by Ken Huizenga
My form was not what I had hoped after fighting a bug the end of December. Although I could find a million excuses to not ride, the need to compete was my driving factor in me opting to participate. I was pretty sure after studying the data from this Crit last year that I was in over my head. I remained optimistic and gave it my best.
Needing to maintain 24 mph average seemed impossible and on this day it was for me. This course was super fast and had tons of room in all the corners. I held on to the main pack for about 15 minutes but ran out of lung to keep the legs moving at this pace. I did have a group with me of about 5 riders and a few of us took turns pulling but after about three rotations I must have dropped them…ugh! With no one to hide behind all I could do was grind the last 10 minutes out alone, which I did. I was lapped and gassed but those of you that know me know I don’t quit. I heard Coach Buzz encouraging me every lap and it was a big part of keeping me going. Every lap I heard “keep pushing” or “great job Ken, keep it up” What an awesome experience it is to have teammates that support you. I finished in 29th which does not sound great but I had two riders that finished behind me and 20 riders that gave up with DNF’s. Thanks to my team for the encouragement and Gary for making us a great home base for the day.
Ken working hard during the 4/5's
I was done early and was wheel support for Buzz and Michael during the afternoon. I hung out to watch Evan get a third place in a race and Buzz finish fifth in the last race of the day. They rode their legs off, it was awesome. I have to include the story about Ryan Robold coming by with a flat. I asked him if he needed a new wheel. He said “I don't have one in the pit”. I waved him over, he cranked his quick release, I threw a new one on, closed his brakes, gave him a push and he perfectly blended in without losing a lap. As we all know this situation can make even the best of us look like bumbling fools. On this day we nailed it and he finished with the lead group in 16th. Super cool.
Thanks again to my teammates, you’re the best!