After a productive week of training, I headed to Germantown Ohio for a my first road race of the year (2nd one I had ever done). We woke up to rain on Sunday morning and my trainer looked very appealing. I am one of those weird people that loves riding the trainer. I don’t have to worry about cars, I can stay within my sepcific training zones, I can even watch TV and listen to music. But, Chad was pretty set on doing the race so off we went.
Despite the wind, cold and rain, there were lots of people there. The womens field was about 15 deep and included cat 1 through cat 4. I am a rookie, so I am a cat 4:) We all started together and I immediately regretted my last minute wardrobe change (I put on my jacket). It got hot quick! The race was scored separately, Cat 1-2 and then the Cat 3-4. I was determined to win the Cat 3-4 race and I stayed with the Cat 1-2 girls for the first 1/2 hour. Then, they attacked and I made a wrong move and I was now riding by myself.. But, I spent the next 1/2 hour chasing them and I finally caught them at about mile 20. Once I caught them, I sat on the back trying to spin my legs out for a bit (knowing that they were going to make another move).
One of the cat 1-2 girls was telling her teamate to get to the left to get out of the wind. There was no yellow line and we were on a country road. Mind you, I just got on the back of the group and had been there for about 2 minutes. Then, the ref comes up to our group and yells at us and tells us to get off our bikes and to get on the side of the road. What? Get off my bike? Are you kidding me? He then disqualifies us for crossing the imaginary center line and I am fuming. I am pretty sure that there was smoke coming out of my nostrils. There we stand, 2-3 minutes go by and the 3-4 girls pass us:(
First of all, I am aware that we are not allowed to cross the yellow line (but there was not one) and I am just following these more experienced girls. So, I had no idea that I was doing anything wrong. He yelled at us and treated us like we were criminals. This is so not what I signed up for. I didn’t drive all of this way, show up in the rain, pay to race and then get yelled at like that. The girl who was telling everyone to ride over to the left, told the ref that if was her fault and no one else should be disqualified, but he was on his high horse and told us all to ride back to the start finish and that our day was over.
As a new comer to this sport, I can tell you that it rubbed me the wrong way. Womens cycling is a growing sport and the fastest way to lose interest is to treat them like this. If he had been respectful and polite I would not be so angry and resentful. A warning would have been AWESOME.
Me and another girl ended up riding the course backwards and guess what? All of the men were riding to the left on that section too. Grrrrrrr…… Yeah dude, that’s real fair.
Fortunately, Chad won the men’s race and i got to see him finish. That helped my sprits a bit!
Next up is Hillsboro Roubaix on April 10th!