"When the hell are you guys going to finally race?"
I never thought that waiting till mid-February would be considered as being "late," but in Nor-Cal, they have high standards it would seem. The NCNCA calendar may have already been filled with race results, but as a team, we were sluggish to the idea of road racing. Berated by our peers, we finally settled on Cherry Pie and Snelling as our unveilings and pinned our virgin skin suits signaling the start of another season.
It had been a while, but the familiar sights and sounds of the local cycling scene flooded back to us like the whiff of a memory. The shine of egregiously (fast) flashy wheels, the blue stench of porta johns, the stickiness of road rash, the reg lines, and the warm up banter; it was in our blood, and there was no forgetting it.
From the gun, we picked up right where we left off. Making strong moves and covering attacks, even the new riders slotted in as if they had been there all along. Trumped by a charging Carling, we settled for a podium at Cherry Pie, but at Snelling, Riekert would not be denied. In a close sprint, Chris threw his bike, then threw it again for good measure, clenching the win and the top step for the team.
More importantly than the photo op and the prize money, the win floated our spirits and showed that while we may have been out of practice and a little rusty, this knife of a team still cuts deep. There’s a long season ahead, and we may be flat tires slouching down the highway in July, but for now, we’re here, racing is still good, and the team is on fire.
Team Camp next week.