Getting the season off to a start is easier than some may think. I chose to do it the same way as last year, during my first season of racing. What is that, you may wonder?! By going to the Early Bird Practice Crit, as this is a fantastic way to get back into racing and all you have to lose is a tiny bit of ego, and the same thing holds true for what there is to gain...ego.
At the start were two women (including myself) for the Pro/1/2/3 field and 28 guys, since they were combining the women's and men's top fields. After three laps of averaging 27mph, it was only me left for the women's field. It was a ton of fun racing with the guys, and to my surprise it wasn' t nerve-raking at all to be in a "big" field. Typically, the women's fields are tiny compared to the men's so a field of 29 to me is big.
Attack followed attack, and I was able to stick with the main pack for the entire race. Two guys did get away, and in the bunch sprint at the end I was happy with a top 15 finish. Overall, it was definitely worth the 1.5 hr drive to Fremont to race the Early Birds.