San Luis Rey Road Race, May 3, 2009: In 2009, at age 64, I figured it was about time to begin my bicycle racing career. Mostly, it was a learning experience, and boy did I learn plenty!
I rode the course the prior week to get acquainted with the terrain. It turned out they had to change the course the day prior due to lack of some sort of approvals from the authorities. They changed it to be an out-and-back with 3 repeats. This had the effect of shortening the amount of climbing, which I couldn’t argue with. As I waited at the start line, the group ahead of our 60+ group was receiving their instructions. I had a last minute urge to use the bathroom, so I rode to the porta-john while me group was waiting. When I got back on my bike after releaving myself, I attempted to shift to the big chainring, but it wouldn’t go! As my car was close, I rode to it, unlocked the car and got out a Phillips screwdriver to adjust the limit screw. I then re-locked the car and rode to the start, only to find that the racers had already left and were out of sight! I apparently missed the start by about a couple minutes. When I was about a minute from the turn-around I saw the group returning, but I was never able to catch up with them. I did finish, after overtaking 2 of the racers, so I finished 15th out of 17. Lesson: First sign-up, then show-up for the start.
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2 years ago