by Ken Huizenga
I really had the Colossal Cave RR pegged as a must participate race. I am out at Pistol Hill riding weekly and I consider this my home course. This race requires five laps. I never do five laps around this course in practice as it can be very tough. Today I felt prepared and ready to attack. The race started and I took off with my group. Everything went well until we reached the first turn onto Old Spanish Trail. Traffic was backed up at the stop sign and our spread-out peloton had to narrow and squeeze into the bike lane. I drifted back to allow Gary and Fernando safe entrance around the cars and fell off the pack a little bit. I tried to stay on Greg’s wheel as he drifted back with me. He was able to bridge back up to the group but I was afraid it was a little early to burn that match. This was my huge error for the day. I could not close the gap and this cost me dearly. The next four laps were completely on my own. I passed a few Cat 5 guys and the only other person I saw was Lonnie Poarch. He had an amazing break going off the front of his group, and still said "hi" and was encouraging me to press on. It was a long hard day but I did finish.
Bottom line here is that having to work solo for so long took its toll on my back and my pride. This is not how I envisioned this race going at all. I am no quitter, so I did finish this race off. It took all my mental fortitude to do so though. I will certainly be re-evaluating my race preparation and my training schedule. This is the first race that I have had that I can take nothing from. I had no good usable data, no personal bests and not one lap that showed improved fitness or progress. I was ten minutes slower than last year in this race. Now the decision needs to be made to just shrug this one off or re-evaluate my entire training routine. At this point I will try to remain optimistic and press on.
I am very proud of my Team. They all put in hard efforts and had our Cat 5 group well represented up front. I am getting to know a lot of other riders and I have to mention what a great group of people I get to hang with at these events. Carolyn and Scott, Jason, Rafael, Margo, Robert, I heard you guys every lap. Thanks so much for keeping me going.