Race Report from Vera Divenyi
Cherry Creek TT Series #5
Cat 1/2- 2nd place
Normally, I make pretty good decisions but last night was certainly not one of them. OK, so Rachel was the 2nd fastest woman at Cherry Creek and I was the 3rd last night, but still, I think we should have stayed home.
I got to TriBella with time to spare and Rachel looked at me and said, “Let’s have a trainer date”. It was pouring and about 40 degrees. Then Rachel starting talking crazy about wanting to run instead of ride and I put my foot down. When I pay for a race, I really want to race and being from Northern California where I have often ridden and raced in the rain, I wanted to race. I told Rachel I was racing and she agreed to race, too.
Very late and off on the Cherry Creek bike path with our TT helmets to lessen the rain hitting our heads, our red and orange jackets covering our thermal jackets and our gloves, leg warmers and shoe covers. The first puddle, I misjudged and it was about 10 inches deep. My feet were now wet and we had only ridden 5 minutes. The rain was getting worse and the Cherry Creek path was flooded in many places. We had to take a few roads that run parallel in order to avoid the “creek” as it certainly was a quick-running river.
As we approached Cherry Creek State Park, it began to sleet. The sleet was large and hitting me in the face. It was also sticking to my very wet leg warmers and kit. We rode straight to the start line as we had no time. We were a little confused as there were practically no other racers and wondering how they could run this race. Rachel was freezing and in pain and said she was not going to race. I gave her my dry gloves that I had in my backpack so she could be more comfortable. Off she went.
For some reason, I thought I had three people between her and me, but there were just two. I struggled to get my wet gloves back on and was not able to. Three! Two! One! The holder was yelling out. Oh, that was for me! I had one glove, said “screw it!” and jumped onto the course about 15 seconds late.
I started racing and immediately felt the jell-o leg feeling. I was struggling up the first hill and my left hand was so cold that all I could focus on were my finger tips. I passed my “20-second” person as she was really about my 35-second person today. I felt the snow hitting me and thought that there was no way in hell I was going to finish this TT. After the first turn around, my hand started to feel a bit better. The right hand was in a glove that was no so wet it was actually worse than the gloveless hand. I powered on feeling as if my brakes were rubbing.
I actually made it over the one larger hill on the course in my big ring as my hands were too cold to change gears and I wanted to warm up. I made it up feeling much better, but my feet felt like they were walking barefoot on planks of wood. My shoes had water sloshing in them back and forth with each stroke. I made it up to about 29 mph on the decent and saw Rachel about where I normally see her. She was able to yell out to me. I grunted in return as I my whole jaw was now frozen. The final climb comes after a full u-turn. I wanted to make sure I slowed for the u-turn, but my cork brake pads were not working their best. I tried to brake and kept going straight; finally I was able to turn. Some nice volunteer cheered (I felt for the volunteers at this race) and I continued on.
I worked so hard getting up the final climb and was so happy to be done. Rachel met me at the finish and we rode to get our very wet backpacks at the start line. Both of us were grunting and shivering. The official wanted to put us in his truck. Thankfully, I had asked a friend who was racing just after us to take us back to TriBella and so we had a ride. I cannot imagine what we would have done if we had to ride the 50 minutes back to TriBella.
I recorded part of our drive back to TriBella as we were shivering so much we couldn’t speak. Rachel and I were crammed into the front seat as the seat warmer was only in the front and the heater vents were much stronger in the front. Josh was outside at TriBella and so we honked at him to help us as no one wanted to get out of the car. Finally, I braved it and went into TriBella to retrieve my bag of work clothes.
I drove home with my wet shoes and clothes. I made tea before getting in the shower which was very hard as I was still shivering. I took a 25 minute shower with my hot tea and finally started to feel a bit more normal. My left big toe was half blue and my finger tips under the nails were (and still are) white.
My prize? Thai food with my boyfriend. I figured that I needed spicy food to continue to warm up. I did not have a recovery Thai iced tea as I did not want anything that had “ice” in the name.