Nevis Cycle & Tri Club St. Kitts Bike Race
On the afternoon of Saturday, September 30 I met some of my fellow members of the Nevis Cycle and Triathlon Club at OoJj’s on St. Kitts for a scrimmage-style bike race. We divided into two teams; the “red and yellow Team Nevis” jersey’s of Reggie, Jamie, Greg, and myself and the “green Team Nevis” jersey’s of Jack, Keith, Jesse, Royston, and Kristina.
The course was a simple 30 mile total out and back starting by heading west. This was my first time riding in a true cycle-racing format involving drafting, group riding, sprinting, and tactics. I was a bit unsure about riding so close to others but luckily my regular riding partners Royston and Jesse were there so I figured they could help me get acquainted to the group format and if I crashed and took them out they would forgive me.
The group started at a moderate pace on the way out. Because may of the riders were unsure of the course and turn around location the plan was to stick together until the turn around. Many of the more seasoned riders worked on race tactics, I just hung around in the back of the pack trying to stay out of the way. As we passed the West Farm area, triathlete-swim regular Kelly was there to cheer us on. As the group wove it’s way through all the little towns many of the people cheered for us, we must have been a spectacular site, a virtual peloton on Bay Road.
When we got to the turn around Jamie sprinted ahead to give everyone someone to chase. This is where it was decided it was every man for himself. The main group of guys took off and before I knew it they were out of sight. Greg and I rode together for most of they way back, joined by Jamie for some miles. Kristina was just behind us. On the last hill by the nursing school Greg was finally able to pull away from me. I came across the line as the first female (well, out of only two so don’t get too excited) in a time of 1:39 for the 29 miles.
Overall I enjoyed the race. I am still not really sure how I feel about the whole idea of cycle racing and riding in a pack but I enjoyed the opportunity to push myself and see how I fair against the others. Triathlon is still where my heart is so don’t expect me to trade in my time trial bike for a road bike anytime soon.