It was a Halloween Day. The sun was shining on this beautiful fall day at Creve Coeur Park. Time for Bubba #5. Excitement filled the air as a field of more than 30 women lined up to do some cross racing.
With the word from Buddy, we were off. I pedaled like mad. My proficiency in the first few turns was above average. Relatively speaking of course. Next up were the barriers. Barriers are second, right after turns, on my lengthy list of things that I need to work on to improve my cx racing. My dexterity over the barriers usually rivals that of a wooly mammoth. It was a little better that day.
The barrier was followed by a “let it rip” flat paved section. I cranked Jake into his biggest gear and threw it all out there. A few modest turns followed the paved stretch. Sliding around on twigs was the only issue here. These turns gave way into a what I would describe as a whoopty-do. I whooptied over the whoopty-do a little hot and bounced quite a bit on the landing. It was kind of fun. After landing the whoopty I took down a little tape on series of tight turns that followed. Just felt that the course needed to be a little wider. That’s all.
Round and round we went. Like a bunch of rats in a maze. Myself and a woman in a Triathalon Club battled back and forth. I passed her in the straights. She passed me in the turns. It was a real battle royale.
She passed me in the turns leading up to the whoopty-do. “S%^T!” I grabbed her wheel. “No way man.” I thought to myself. Thank God I had widened the course on the previous lap because it allowed me to stay on her wheel in the turns following the whoopty-do.
I was lost in the moment. I followed her right into the stinking wheel pit! “S%^T!” In a panic I panned for a way out of the pit. “That’s the course right there. There’s even an opening in the tape to get there.” I proceeded. I could hear Janet yelling “Turn around!” but I figured that she was yelling at the triathlete.
As I pedaled along, I noticed that I was right up there with Lo and Courtney and…well…people that normally lap me in a cx race…and…that…my triathlete rival was no where to be found.
Maybe I had taken a wrong turn.
As I came up to the wheel pit area again, I realized just how big of a short cut that I had taken. Oh man. How dumb could I be? My last few laps were filled with guilt that I hadn’t experienced since the nuns told me that I was going to Hell for talking in class.
As I crossed the finish line, I ran over to Buddy to confess my sins. My penance was relegation to last place. My conscience was clear but I still felt a little stupid.
I have been challenged my whole life. When I was 12 years old, I was disqualified in a horse show for taking a left when I went into the ring instead of a right and proceeding to do the jumps in reverse order.
Maybe if I started going to Mass more often, God would show me the way.
Yours in a Voice for the Directionally Challenged,