Saturday, May 9, 2009
Call It Canaveral.
Last night Nat Graf and I went to the East Brunswick Club to eat and watch the football. I had a Vegan Philly Cheese Steak and some of McNabb's Sticky Date Pudding. Nat was a little taken aback about how much food I was putting away. He was even more shocked when I told him I'd already eaten two sandwiches before meeting him. "I got a race tomorrow," I told him. "I gotta stock up."
History will show that the Bombers got up against the Hawks, but it will not show me heading to Atticus Finch after the game to catch up with Harriet and Lidia. Conversation was amiable and I wasn't heaps keen on leaving, but when Lidia offered a lift I took it. "I got a race tomorrow," I told the assembled party. "I gotta get some sleep."
Having used the race as my excuse for indulging my base desires twice in three hours, I was a bit nervous about how it would go. I'd been hurt bad by the previous week's handicap, and felt like a decent showing was needed. I put my name down in C grade and tried to keep warm.
Here's a digression for my international visitors. Five kilometres in a kangaroo crossed the road ahead of my group. It jumped out, freaked out, then tried to get the fuck out. I was one side of it, some guy was on the other side of it. I looked for space and kept my hands off the anchors and the roo jumped into him.
A couple of more clicks along the road and I hit a pothole, losing my waterbottle. The decent showing was looking less and less likely.
But in this week's race, as opposed to last week's, I'd been eating a lot of food. I'd let go of a bit more of my dignity and bought some gels, and they were working a charm. More than anything, though, I was stoked. It was sunny and warm, the roads were clear and things weren't hurting. So I joined a bunch and went off the front. Another guy - James - handed me his spare waterbottle, telling me he wouldn't need it. When we got reeled in I went off with the next bunch. Things were looking ok.
The countryside started flattening out and I started thinking about the finish. I asked around but no one would tell me how far we had left. Some guy from Sunbury was off the front, but I figured there was about ten ks til the end, so I let him go. When a bunch of people appeared on the side of the road about half a k ahead I thought momentarily that maybe some folks were having a barbecue, before realising that it was the finish line. It was now that I started spinning.
A couple of seconds later I remembered that I had gears.
It wasn't soon enough to catch the guy in front, and I scored a second place.
(Photo c/o Blakey, used without permission).