When I first heard about the now infamous flyover from Gary of MRC, I told him that if there was to be a flyover, I wasn’t racing. So much for that! I thankfully saw a photo of said contraption prior to arriving on-site, and figured it couldn’t be that bad. Plus, when we arrived, all the Cat 4 men were riding it without incident…
On the pre-ride, I got to the top and thought – “Oh – I don’t think so!”, but knew that the only way down was on my bike. Paul Curley had gone down ahead with Mike, and called back to me to just look at Mike and go – so I did. Piece of cake! Luckily, Mike and I were able to convince some of our other teammates of this before the race as well.
I lined up on the start line of the 1/2/3 race right behind Andrea Smith of Ladies First. I knew that would be a good choice, and it turned out I was right – she launched like rockets were attached to her bike on the whistle, and all I could do was try [in vain] to hang on. I had a great start, and was still within striking distance of the front group on the first part of the course. Unfortunately, I overcooked a corner just before the “kitty litter”, and completely slid out, coming off my bike. Michele got by me then (DOH!), but I stayed right on her wheel. I figured I would use her in the sections where drafting was an advantage. Then, I hesitated too long on the top of the flyover (note: do NOT put right leg over and then put left foot into pedal all while standing still!), and Sally also got by me, and Michele had a gap.
Now I was in a bit of a panic. I REALLY didn’t want to let either Sally or Michele get away, so I attached myself as close as possible to Sally’s wheel – too close. Just after we went under the flyover, Sally over-banked a turn and lost traction with both wheels. She went one way across the course, and her bike went another. And I had nowhere to go. I think I managed a paniced “Oh no!” before riding over some part of Sally’s bike, coming to a stop and asking if Sally was ok. I seemed fine, my bike seemed fine, and someone (Mike, as it turned out) was screaming at me to go – so I did. Unfortunately, I never caught back up to Michele, but I did find out that Sally got back into the race and was ok.
I LOVED the course, and ultimately, the flyover (despite the fact that I never really mastered the remount there).