I wasn’t quite ready to say that I’ve done my last race for the season. But was I willing to get all my gear together, then get up at 5 AM then drive 3-plus hours in order for that to be so?
That’s always the test for me: do I feel motivated enough to go through the hassle of getting everything together? Bike, wheels, clothes, food, bottles, water jug, directions, etc.
My motivation passed the test, so I headed out in the darkness to do the Milford Criterium up in Michigan.
Sometimes I’m hesitant to tell people about new races because then a bunch more people might show. It’s nice to have a “stealth race” where you show up, unknown, and have a chance to bring home some cash. But I appreciate that the promoters work hard to put on a race, and they want people to show up.
So here it is: the Milford Criterium was a good race. Nice course, lots of people watching and ringing cowbells, coffee shop right across from the start/finish. And Frankie Andreu was announcing. As I rode over to the registration, I could hear his voice, familiar from having heard him on Tour de France TV broadcasts.
My mission for the day became: hear Frankie announce my name and “Carbon Racing”.
Early in the Masters 45+ race I bridged up to 2 guys who were away. Then sprinted to take the first prime. We started to build a lead. Mission accomplished already. When I sprinted for another prime late in the race (for a new wheel), he mentioned my “impressive burst of speed”. Obviously he’s not seen me sprint very often.
At least he didn’t say that I messed up the sprint for the finish and only managed second.
I put on a clean jersey, got an espresso, then did the 35+ race. Got off the front a number of times, but the field was determined to chase anything and everything. Not uncommon for a Michigan race (sorry to Michigan racers, but that’s the way it often seems).
After the masters races they put on the obligatory kids races. Only here they had a HUGE number of kids. Standing just after the finish, watching the mass of kids sprinting and weaving, I had the feeling that this could be ugly. Sure enough a couple of kids touched wheels and hit the pavement. Just like the real thing.