Monday, April 21, 2008

What Really Matters...

Sometimes you just have to take a step back from this whole bike racing thing and decide what really matters. Saturday was going to be 85 degrees and sunny. My house is falling apart and my garden had to go in or there would be no veggies this summer. Saturday I stayed home and did chores, planted the garden, and rode with a friend to boost her confidence and sold my Merlin to her. It was a good day, and I got a lot accomplished.

Now Sunday was just going to suck from the get go. It was going to pour rain, and there were reports of tornadoes, hail and all kinds of fun stuff. I called J and told her she was forbidden to race. Jenn, Sonya and Kat were going to do the Twisted Tire Mtn Bike race at Poor Farm and I told Jenn to think of it as an adventure. I had promised Gilbert that I'd help officiate some of the races at Todd Stadium, so I had to go to Newport News for the crit.

The races I officiated went off without a hitch. No crashes, some flats, but everything was fine.

Next I left to warm up for the combined cat 1-3, 40+, cat 4 race. James insisted on rubbing nasty stuff on my legs to keep them warm (and acted like a magnet for all the grit and dirt.) We lined up and everything was fine. The whole race, everything was fine. I felt better than I have in years and I can honestly say that the hip is about as strong as it is going to be.

We were primed on the 2nd to the last lap. Then came the bell lap and I was exactly where I wanted to be, and felt fabulous. Going into the last corner, I saw two riders rub, correct and then another rider try to make a hole where there wasn't one. Then it happened...

Ann Hardy
BJ & Maria- the best of the best 40+
Ann and BJ go down! Its funny how sometimes things like that just happen in freeze frame. Ann high sided and her head hit HARD, twice, Bj spun in front of me and surprise, surprise, I bunny hopped her. Then I turned around and came back. F' the race. Those were my friends on the ground. I waited until some people came up and rode to the line to tell Gilbert to call the rescue squad. (and then everyone thought I crashed since I came up to the line so late, nope, no crashes for Karen.)
Last I heard BJ has a broken collar bone, and stitches in her knee. Ann was lucid for a little bit, then couldn't remember how she got to the race. So off she went for a cat scan. I can tell you, her head hit, hard. These two are some of the best riders in Virginia. Having this happen to them was sobering to say the least.
If there isn't room, you can not try to make room. Yeah, its racing, but its amateur racing. It really isn't worth putting your fellow riders in the hospital. Even if you think you want to be a cat 1.
I finally made it home about 5, went to Cliff's and fell asleep. You have to put this stuff in perspective. Family, friends, first. Bike racing second. Crashing out your buds so you can win(and then dont), zero.


Anonymous said...

I will say this on your BLOG.. you are one class act... This is bicycle racing.. but we ALL have real jobs come Monday morning.
I just wished more folks would remember that..

ssgovoni said...

Hey Karen, just knowing who you're talking about in regards to trying to make a hole....she didn't crash them out, and that's coming from other people who saw it. It was definitely news to her to hear just today that that's the word you're spreading. I wasn't there, so I didn't see it, but it had nothing to do with her, especially since she was just using that race as a training race and couldn't have cared less about going for results.