Thundercrit 2. This time last weekend….
The morning started early, about 7am when my brain woke up and started shaking me …… “kiss goodbye to your first layer of skin” … I had spent the evening before googling ‘Red Hook crashes’….. Then came the bellyflies….the nervous little critters that jitter about inside you like fleas on your cat after she’s had a good ol’ time up the bins on a Friday night.
This was my first fixed crit race, I knew I’d get a buzz, but I didn’t think the buzz would mean I didn’t want to leave the house for the first four hours of the day for fear of not being in the vicinity of a toilet for a while.
We arrived for sign on and started to sort bits, checking in, coffees, checking bikes, bananas etc, Feeny and I then collectively started panicking as we saw some of the powerful ladies we’d be up against. Karla was on route in an Uber, a puncture had stalled her arrival, she was busy getting all the bad luck out the way before the race I think.
Rollers started spinning around us like Kylie Minogue on crack, earphones clamped in, I suspected a lot of peeps’ race ready tracks started bleating into ears, those high cadence inducing numbers that get the blood pumping, much like the DnB that was hyping the crowd.
The men’s qualifying rounds were up first, and the crashes begin. Tires pop and a small amount of blood spills but no broken bones #win.
Then we women line up for our qualifying, we don’t have anywhere close to the numbers the men do, so we all race together (ergo we need more girls to get involved to widen the field), some of these ladies are formidable racers, professional kit, professional bikes, and professional quads to match ????
10 laps of trying to keep it together and not let our nerves or excitement get the better of us (brain says “chill… you have 24 laps in the real race to come” ….heart says “arrrrrggggghhhhh race race race”) Karla pops out the front mid way through, pushing the pack forward, leading for one, power on, AND she had the lung capacity of a small (but beautifully formed) hampster as she had a chest infection! But she is mental so she wanted to race #femmebrutale
We all finish together, like coworkers on a monthly cycle ……so civilised
The men’s B cat final is up next, jungle is massive, and so are some of the legs lined up!
Then it arrives, the longer slog, the women’s final, my adrenaline is going mental, and so is the whooping from the crowd, Cow bells and screams as we push away from the start line (still feeling like a lamb to the slaughter a little) then the BANG from the start gun, it’s begun. Surges come each lap, just hold on, half way through I see Karla on the side lines (damn you chest infection) but mental fist pump to her! Keep racing, keep concentration on that wheel in front, you are not going anywhere….
The last lap arrives, the bell tolls, out of the hairpin the leaders shift into 6th gear, pigtails swish in the wind like miss piggy’s tail when Kermit says he’s feeling frisky! The pace is up, in the final bend before the last straight, my gap closes and the sprint begins, I see the leaders smash away like a bullet from a gun….puuuuuuusssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh final sprint with the pack to claim 8th!!!!!!!! I whoop internally, as I can’t get air down to do it in person!
I blooming loved it, first one down but more more more needed! Off the bike to learn Feeny claimed first prize in the B cat!!!!!! Celebrations!!!!! Beer’o’clock has arrived!!!!
We are pumped for all of it, Matt-the-Sexy-Mechanic’s coaching and tech skills meant we could do it (girls, get involved). We can only get better from here, the start of the fixed crit season, we can only get stronger, we can only get a bigger field! Come on girls, make the pack bigger, push the sport on, don’t be scared, what’s the worst that can happen? (don’t google red hook crashes)
The support from the Velociposse fam was brilliant, Eleanor-the-Engineer’s industrial printed sig
n was epic and Alison’s Brownies and Blondies allowed all racers and professional spectators to finish the day! Love to all that came and cheered us on, hearing your name being cheered does give you a juice boost when you’re trying keep your pace up.
Mucho love and thanks to NLTC for the epic day, the men and women had equal prizes and equal love, that’s all we want in this world ❤️??????
Personal love to my ISM PN1.1 saddle, I would not be able to race without you, my soft tissue loves you!
See you at the next start line
BC x Velociposse
Rapha Nocturne, we are coming for you ?????????♀️