So I crashed out of the Sterling Road Race today. Not a bad crash by any means, but enough to put me on the deck and off the back.
It was pouring when we set out, first across the 2.5 mile neutral section, then around the first of 6, 8 mile laps. I was feeling comfortable in the pack as we descended heading for route 12. You could tell that wasn't the case for everyone as people were opening up gaps and looking nervous. As we rounded the corner onto route 12 the first 2 guys went down. I think the guy just slid out. I decided I needed to "burn a match" and move up on the wide shoulder. I rode up to the front third of the field and found my team mate Cliff and slotted back in line. It was really pouring now as we rolled up route 12. Sitting on the right side of the field I was riding close to white line. I could feel my bike slipping on the line, even just going straight. I had no sooner thought that I needed to move away from the line when people are sliding along the road in front of me. I thought I had an opening to sneak through but ended up clipping a guys and going down. I wasn't going fast, so I didn't hit too hard.
Cliff yelled and asked If I was OK, I said I was and that I'd be back in the race. By the time I got straightened out though the pack was half a mile away. Two of us chased to get back on, but by the time we got to the start of the second lap the gap was still the same and it continued to pour. We both looked at each other and said fuck it. I didn't feel like riding off the back for 40 more miles. Cliff stayed up and in the main field, which according to him was down to about 20 guys at the finish. Way to go Cliff.
So what did I learn? the biggest thing, stay away from the lines, like on the other side of the group if possible. Even though I didn't go down on the line, it ultimately took me out. Also, I'm second guessing not finishing the race, but it's too late for that. Orchard Assault mountain bike race tomorrow.