I picked a somewhat gloomy day to try my hand at racing again after about 5 years off. It was the first crit I’d ever entered having only participated in circuit races back in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. I arrived at the venue early enough for a thorough warm up on the trainer while I consumed a bottle of PowerBar Performance Sports Drink. After warming up, I pedaled over to the start line and topped off my energy stores with a PowerBar PowerGel. The race started at a faster pace than I expected from Cat 5 racers. I struggled to hang on at the back for the first couple of laps until things slowed down to a more reasonable pace and I was able to catch my breath. I slotted into the rear of the pack and kept an eye out for the guys who hadn’t mastered the art of cornering at high speed and couldn’t hold their lines through the turns. I looked for opportunities to move up in the pack but had a difficult time gauging when it was the right time to make a move with the constant surging and ebbing from lap to lap. As the race official announced 5 laps to go, I was surprised that there hadn’t been any attempts to breakaway from the pack. It was becoming pretty clear that there was going to be a bunch sprint at the finish. I moved up a few places on the inside over the next couple of laps until the bell rang for 1 lap to go. Physically, I was gearing up for an all out assault on the finish line but mentally I realized that I really wanted to finish my first race in one piece. As we came around the last turn, I held my position in the middle of the pack crossing the line safely and excited for the upcoming races that lay ahead in the near future. The racing bug is definitely back.
– Alex Robinson