So I very quickly took my position as sweep last night in the 4th Frigid Bits ride of the season. It was a balmy 35 degrees as we took off at the start. I believe I was in first place for a brief moment of glory (about 3 seconds) and then just as quickly the riders and their lights vanished off into the darkness.
There I was again in last place, ready for a peaceful ride under a full moon on crusty snow and ice in Far North Bicentennial Park. The course was not really marked and it took us along some trails that I have never been on. Manny was leading a fun ride for people who didn't know where they were going, but I decided to race and just figure out the course for myself. Luckily Brian had ridden it earlier that day and gave me some detailed directions.
Most of the rides start out the same. Around Goose Lake, through the UAA parking lot, along Bragaw, over the Tudor Bridge and onto the Tour of Anchorage Trail. I got into my usual pace as I thought about how it was a bad idea to not wear a bra on a fully rigid bike. As I was contemplating this, I saw a blinking red light off in the distance. I realized that the pack was not that far ahead of me and some sort of competitive neuron was fired in my brain as I started to vigorously pedal faster and faster. I thought I would take it easy as usual, because I knew I had running practice the next morning, but something took over me when I realized that maybe I didn't have to come in last all the time.
Through the narrow twisting Moose Track trail, to the Lore Road Trail, up the ViewPoint, left on the Homestead trail.. I kept pedaling hard. I was searching for the Speedway Singletrack when a moose stepped in front of me on the trail and would not budge. And because I am not about messing with moose when I am by myself in the dark, I turned around to make my own route. Eventually I got back on course as I found myself rolling up and down on the gloomy and dark Moose Meadow trail. Still jamming I hit Rover's run, a super fun trail that is littered with roots and a gradual down grade. I found my way to the creek trail to finally meet back up with the Tour of Anchorage.
I felt really good and was amazed at how fast I could actually go. I'm not sure what my time was because everyone was half in the bag by the time I got back to the burn barrel and I'm pretty sure Carlos just made up a time for me. I never did catch that blinking red light, but it was enough for me to know that it was not that far ahead and maybe someday soon I will catch it.