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NeoRetroGrouch
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Race Report: Pedal for Proceeds, 4/22/06. University of Wisconsin – White Water. 1 lap, 24 miles of rural roads. Beautiful day for racing.

This is the one race I do that is put on by WISport, a citizen only, non-sanctioned racing series. It is a 24 mile, one lap road race with everybody – all ages and both genders on diamonds, tandems and ‘bents - in one big pack of 130 riders. I should also add that this is the first WISport race of the year.

I warm up on my trainer and arrive at the starting line ‘only’ 10 minutes early to line up about 10 riders from the back. Two major rules – center line rule and do not pass the pace car. The whistle blows and the front starts moving. About 15 seconds later, I get to go. We’re neutralized at 20 mph behind the pace car for the first couple of miles. Even here, some guy makes a hard left (touches wheels, I imagine and managed to keep it up by turning sharp) and heads down into the ditch and out into a field. At some point, the pace car blows its horn, pulls ahead and we’re off.

We round the first corner and have to squeeze right for and oncoming car that is cowering off on the shoulder wondering what the he!! is going on. (Center line rule???) Bikes and bodies are flying ahead in the pack. I manage to get around and red line it to try to catch the pack that took off when they heard the noise. About ¼ mile later I catch another 3 riders and we work together (somewhat) to stay close to the pack until they slow down. They do and we are back on, but that hurt.

We come to a T intersection and meet the ambulance going to the last wreck. The pace car stops and then the ambulance has to stop as half the pack goes around the pace car and turns in front of the ambulance. They are just pedaling slowly so everything sorts itself out and the pace car is once again leading the race.

I keep working my way forward and after about 10 miles the pack is small enough and strung out enough that we observe the center line rule most of the time by default.

After about 16 miles we accelerate out of one too many corners for me and I’m popped off the back. I hook up with another rider and we start trading pulls and staying close – tantalizingly close. But it’s not to be.

We round another corner and there are bikes and riders on the ground nearly across the road. They are holding the neck of one of the riders who turns out to be a team mate of the guy I’m riding with. He stops and, since there is nothing I can do, I continue solo.

I catch another rider with about 3 miles to go. I pull around him for about 50 strokes and motion for him to pull through. He says that he won’t pass me at the line, but he isn’t helping. I TT to the line and cross the timing mats with a time of 56:35.1 – 39th overall and first in my age group! With one pack, you don’t know how you placed in your group when you cross the line so that exhilaration isn’t there, but I do feel good about my first win on the road.

TF
 
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