"So, you did Novice School on a bet and now you're back, huh?" says a guy in line for registration Saturday at PIR. Yep. I'm too distracted by the girl in the distracting half-shirt to tell him this (she has a pierced navel and baked-on abs), but I wasn't even supposed to be here today. The bike I'd planned to race, the one Patrick is calling his Enabler Bike, currently resides at two or more different addresses. Each time I go near the thing I leave it in more pieces than the previous time. Getting it all the way back together and running was prettymuch beyond me. So I figured I'd just volunteer this weekend (May 19-20) and race next time.
But then along came the deal of the century. So I am now the proud owner of a "cheater bike" (not like you can tell, with me on top of it), cute and red and theoretically pretty fast (although again...). Picked it up a week before the race. (Thanks, Les!) And voila.
In Saturday's practice sessions I realized I'd gotten even slower than I was in Novice School, especially through turn 7. Lame.
On Sunday it was pouring down rain and I slid gently off the track into the lawn during the morning warmup session (turn 4). Ended up with a few acres of land decorating my bike, but it seemed fine. Someone told me later that the bike had never been crashed before. I hope it liked the experience.
Then when it came time for the first race, I couldn't get the bike running and missed the whole thing, disappointing my legions of fans (sorry guys!). Turned out I had a dead battery, but still. Not the coolest. Ladies' book clubs don't get all tarted up to go to the races every day, you know.
By Sunday afternoon, everything was charged up and ready. The rain was sheeting down, but I stuck to a solid 35mph or so and managed to stay upright all the way around the track enough times to see the little checkered flag. Hooray! My first official finished race. I also didn't get lapped, but only because the race was shortened from 7 laps to 5 (thanks to rain and overall lateness). Sweet.
As we loaded up the bike to go home, my friend the Italian Cowboy noticed that the forks didn't move. At all. Which is not ideal, from what I gather. So apparently I'd ridden the whole race with seized forks, and still not crashed. Awesome. Plus now I have something I can blame for my ten-minute lap times. ("Bike felt weird," etc. Uh-huh.)
Anyway, sorry I haven't been more thorough in my racing updates. I'm working on a larger story about it, so will keep everyone posted etc etc etc.
Sweden report coming up next.