...rather than just rode!
After the frustrations of the last couple of races I nearly didnt leave the warmth of the house to brave the freezing temperatures, and even on the start line I didn't feel like I had much in me, but for once it all came together.
I passed whole groups of riders on the first lap, hunted down the riders ahead of me one by one lap after lap and just rode up to the middle order. Something changed today, something in my mind primarily and it made a big difference. I heard that little voice telling me I was racing, telling me to scythe up the inside corner after corner, to take no prisoners and if they weren't going to take the best line then I'd use it to pass them instead and telling me to push a bigger gear on the muddy straights and give it even more if it seemed like anyone was coming back at me. When I dropped a chain and got re-passed by a small group I had just given everything to overtake on the previous lap I didn't resign myself to finish behind them but decided to get angry and pass them again. I shouted, swore at myself and even growled my way back up to them and as I caught the guy on the back he moved over to let me pass as if I was one of the leaders! With 1 more lap all but the fastest of the group were dispatched again and I was rockin' it.
It was a fun course with lots of running up and down steep banks and more off-camber switchbacks than I could ever imagine and finally I got my tactics right on the day. I learned the faster lines and for the first time I made up time on the quicker riders through tactics and technique alone. I remembered articles on cornering and weight distribution and was able to put it into practice when it counted and anyone watching e cross the line at the end would have thought I'd won the damned race.
Thanks for the encouragement and offers of help after my last post last weekend and the motivation it gave me today. I still have a huge way to go to bust out of the middle order but I drove home today with a few scalps under my belt and finally feeling like a racer. Bring on the next one...