Race Report: Wednesday at Wakefield One

June 30th here is Thursday night... not the night after W@W #1
the Thursday night the night after W@W #2

but this... this is something about last week

after reading the story from the perspective on Kent's shoulder I was inspired to write something
but before I write something about Wednesday at Wakefield Number One... I think I need to take a glance at my slow to be scripted words and ideas on Wednesday at Wakefield Number One
it bums me out when I wait to write something down
details are lost so hard to remember each moment it all gets erased by time June 28th

it is Tuesday... tomorrow is Wednesday
last week was Wednesday at Wakefield One
tomorrow is Wednesday at WakefieldTwo
I still have not scribbled down any thoughts on last week's Wednesday at Wakefield
if I am gonna do it... I better make it happen

I wanted to wait for the results to help me understand my effort
not sure of that helped
in fact... there may have been too much time between me and the race for me to remember the details of the day
lets see what appears...

RACE REPORT: Wednesday at Wakefield #1
W@W #1
last week as Wednesday approached I tried to get ready to race
tried to get ready... bike, body, and mind
if I could not get ready bike, body, and mind
I knew that I could at lease show up with my bike

I went into the basement and put the Rip Nine into the stand
then I grabbed a box that I knew had some spare parts in it
I grabbed a stack of chains... new chains... replacement chains... one KMC and two SRAM chains
ah... just what I was looking for... a SRAM chain... the orange box is recognizable from across the room
first one SRAM and then the other...
both were single speed chains... just as the KMC is a single speed chain
the Niner is a geared bike... I needed a 9speed chain

the Rip Nine was not to be the bike of choice for the race
through a process of deduction I was going to race the Jamis Exile
getting this bike ready would be a more simple process
check the chain slack
lube the chain and put some air in the tires
and end things with a spin the wheels and tap the brakes

my bike was ready... which meant I was as ready to race as I was gonna be
nothing more to do until I the official said the words go
well... almost
there is always more prep... and getting there is not always so easy

the school year ended the week prior and the kids had a week without camp
which meant that things were such that I could bring the boys to Wakefield... all three of us could race
which meant I had to prep three bikes and pack for three

the day unfolded that I had plenty of time to get to Wakefield
we woke up slow and let the day take its unstructured course
before it was too late in the day we left off for a dip in the pool
not feeling rushed we got a little comfortable and maybe a little lazy

after some splashing and fun in the sun we were headed for home
where the boys were able to chill-lax while I loaded up the car with bikes and anything and everything else we may need

somehow... not sure how... we had all day to get ready...
I left so late in the day that I feared that the slightest amount of traffic would prevent the boys from racing
anxiety and potential let down all around

luckily... the traffic ended as we Exited 14th Street out of the city and got onto the HOV lane headed to NOVA
Interstate 395 was a parking lot... to our pleasure HOV flowed well enough that we arrived just in time to have the boys registered and then race
no warm up... just race

well... with my boys on the grounds my attention was spent getting them ready to race and at the line... then to cheer them on and snap some photographs
once the boys were finished racing I got them set up and comfortable before I could race

a cooler filled with watermelon, cantaloupe, Capri Suns, and of course water bottles and bottles of powdered gatorade

in addition to fuel and refreshments I had a stack of UNO cards and a few books and comic books
the boys dove into an UNO game
a slight hug and some high fives from each of the boys and I was gone
as I pedaled away I heard Dean wish me good luck
with my older son's voice still fresh in my head I was back to my car with a few minutes to suit up and pedal the bike before taking the line

when I registered I had noticed Scott Young's name on the list so I was not shocked to see him as I did my hundred yard warm up
it was good to see Scott... seeing Scott made me anxious about my current fitness and my readiness to race
I enjoy racing Scott... he races hard and can push the pace

okay... honestly... I dreaded seeing Scott... I did not feel ready to race
I knew that Scott would be laying down the hammer...
which meant I would have to deliver my "A game"
I would have to lay down the hammer as well... I may like Scott... but I do not want him to finish ahead of me!

the hundred yard warm up was actually a hundred yard up and back which makes a two hundred yard warm up and then we were at the line
the 6:55 categories were lined up from Expert Males on back to the Clydesdales

earlier that evening there had been Single Speed and then some age categories
the Back to Back Single Speed was not an option for me... the kids being an excuse before even thinking about my lack of fitness

greetings were shared between fellow Clydesdales... but really it was not much more than a nod... we were getting close to race time and I wanted my focus forward


it was getting closer to race time and pre-race anxiety had morphed into a different sort of anxiety.... an at the line sort of anxiety... IT IS ALL BETTER ON THE BIKE.... I was pleased that the moment was going to be approached which would then alter the sensation of anxiety to excitement

class by class there was a release.... the space between classes make the wait at the start a lengthy experience... the wait between the release of the sport women and the clydesdales would be two minutes.... a long two minutes
waiting... I hate the waiting...
the waiting adds more anxiety
the longer the wait the more the "warm up" drifts away

then it was the countdown... the very long silent countdown
it may have been a minute... I scrambled my counting and joined back in at 30 seconds... but did not manage any decent timing so accepted the five second count down where I fought the false start... my head was not right enough to manage counting backwards
5-4-3... I just waited for the official to say GO!
fought the false start and botched the start

then it happened... the words GO!

the Clydesdales started last and furthest back
the race for the hill is all gravel... lose gravel
I bobbled the start and was slow to push the cranks and even slower to clip in
as I muscled forward I fought to maintain traction on the lose gravel

peeling out and kicking up rocks may be a cool effect
but it does not propel the rider forward
having the front end drown in the gravel was also a fear
my eyes scanned for small islands of solid ground in this sea of deep gravel

I was not the first to the base of the hill
but in a lead group
I could sense Scott Young to my right
then a few other bodies to my left

one body slightly ahead of me was a guy on a Single Speed with a white jersey who I had pointed out to Scott at the line

working hard to move forward faster I scanned the gravel climb in front of me for a good place to put my tires... I tried to take a good line without obstructing Scott or others of their line and their momentum

I crested the hill right behind the guy on the single speed in the white jersey
it was a tough battle to the top
my guess was Scott Young was right behind me along with a cast of others
but there was no looking back... have to maintain focus forward

up the hill and onto the gravel service road already fatigued I made that left hand turn towards the singletrack
I was not so sure I wanted to fight to get to the hole shot... it seemed a little early to start racing
so I drifted back and paced off the guy on the single speed with the white jersey
into the woods down the dusty singletrack that hairpins right to man made walkway over the stream

his handling was nice... real nice... much lighter on the bike than myself.... a different style of rider than me
then it happened... not sure why... but the leader... the winner of the hole shot... the guy on the single speed with the white jersey pulled over and let me pass
I took it and the race began

it had been a while since I had ridden my bike at Wakefield... more than likely I had not ridden my bike at Wakefield since race four at Wednesday at Wakefield the year prior
other than Wakefield there just has not been much mountain biking in my life
then... well... I may have been on dirt with my boys on the bike
so other than things with a seven year old as the lowest common denominator there had been no riding in the woods since Greenbrier... which was cut short with a broken chain... and before that.... well... WISP
WISP went well... but that was some time ago

and the Jamis Exile Single Speed? when did I ride that bike last?

the whole racing and riding thing is a bit of a question mark
there has not been much riding to calibrate things
what is my barometric pressure reading

into the woods and in the lead I smiled as I entered some vaguely familiar terrain
as I rode the man made rock sections I questioned my tire pressure
although I had put a seatpack with tube, pump, and multitool... I did not want to use it
a mechanical can break a race... even a slight mechanical can throw off timing and ruin someone's race and maybe their day
the lap unfolded as each lap does
the log that diminished over the years had another log stacked on top of it
which forced us all to migrate around on some moderately wet and somewhat slick mud
which caused me to slow down

back onto the dusty dirt and I tried to alter my single speed pace so that I would not encounter the woman racer in front of me on the short muscly climb
as I rolled up I made a request to pass at the Apex
more than likely my Darth Vader request was not deciphered which had me delaying my pass
I knew I could pass her on the double track thirty yards ahead... but I wanted to pass her sooner to try and build a gap on the racers behind me
rather than getting stuck behind a racer slowing my pace thus allowing racers to catch up to my rear wheel and line up behind me

Wakefield can be tough to pass
Wakefield also has some decent places to pass
if Wakefield is a "training series" one of the biggest lessons to be learned would be the lesson in "How to Pass" and "How to allow the Pass"

it is a matter of chance that a racer meets another racer at a decent place to pass
I have flatted out trying to force a pass
flatted out from slamming into hidden rocks or rolling through some brush and taking on a thorn or two... I did not wish this to happen

no one likes to be passed
I hate being passed
people were really good about being passed
the Sport racers who often can ride faster than they race were not as feisty about being passed as they often can be

not asking anyone to stop and pull over
just asking them to not accelerate and maybe just skip a pedal stroke or two
thus allowing the pass

passing on the single speed can be tough

the first lap went by with the basic balance of pain and pleasure
there were all those questions
how is my bike? how is my body? is my rear flat? do I have a slow leak?
the lap unfolded with a few Clydesdales within view a turn or two behind
I finished lap one in the lead
at the start of lap two I was pleased to see and hear my boys Dean and Grant cheered me on
sure I took my pace down to scan and pan so I could zero in on them
not because I was worried
but because I wanted to share my race with them
and I wanted to hear their voices and see their faces to gain some power from them

over the rocks and then onto the boardwalk
and then into the woods
the start of lap two
more pedaling and more passing

this entry was started and not finished
paused... and returned... only to try and pick things up again
too many days have passed to truly express how I was feeling
I am certain that I as panicked that I was about to be overtaken by a chasing Clydesdale
there were times when a switchback or a straight away allowed me to glance back at the sound of tires behind me
each time that racer was not a fellow Clydesdale but rather one of the racers I had
just passed

at one point I think I saw Scott trailing behind me
then later in the game I saw the single speeder in the white jersey

on the second half of lap three as I started my back tracking on the open field section
I saw the guy on the single speed in the white jersey
which reminded me to keep pace
not to get too comfortable
but to keep pushing the pedals... to keep racing... to keep things pegged at the RED LINE

the course finished itself with the usual pain and pleasure
the details of which I can not recall
across the line pleased to be finished
pleased with my efforts... pleased with the results
pleased that it was all over

back to the registration area to meet up with my boys
where I scavenged the cooler for ice cold watermelon and even Capri Suns
the boys had had their fill so I shared what remained with fellow racers and friends
the watermelon was a hit... the cantaloupe was also a welcome sight to the depleted racers around me

the boys asked to leave
I told them I wanted to stay
the boys objected then gave me some space
as the race started to wind down the boys asked if they could ride the berms
the boys entertained themselves with the berms... came all the way back... then back to the berms two more times
each time crossing through a pond sized mud puddle

as I waited for the podium I socialized and caught up with friends
Wakefield is about racing and Wakefield is about gathering with friends

there was the exchange of the "tale of the tape" as everyone waited for the results to be posted and the prizes to be handed out

the Clydesdales were released last but awarded prizes first
I stuck around to see if any more DCMTB folk hit the podium
MikeT and Ian are fast... but not fast enough against the local heros of the day
then we were off

we did not make it to Kilroys
but managed to have a fantastic Chinese dinner at Cafe Hong Kong
before our long drive home with I 396 SOuth being closed forcing me to go home via the
National Harbor

W@W #1!
in the end I think I was roughly 3 minutes ahead of the next Clydesdale
the clydesdale with the white jersey and the single speed edged out Scott Young
to make it a One-Two-Three.... Me... a guy whose name turns out to be Adam and then Scott
good racing
fast competition for sure

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