After a whirlwind beginning to the season with Nittany followed immediately by Vegas, I finally have had a (brief) amount of time to get collected and ready to go into the season full speed.  Charm City is always a favorite race for me, and although  I didn’t totally dig all the course changes made this season, all in all, it was a solid weekend, resulting in two 2nd place finishes behind the one and only Helen Wyman.

There’s not much by way of exciting details on either day of racing. Helen led the attack on the first day straight from the gun, and I managed to hang on for a little while, and fight my way back on after losing some ground in the sand pits. We swapped on Day 2, where I got the holeshot, but lost ground again in the sand pits. Yea, those sand pits; my Achilles heel on the weekend. I like to think that generally I can manage riding in sand fairly well. It certainly isn’t my strongest skill, but I thought I had a grasp on it. But, enter four consecutive passes through the volleyball courts of Druid Hill Park, and it’s like I’ve never ridden a bike before. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t hammer the technique down enough to ride cleanly four times through. I got close, but no cigar. I knew Helen rode all four each lap, which made me want to stop and wait for her so I could figure out how it was done!

I never did quite figure it out.  I lost time each lap on each day as a result.  I’m still a little frustrated about not getting that sorted out, despite having ridden the damn things at least fifteen times over the course of the weekend.  But, as one of the local kids said (who kept riding past where I was parked doing the longest and raddest wheelies ever) “you’ll get better if you practice”.  Now, he was referring to wheelies at the time, but his advice is universal.  Onto the next one – Gloucester!

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