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Free your mind and your legs will follow...

A few weeks ago I was talking about "The Rules":http// and looked them up to refresh my memory. As a new rider I was introduced to them and mainly thought that they were a joke. But upon reviewing time I realized that some of them were very wise especially Rule 6.  I realized that I was thinking way too much during races and needed to anticipate where the race changing events were going to take place before the race...The course looked like a P and the 180 degree turn preceding the start finish line was the most prominent feature. I did a quick warm up lap after registering and immediately realized that the Homewood Classic was going to be controlled by the leers and that the course would force the field to split very quickly and there were not many places that would allow you to move up.

The whistle penetrated through the hot humid air followed by a medley of computer beeps and clicking sound of cleats sliding into pedals. I assumed 7th position and the pace was set around 38-40 kph (24-25 mph) for the first few laps. Unfortunately, some riders crashed and the race was neutralized. We slowly progressed around the course maintaining our positions and lined up for the restart. We restarted the race with 20 min to go (about 20 laps).

We restarted with a full field and again we set out to split the field into pieces. Becoming frustrated with the speed at which the 180 degree turn was being taken at I began to play with different lines through the corner. I took it very tightly braking late and as I passed a spyder monkey he commented that he would have to try it next time.

The race progressed and with 7 to go I wanted to attack so right before the turn I pushed to the front of the field and positioned my self for the turn. About ¾ of the way through it I found myself lying on the pavement. I curled myself into a ball hoping to not get run over after I heard the last of the wheels pass by I shot up collecting my bike. “You can still win” shot through my mind as I clipped in and without thinking I initiated my pursuit.

The field was in the distance approaching the first corner. As I powered the bike up to max speed I heard a nasty whirring noise from the rear brakes as my rims skipped over them. Ignoring the noises coming from the back of my bike I quickly negotiated the back course and came around the 180 I was gaining on them. I heard the announcer shout with excitement as I whizzed passed the finish line -- I don’t recall exactly what he said but I heard something about Half Acre Cycling and figured that was a good sign of things to come.

I approached corner 1 and easily negotiated it and caught back on to the group. Then my one track crit mind took over “move up, move up, move up!” With two laps to go I had found position 7 again.  An attack went off the front and I neglected to chase him down but he found the same misfortune through the 180 that I did. The final lap pace lifted slightly I moved up to 5th right before the 180 and spun the pedals as fast as I could but I had burnt too many matches and finished fifth.

 -Jacob Cramer