This year, I decided to race all of TOAD, in the Masters 35+ 3/4. This is how it went down:
Friday, June 20th.
Two hours at work, drive north, then park the car in East Troy. Race a tight 6 corner crit in the midpack. Try to move up in the last 5 laps, then die in the last 500 meters. 39th of 53. A leg opener.
Saturday, June 21st.
Warmup on the trainer, no messing around today Grafton. Ride in the front of the race or die. Move up on the hill each lap. Avoid a crash in turn 3 of 6 on the bell lap, bridge to the leaders on the downhill. Did I really just hit the brakes on the last turn before the sprint!?!? 8th of 86.
Sunday, June 22nd.
A tight corner going from two lanes to one, and a drop-off going into a right-hander. Try to stay upright! Sprint for two primes at Waukesha, finish second in both. Use whatever you have left to finish respectably. 25th of 73.
Monday, June 23rd.
At Beloit, watch the entire W3/4 field go down in turn 2 in Beloit. Win a prime by accident. Fight for position on the last 2 laps, but get no respect from 250lb dudes on bikes. 15th of 57.
Tuesday, June 24th.
Want a rest day, but Schlitz Park has a hill! It's Fox River Grove but a full 50 minutes. Spend all warmup agonizing about the descent while the other 48 starters agonize about the climb. Climb well, descend nervously. By the 10th lap, consider giving up on TOAD and cycling in general. Make my move on the last climb, but get passed on the descent. 7th of 48.
Wednesday, June 25th.
Really want a rest day, but Road America is a road race, on a race track, with hills. Ride comfortably in the front of the field. Climb well, corner well. Baker appears from nowhere on the last lap. We're top 10 running in to the final uphill sprint. He sprints, I sprint. 6th for him and 9th for me, of 84.
Thursday, June 26th.
Rest Day! An hour of small ring joy.
Friday, June 27th.
Straight up 4-corner goodness at Fond du Lac. Ride smart, stay in the front. Caught behind a crash with 5 to go; burn a match to get back in it. Burn another, and another, and another to move into position. Put myself into the headwind to move into top 10 for the sprint. Implode with 200m to go. A tricycle with streamers and basket passes me. I cross the line. 34th of 70.
Saturday, June 28th
Me, Hudson, and Tracy line up for Downer's. 15 minutes easy riding, then lightening hits. A 30 minute pause, then it starts again, as I watch from the sidelines. 1 lap to go, Hudson in the midpack. Then crosses the line 9th.
Sunday, June 29th
Let's get this over with already. Wauwatosa, last race. Warmup for an hour and twenty on the trainer, 93 degrees. Roll to the line and study Hudson a few laps. Outside line in all corners, and a sip from the bottle after corner 2 each time; I'll do the same. 15 minutes in, time to move up. Prime lap. Rail corner 4 and jump early, uphill to the line. Win $50 and a membership to a breakaway with the series leader. 4 laps of hell; get pulled in. Recover. 8 to go, time to move up again. Sit behind two teams as they chase a solo break 20 seconds up the road. 3rd wheel with 1 to go, behind the series leader and his still-chasing domestique. Gap at 7 seconds now. Rail corner 4. Out-of-the-saddle now, still behind the cow jersey. Hill kicks up, I kick hard. Come around the series leader, then fly around the solo break. Cross the line 1st and scream like a madman. Drink chocolate milk and go home. Hudson in 7th, of 63.