I know I just stopped writing on the rest day but it was for good reason. First, my energy reserves started to diminish quite rapidly as the days went on. Second, I also had to do finals for 2 online classes I was taking and one of them included a good size paper, so after all that writing I did not want to look at a keyboard.
Recap of the Week
I will have to say looking back at the week it was by far the coolest experiance I have ever had on a bike. The crowds are bigger than anthing I have seen at a bike race and being the one on the other side of the fenses was a cool feeling. At the end of the week I noticed some of the Pro squads coming around and being a little more friendly, guess they just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to crash them out first. It is also a cool feeling to have not racers at the events, they are very interested and will stop to ask questions about everything. I just wish the sport could be like that all the time.
It was also a huge learning experiance. I am sure I got faster from the 4,000 plus 30 second intervals I did out of every corner. But the real gains are going to be from the skill of how to ride a crit. I learn a lot from teamates and some friendly pros like Adam Myerson. I have heard a mix of coments about Adam but he is cool in my book. I found myself fighting to get around him several times only to end up right back behind him. That was before he said something like " Hey jackass! Just follow me and you will save a lot of energy.". Then after the race he commented about how he was not trying to be a dick but to just give me some pointers.
When racing for pure survival you learn to break down every section of the race and figure the most efficient path possible. I learned taking some risks at the right time can move you up 30 spots and don't waiste your energy fighting over one wheel. Granted some of the skill will not apply to MABRA crits, I still think I will be a better crit racer after that week.
If you have never done a race of that level you can not understand the speed. Even last year when I just upgraded and did my first 1/2/3 race I could get to the front if I wanted to. I only got to the front of the race once in the entire week and it lasted about 5 seconds. My best finish was on the last day at 34th and I was very prowd of it.