“DROP THE HAMMER, kid. DROP IT.”
I had a race yesterday at Exeter, in case you didn’t know.
So, this race was pretty much what I’d been looking forward to all year. It’s short, fast, you can only draft off a teammate, the time is based off of the finish time of the last member of your group (so no leaving the other kid behind) and it’s spectator friendly, as 8, 12 or 15 laps of a 1/2 mile course.
We hopped on a bus early to make the 2 and a half hour commute. Energy was running high, the temps were right up there with the energy and the sun was shining like none other.
I was psyched that my partner was a good friend of mine. I got pushed to C’s for this race as a member of the C’s was performing in the school play (Which was awesome). After a few trials with different teammates, Mr. Southam decided that I should ride with Kyler because we were best suited for each other.
When we got to the race, I was pretty much dressed for it so I started building up people’s bikes. This led to a bit of confusion with funny wheels, but everyone got this figured out eventually.
Another exciting thing about the race was that my parents could come! I had my whole family on the sideline rooting for us as well as the coaches telling us to go faster. It was great to have them around!
Before the race started, a certain Mr. Thomson Riley came over to us in the line, and said “Drop the Hammer boys! Today’s the day!” He chatted a bit with us about the course, some technical stuff and just generally got us psyched. When he left, he restated the aforementioned statement, while slapping me on the back. I had been well acquainted with this quote. He had been trying to get me to “drop the hammer” all winter. So I decided, “Today’s the day!” told him I would and he walked off. Kyler had been telling me he wanted to go slow, but I asked him if he was ok going like 99%. He kinda shyed away from the idea, but after some convincing about how it was only 4 miles of hell, and then it was over, he agreed. We set off on ten second intervals, like 9 groups from the start, and 4 groups back from Max and Will’s team, another Gould duo.
In the first half of a lap we passed the three groups ahead of us, and Max and Will were just ahead of us.
By the end of the lap we had passed 4 groups.
At the end of the second lap, we were jammed behind 3 teams, looking for a way around. Kyler found a gap and I followed him. We passed all three teams by the second half of the 3rd lap. We never saw anyone again…
After the 8th lap, due to the amount of lead we had gained, some people still had one lap to go. When I saw the official on the sideline holding up the big number 1, I thought we weren’t done yet. That sufficed as a victory lap.
When they posted results, after all of the coaches saying that we were probably the fastest group on the circuit, we were in about 8th place. I was utterly confused. Turns out, they had swapped our finish time with Max and Will’s. I had to leave to make it to the play, but told Thomson to let me know how it all turned out. He gave me a high five and a pat on the back, along with Mr. Riley the elder, Mr. Southam and Mr. Leff.
About halfway home I got a one word text: Victory!
Betcha can’t guess who that came from.