[Special Note: I have a "Music Player" gadget, 4th down to the right. You may run audio from it or the video as you see fit by pausing the music player or muting the embedded video. Enjoy!]
The good, the bad and the ugly. It's all in there if you look for it.
The O'Fallon Grand Prix Criterium started out great. The temperature was reasonable. The field size was very small. Tracey Smith cracked a joke on a train being on the course. Aaro produced a masterpiece painting that was up for grabs as a prime. Everyone laughed. And then it was race time.
Zack Reed came ready and took off like a rocket and I jumped on his wheel and bang. We were gone. Eventually we lapped the field. Turns out a couple riders were off and soon two more from the field jumped. I saw Zack chasing them solo and responded and caught up with him and then the next two riders which included his team mate Justin Maciekowicz.
There was a tiny bit of confusion when a race official indicated to us that Zack and I could not help them catch the next two riders. Actually, I am still a little confused by this. In the old days lapped riders could work off the front with the riders who lapped them. Apparently the rules have changed.
No matter, Zack and I both decided to fall away from those two riders in order to have a safer finish for ourselves (or so we thought). It turns out that I pulled a bone head move.
Zack was waiting to jump me for the win. I couldn't talk him into pulling at the end (totally fair). I was (almost) certain to get beaten by him in the sprint. So I thought it would be best to try and surprise him by jumping him through a corner to see if I could produce a gap and then try a time trial with only a couple laps left.
Well, the surprise was on me. My bike slide out from under me and Zack ran into me and fell from his bike in a fairly bad off cambered turn coming out of a narrow roadway (less than seven meters wide). It was totally my fault, but still extremely accidental. If you watch the video, you can see that the speed and line were hardly any different from the previous runs through this corner. I believe I was just shifting my weight to start pedaling and then WHAM! No warning. Just a sudden slide out.
I saw that Zack appeared uninjured and without the slightest hesitation I jumped back on my bike and took off to continue racing. I spent no time evaluating the condition of myself or my bicycle. I was only thinking, "Go, go, go". The race was still on, no free laps and riders were chasing from behind.
It wasn't until the race was over that I realized that I was a total douche bag for not waiting for Zack after accidentally crashing him. Zack was of course rightfully furious and for this I sincerely apologized (as I do now). I asked him if he was ok, and luckily he was fine (unlike myself) and had very little effects from the crash. He was of course screwed out of first place. The only way I felt I could make a wrong right was by offering my sincere apology and awarding him the difference in prize money that he would have received otherwise. I believe he accepted my apology.
If I could do it over again I would have happily taken second place and not crashed over winning as the result of a crash that I caused. That's why I sorta feel like I actually lost instead of won. I most certainly lost some skin. But that's bike racing.
I'll be fine and racing again this coming weekend.
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