of wrecks – you saw that pavement….try doing it at speed on a 12″ tricycle – I picked him up. He was beat.

By the time we made it back to the gazebo they were calling his name for his medal. He took 3rd after all. He insisted on sitting on my lap on the podium but did raise his hands in triumph upon presentation – jersey zipped and all.

In the end he taught me that it’s not that Psimets suck at racing….it’s that we just need longer races.

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