I'm pretty sure that, back when Colin allowed me on this team, it wasn't for my Yankovician propensity to turn popular songs into horrific parodies about bike racing (my personal favorite so far: "I'm bringing CXy back / You vain crit racers don't know how to act"). As a result of my bad habit, this past weekend at Gloucester poor Dana had to witness me singing, "Night Weasels, Night Weasels" to the tune of this song:
Fortunately, Dana was buzzed enough not to care. Unfortunately, "Night Weasels, Night Weasels" as sung in Barry Gibb's falsetto has been stuck in my head for the past week and a half. The good news: the race was totally worth it.
Sweens and I arrived at Da Shrew... errr... the Ski Ward around 2:20 (the Princess demanded that we stop en route to buy beverages, and I obliged). Colin put us to work doing course taping and reg-related stuff. It was raining lightly, but not too hard, which meant that, beyond being wet and gunky, the course pre-rides were OK. I was really psyched about the barrier section involving momentum--score! I was also psyched about the fact that crossresults seeding resulted in me being assigned bib no. 13. I'm a total dork, but I've been wanting to do this ever since I watched Transition:
Photo by Chris Gagne
I did two brief bike washes before the race, and by the time we staged, the course was even more disgusting. Even though I like mud, I figured I was pretty hosed since Meredith Miller had preregistered AND Lyne Bessette showed up on the day of, so my plan was to ride as technically solid a race as I could and have a good time. I lined up in the second row behind Miller. There was a little chit-chat about primes, during which Anna Barensfeld threatened to downgrade to Cat 4 because she wanted the Moka pot, and then we waited for the whistle and we were off into the mud and darkness. Being behind Miller was the right decision--I found myself having the best start I've had all year, and was pretty much just floating into the mud. Plus, the inevitable pain of the start was also diffused by the hundreds of shiny glowsticks hanging off of the course tape in the first few turns. Wheeee!
I think I picked up a few spots going over the first bump, and by the time I reached the lighter side of the course, near the barriers (which were so much fun OMG), Colin was yelling, "Christine, you're DEEP IN THE MONEY!" OMG. Money! After that, I honestly spent most of the race enjoying the course and trying to continue not sucking, because I was holding my own in the mud and it was pretty awesome.
Photo by Chris Gagne
At some point I ended up on Frances Morrison's wheel--given that she was wrecking me at Verge races last year, I was pretty psyched. She crashed out in front of me, I went around her, and started chasing Alex Jospe. Holy awesome! I got by her and then she got the spot back and surged ahead.
Then, near the end of lap 3 or 4, Frances caught up to me and went around, along with another rider. We went through the start/finish together but I couldn't keep up. I spent the rest of the time trying to hold off Elizabeth White, but fatigue finally destroyed my handling. I crashed, then she kicked and got around me. When I got to the last half of the last lap, my friend Jen O'Donnell from CB was close behind me, so I tried to keep it as clean as possible and made it over the line in front of her with eight seconds to spare. Also, we were both comfortably on the lead lap with Miller... and in the money!
Getting my first-ever elite payout and having a ton of fun doing it was pretty awesome. Hanging out with a bunch of good friends on a Wednesday night was pretty awesome too. I got home after midnight, but it was totally worth it. Work the next day found me happily wearing last night's glow bracelets. Night Weasels: like my clubbing days, but better.