2013 has been a year of learning for Megan in bike racing, and it is only April! She found you could “work” your way into bike racing based on fitness alone, but eventually bike skills are a necessary prerequisite! This blog post Megan shares what she learned this weekend, and how her teammates helped so much along the way.
Fed Center Crit
A year ago I hated crits/avoided them, now I crave the opportunity to do them as a way for me to improve my bike handling skills & sprinting. Plus they are fun once you get going. It really helps that my Cat 3 teammates are pro when it comes to bike handling and always give me tips before, after the race, and even during (Kat will not let me get gapped!). I am slowly learning how to corner wisely, how to respond to attacks, how to sprint, and how to draft better and better. Fed Center was a great opportunity to work on all those skills, while scoring team points, and improving team camaraderie. Ironically Lanier was trying to lead out Susan or I and ended up getting herself on the podium. So never underestimate your potential! BTW Fed Center has something like 17 corners on each lap, I was going dizzy by the last lap trying to figure out which way to even turn. You certainly had to pay attention! I look forward to more speedy races like this to come 🙂
As for Deer Trail, this was a 43 mile road race I did well at in the Cat 4s. However with the 3s, I knew I faced stiff competition, and most if not all girls were definitely fitter than me as well. Our combined SW3/SW45+ field had around 25 riders to start. The corners and short steep hills were the normal dropping point so we quickly whittled our group down to 12 riders pace-lining through the rolling hills. At around mile 23, I was bonking – hard! I am still figuring out nutrition for these mid-day races. I then accidentally dropped my gel and had no food. Luckily my awesome teammate Susan gave me about 200 calories of food and got me eating and drinking stat! If not for her, I would have dropped halfway through the race. Instead I lasted well until the last 2 miles, where my legs died after responding to attacks. I did everything I could to sprint for 8th.
Nutrition, Bike Handling, Sprinting, Pack Riding Skills, can always be improved and make you a better bike racer. I think our team provides great opportunity for all of these skills to be developed through mentoring, racing, and teamwork.
I am proud to be on Naked Women’s Racing team and look forward to a strong season for our Cat 3 squad 🙂
And Megan, we’re happy to have you!!