I pinned Winston Salem gears and guitars weekend as a season ender, and transition to Ironman triathlon training next year. I started the year as a cat 4, am now cat 3 starting this race with 28 points (and finished with 28).
Streets of Fire / Friday night
They had a new event downtown which were standing sprints for 250m or so, lots of fun. Organizers took too long between heats so it was a lot of standing around but they were probably figuring out how to send matches off faster. It was elimination style, and it seemed like it was a crowd pleaser. Couple gnarly crashes though, one of the pros snapped his chain and a few novices hit the ground pretty hard too.
Crit Race Saturday Afternoon
Wet. It was raining all day! This put the organizers behind schedule and races were an hour or more behind schedule. The course resembled a figure 8 as a bridge allowed the course to loop over itself. Mens cat 3/4 started at 3pm for a 30 minute race. A technical and wet course, it was extremely important to stay in the front 5. I ignored flyers but trusted the field braking hard into every corner would attrit people off the back. Sure enough, lap 2 we already had substantial separation and lap 3 was the breakaway with myself and 3 others.
Fast forward to the last lap. The lead cyclist slid out in corner #1 and I over-corrected on the slippery paint and brick crosswalk, went down at 25mph and slid into the curb. Ironically if I held my line and ignored the crash, I probably would have been fine since the crashed athlete slid to the outside of the course. I got up and managed to pedal to the line after I caught my wind, but honestly I was looking for and shouting for medical. Since we lapped the field, I got 11th.
Road rash is fairly shallow. The puncture on my right knee however was not. I had something popping out of my knee that should not have been, but nobody knew what it was. Turns out it was just fat, but my tendon was exposed. Took me to the OR to get it surgically cleaned and I was discharged 6 hours later with a $21,000 medical bill. Thank God for my employer’s medical insurance.
The part that doesn’t heal as fast as physical wounds is mental and emotional. I would have absolutely been on the podium and secured points to cat 2 (though, transitioning to triathlon wouldn’t have taken it)
I’m still trying to deal with and figure out how to adapt my personal competitive goals. Not running a marathon in November, probably going to cancel the Ironman next July. A part of me wants to just be a hermit and train through 2023. Still figuring that part out.
Anyways, if you don’t have insurance, at the very least sign up for spot when you race. The amount of money they could’ve charged me uninsured feels criminal. $21k. Oof.