After a couple downer posts, I thought I’d post something mildly more upbeat.
Way back in the day, I think ’94, I went to Superweek and got all my upgrade points to go to Cat. 2. I know I had some points before the trip, but I definitely came home with plenty. I also made some pretty good bank. That is irrelevant to this story, but should stand as a lesson for anyone wanting to upgrade that Superduper Week may be a good and profitable way to do it. Anyway, I came home and attempted to upgrade. The district rep (I am dating myself, as there are no longer districts, or district reps, I think) initially denied me on account of my being a junior, but after some begging (and I had way more than enough points), it got through, and I headed out to my first Pro 1-2 race. I don’t remember where it was exactly, but somewhere in VA.
As luck would have it, it was raining that day. Strike that, it was pouring. And it was a crit. And it was a half mile circuit. And it was 50 miles. So, 100 laps of critting in the pouring rain. It was not a PRO race by any stretch, but there were few pro’s around, I don’t remember who exactly, but some LA Sheriff’s guys, which scared the crap out of me as they were one of only a couple big (real) domestic pro teams at the time, and a couple guys from smaller teams.
Anyway, we lined up and before I knew it, it was single file and people were crashing all over the place. I have the distinct memory of feeling like I was absolutely at my limit, and looking at the lapboard and seeing 89 laps to go! Yowch!
Anyway, eventually a couple guys in front of me quit and left a gap – I was running tailgunner pretty much the whole time. I tried, but for the life of me couldn’t close it. I got lapped, but was allowed to continue as most of the field had already dropped out. I got back and made it the rest of the way in the group. I actually wound up 21st because so many guys had quit. One place out of the money!
I don’t remember who won. Erik Saunders was in the break, with one of the LA Sheriff’s guys, and someone else. I remember two of the three crashing in the last turn, but couldn’t tell you who it was.