It didn’t go so bad. I finished. I was doing ok until about 2 laps to go when I had that sudden feeling like all the blood was running out of my head and I watched the pack of riders disappear up the road in front of me. I actually did not know how many laps were left so when I came across the start/finish line by myself and saw the 2 laps remaining sign I also realized that I was going to finish the race w/o being lapped/pulled or otherwise not finishing. So there was that.
It wasn’t as stressful or rewarding as I had hoped. I wish I had dug deeper and managed to stay with the peleton for the duration. I will probably do it again, but I’m not chomping at the bit like I thought I would be.
Nothing is going to compare to the experiences I had growing up, racing as a junior (under 18) on my team in Pennsylvania; or my first seasons on the track in Trexlertown, or my first climb to the top of Mt Lemmon in Tucson. Those were unique in a way I could not appreciate at the time. Perhaps I can try to recreate them; and certainly I feel a particular kind of sympatico with my fellow riders, especially some with whom I train semi-regularly. Somehow, though, it feels a lot like a band: a particular set of people in a particular set of circumstances that happens with or without the efforts of human intervention.