Weekend Roll: I'll Never Learn

I know better than to race while sick. Just a few weeks ago I even wrote a journal entry titled "Racing While Sick is a Bad Idea." But if cycling is a sport that rewards equal parts discipline and stubbornness I probably wound up with too much of the latter. This weekend certainly seems to confirm that when it comes to the opportunity to race on two wheels I'll truly never learn.

I spent most of the week bogged down with a cold following a thoroughly enjoyable trip home to the Midwest. I dutifully stayed off the bike and focused on recovery during the week but with the prior week's riding goals co-opted by some 'real-world' (vs. the cycling world) workload this meant that I was in a two week streak with barely any riding. Not exactly the way I wanted to head into Intelligentsia Cup

By the time Saturday rolled around I may have only recovered to 80% health but I wasn't about to miss the opportunity to roll with the TBD squad for some steady miles under blue skies. In the interest of continued recovery I definitely should have skipped out on some of the harder efforts during the ride, in particular a state line sprint that was apparently sufficient to score a top 10 on the Strava segment, but like I said: I'll never learn.

CRCA Points Racing in Central Park

After Saturday's brief 40 mile excursion left me wiped for the rest of the day I should have known better than to get up and race in Central Park on Sunday. But once again - I'll never learn. And so it was yet another 4AM alarm on Sunday as I woke up feeling definitively worse than the day before. 

Walking out of our building we were greeted by a gentlemen who was actually in worse shape than me - passed out on the sidewalk in his clothes from the night before. The things you see when you race bikes at the crack of down in New York City....

There was a brief scare on the start line as the club was short FIVE marshals required in order to start racing. It's not the first time the club has had to beg for volunteers to forgo racing in order to ensure the club series can go on but it's frustrating all the same. Seriously people - show up for your marshaling dates. 

Once we actually got off the start line it was a 7.7 lap points race on tap with Tavern on the Green sprints. We had a smallish crew in attendance given a chunk of the squad was off racing at Giro del Cielo in New Jersey but we gave it a go all the same. At one point Tom, Scudney and I all wound up in a promising break that snuck away on the East Side of the park... ...only to get stuck behind our moto when the C field wouldn't give us room to pass. I guess it was just that sort of weekend for me. 

As the laps ticked down my cold caught up with me and I faded back to pack fodder though Scudney dutifully made a split that occurred with a lap and a half to go, leaving those of us in the pack with an easy final lap group ride to the finish. After the usual post-race recap and storytelling I immediately retired to the couch for an extended nap - waking up feeling immeasurably worse than the start of the weekend and telling myself that one of these days I'll learn not to race when sick. One of these days...