Major thanks to someone named Jeremy, a local Toronto artist with a passion for cycling who took these pictures of me!
This was my first official local criterium.
Of all the races I've done so far this season they have mostly been in the US and with Team Type 1. I was really excited to race local even though it kind of felt like culture shock.
Bike racing in Southern Ontario is proving to me to be quite different from racing in the states. I am becoming familiar with the teams and the girls down there yet I know very little about the people here in my own city. It's different up here in a few ways. Firstly, there are FAR far fewer girls who race or cycle competitively at all for that matter. Again, this is all just my perception. So Sunday's race, by my calculations, had maybe 13% women. That kind of sucks. This meant that we were all grouped together in one field. In fact there was only ONE other girl in my category. approximately 25women TOTAL.
That's kind of sad. Plus it makes the field awkward because there are so many women of different categories and levels racing together.
The other difference is the categories themselves. They confuse me, I'm not going to lie. In the states it's just Cat4,3,2 or 1. Simple. Up here there's Masters categories A and B as well as Elite categories which I still have no idea how it works. It's by age, as well as rank... as well as how nice you smell and what your dress size is...
So the CHIN sponsor is a radio station and every year they have this weekend-long event/picnic thing over the Canada Day long weekend. It was a really awesome course. There was a bit of everything. 2 turns, a slight downhill, a hairpin turn (which was TOO much fun) and a slight uphill along the backside of the course with a nasty headwind. The whole thing was about 1.4km long and we raced for 45 minutes or so.
There was a 2 girl crash on turn two on the second lap. I saw one girl literally get launched 5 feet into the air with her bike as she was unlucky to be behind the first girl who slid out in the turn. I held on to the field for all of a couple laps. That was it before I felt like I was going to explode. I'm still learning how to pace myself and where my limits are. I probably could have hung on for longer but I give up so easily thinking, "what's the point?". I really need to work on that.
Somewhere around the middle of the race I got lapped. That's the worst feeling in my opinion. I couldn't really tell what had happened. There were two main fields as well as a a couple sets of two girls. Then there was me and maybe another girl who were stuck on their own. It was kind of confusing. But two girls caught up who were hanging off the back of the main field. They came up to me and told me to hop on so we could all work together. I stayed with them for a number of laps feeling pretty good. As they pulled aside indicating it was my turn to pull I said, "I don't think I'm strong enough." as I rode by. I had no intention of refusing to pull. I pulled for a lap and felt really proud of myself. Next thing, I'm trailing off the back and I lost them. The rest was just me.
I think this picture is amazing. It's the first picture I REALLY have of me actually racing a bike. I love the flag and the CN tower. It's quintessential because I raced in Toronto on Canada Day. Also, I forgot my socks and had to go commando feet. It wasn't very comfortable.
It was good fun but it certainly didn't have the same umph as you get racing in the states. I met a few really nice girls. There were spectators but not very many. I don't think there was any such thing as a prime either (a race within a race for gift certificates/money/etc) There was no kick ass MC or loud bumping music. No cowbells or cheering spectators. Only were really annoying whistle blowers with flags the entire course. Overall, it was a pretty quiet race in downtown Toronto during a festival. Hmmm.
I had some great BG happenings, however. Started with an 8.3mmol/l (150mg/dl). No temp basal rate or insulin on board. I ate a bar beforehand. I finished with a 5.7mmol/l (103mg/dl) and bolused 1.5 units to account for the post crit high. It was pretty awesome I must say. Sure helps to take that crazy BG out of the mix to blame for poor performance. Nope, just poor performance all around, no 'betes blaming this time.
Need more girls to race. Need more races!