Between April 27th and May 6th was the USA Crits held it's annual Speedweek. 7 days of criterium races in different cities each time over 10 days. Team Type 1 was there!
|Cate, Mandy, Myself, Becca, Morgan|
I'll be chronicling my experience from where I entered into the picture. I arrived late Sunday and spent a good long time waiting at the train station to be picked up only to find out later that the team van was waiting around the corner for just as long. We were all really happy to be united. We drove to Athens, GA where we spent the night. The following morning we made the relatively long trek down to Beaufort, SC. I'm pretty sure this was the favourite stop for all of us. A super quaint little town on the inland coast. We went for a casual group ride when we arrived and I could smell the sea in the air. The next day the Womens and Mens pro/1/2/3 were racing that evening. We all went for another group ride that morning and it was so lovely to get the group experience in as the 8 of us toured around taking our shares pulling.
|The Pro men|
The course in Beaufort went through the downtown historic area and it was very picturesque and touristy. The races drew an incredible crowd with awesome support. I snapped as many pictures of the ladies as I could before it got too dark when the men were racing. It was exciting to watch and cheer on my fellow TT1'ers. They all did great! Crit racing is amazing to watch if you ever get the chance.
|Morgan and Mandy|
After the race we drove the short distance to Walterboro, SC for the next day of races. Same thing again, we went for a group ride in the morning. I felt honored when we did a little lesson in bike handling and pace lines. As someone who has never had any formal training, I appreciated the knowledge. The races that night weren't very smooth. The course was nice because it wasn't a straight up boring rectangle but it was seriously lacking in illumination. The women's race went great up until the end. I was hanging over the gate photographing the finish sprints when two ladies crashed in front of me pushing into the gate and knocking me over. I had cuts and bruises on my flip-flopped foot but nothing compared to what these ladies suffered. One was taken away in a neck brace on a stretcher and the other one walked away on her own accord. I was really rather shaken after this and felt uncomfortable standing next to the gates after that. The officials washed the blood off the road and minutes later the gun went off for the men's race. By this time night had fallen. They had some lights at the corners but there was no light otherwise. I sat on the back straight away watching the race (sort of). It was so dark I couldn't actually see them. I could hear them sprinting and shifting gears, I could feel the surge of wind as they went by but all I saw was blackness. It made me uneasy. There was a rather nasty couple crashes during that race and one where they had to actually neutralize the whole course while they got the guys taken care of. Really? What have I gotten myself into?
|My early morning ride in South Carolina|
|Cate and I after our race|
I find that hanging around in my TT1 kit does tend to attract attention. For the record, I stayed in the kit because it allowed me to move around without as much chafe pain. What it does do, is open me up for conversations. I talked to a man who is T2. We were watching the race and talking about the details of the breakaway and the two chase groups. I had a low and pulled my stuff out. That's how the conversation started. I told him about the team and how we all have T1D. We talked about cycling. He told me his trepidations about the cheap bike he bought. I gave him kudos for getting out there and trying for a healthier life in whatever way possible. We definitely connected and I was honoured. I got into many more conversations that night with strangers about diabetes and bike racing as we watched the women racing. They were all very interested and keen for me to point out my team mates. It was spectacular to see the interest.
|Mandy, Rebecca and Becca|
|Mandy going for the $100 preme|
|Heat radiating off the pavement|
|Phil and Rebecca talking shop|
|Post race chill-out at the van|