April 2005
Arizona Senior Olympics
by Claudia Ribet

Editor's Note: Claudia won two events and placed second in another.

The Arizona Senior Olympics were held at the end of February. Again, I highly recommend senior racing to those of us 50+ year olds who look for something less aggressive than the San Diego Omnium and other masters races (though nothing is so humbling than getting lapped by Julie Kaplan).

For me, several “firsts” and a number of lessons:

Claudia Ribet winning!
Photo by Bill Mock

First win of a time trial, albeit with only one competitor. Distance, 10k. Time: 19:23; time 1 minute 30 seconds faster than the other woman.

First win of a road race. Sprint out of the saddle at the finish to beat out several women, one of whom is the Arizona State Time Trial Champion in my age group.

Lessons:

Time trial win: You don’t always need a race rabbit in a TT. My name had been lost so I raced alone, intoning “You have to do it. Pain is temporary. Put your head down and pedal.”
20k road race win: If you want something badly, and feel good before the race, don’t let someone’s pedigree as champion of this or that get to you. It’s what’s in your head, legs and lungs, not what’s in hers, that’s important.
40k road race loss (I came in second): There was a crash in my pace line behind me involving two women who mostly ride alone. So the Lesson is: Do not ride in a pace line unless you know what you’re doing.
My own lessons:

Do not fail to eat in a 1.5 hour race.
Do not let your competition come out of the corner ahead of you unless you are stronger.

Except, then days later, I managed my own personal crash. So my collar bone is counting the days till I can do this again!



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