I surge into the lead just as they announce a prime, kick hard and get a gap, flow around the twisty back section of the sunny Lake Bluff circuit taking great lines, never touching the brakes. The prime is mine by 30 yards, and I feel so good I keep going in the lead for two more laps just to enjoy the solo cornering and see if anyone will bridge accross.

- Lake Bluff Cat3. Highlight of the season.

I come around on a warmup lap 10 mins before the race, the field is already lined up, and Im at the back of 60 riders. Shit. The start is a crazy mob but I make up a few places before taking the sketchy loose tarmac of turn 1. The inimiatable klanging crash of alloy, carbon and human hitting the deck comes from behind. Dont even look round, make up 2 places.
Its hot and a totally exhausting dogfight as I battle the organ grinder that is being mid pack, and try to pick up places one or two at a time.

- Villa Park Cat3. Reality of the season.

So its been a year in Cat3. Its gone OK, in that I've usually finished and usually finished in the top half of the field or better. However either this is significantly faster racing, or I'm fully into my declining years (yes thank you smartasses that was 10 years ago). I think its just faster, tighter and far less forgiving racing.
So I can compete with the 20 something cat3s, but I cant come close to beating the best of them. So whats to be done. Hang up my wheels and get fat? Hardly. Ill be back next year and do it all again because I still love this sport and the intensity of a fast crit.
Of course its nice to be on the podium now and then, so if ICC wants to create a 44+ open IL Cup category next year Ill be all over it.

--B. Brookfield