At first, I thought I'd do the longer of the races. I can ride 10 miles! Then I realized (obsessively researched on Strava) who i'd be racing against, and lowered my sites.
So, since I'd chosen to race the smaller five-mile race instead of the 10, I thought I might perhaps have a chance to be on the podium.
Oh, how deeply, deeply wrong I was. Deluded.
I started out well enough. I got a place on the first row of the starting grid-think like a winner!-For the first short bit, I was in second place. But then the people with gears started using them. Did I mention I also choose to ride my singlespeed without suspension? So, yeah, they have a bit of an advantage on a wide-open dirt road.
I was walking up more hills than I expected (perhaps because I'd burnt all my matches too early) but generally doing OK. Then I got a flat tire. Not a huge deal, but when you're only talking about a 5-mile race, there's not really time for that. Nevertheless, I didn't see that I had much choice, so I got out the new tube I carry, set the popped one aside, and set the little presta/schraeder adapter on the leaf-covered ground right in font of me. For some reason, my mini-pump (i?) cannot deal with presta. So I tried a few times to pump up the new tube. They weren't working very good, and more and more people passed me, including a little girl in what was surely her first race ever. I decided to try to ride on what air I'd managed to get in there. Nope. Not happening. Start walking. That was so tedious I decided I had to try again. Besides, my daughter was finally at a race. I couldn't come sadly walking into the finish! If I finished last, fine- but I was going to ride across that line!
Finally, I somehow got it (mostly) filled, and set out. Strangely, even with half the air pressure, it didn't go flat. Maybe I'd chosen poorly making the tires so hard?
I was DFL in my class. Dead freaking Last. But better DFL than DNF, right?
Tomorrow is #2, and I take on a whole new strategy. Start from the back, and pass anybody I can.