As the DSSF participation was seriously reduced in the Out Games in Montreal, so was the number of medal grabbed. Especially since Different Spokes didn’t send their smartest member…
The competition started indeed pretty badly with the Individual Time Trial. Not that I had a poor time, nor even that I got a flat or any kind of mechanical incident. No, I simply chose to take a wrong turn and made a loop around the rowing basin instead of following the Gilles Villeneuve circuit as everybody else. Imagine my frustration and my humilation when the rowing organizer asked me to walk my bike as I was crossing the rowing start (hi, Roy!) 😦 Anyway… let’s move on from this pityful event.
The Road Race went much better. It consisted of 9 laps around the same circuit (but this time, I couldn’t miss it, I just had to follow the pack). This was more technical that Chicago, because there were at several very hard turns in each loop. And the pack was faster. All thos e European who (luckily for me) didn’t go to Chicago, they are fast… So I tried to stay with the front pack as I had manged to do on Palos Hills, but for some reason, they were accelerating the hardest right after each turn. Finally, I got dropped in the seventh lap. I managed to finish 6th of the 40-49 category with a time I was pretty happy with (you can find all the results here – fortunately, they only list the medals in the ITT).
The Criterium got resolved (at least for me) even sooner. Unlike Chicago, this was a real Criterium. It was a 45 minute race around a one kilometer loop in Little Italy. Which means approximately 120 right angle turns and as many occasions to get dropped. They dropped me at the second (where I nearly fell, due to a combination of a man-hole, a bump, a pothole and the pavement rendered slippery by the thunderstorm). After that, it was a fairly solitary race, where I finishe sixth, again.
But we still had the Team Time Trial. During the Gay Games, I had met Keith Wright, the president of Different Spokes Houston. He was also doing the Out Games and we decided to make a team “Different Spokes” with another member of DS Houston, Hana Pinard, who had already competed very sucessfully in Chicago. The fourth teammate was Michael Spata, a German guy they had met at Mc Gill University where they were staying. Since our team was a mixed team, we had a pretty good chance.
We still trained quite seriously the day before, to get the pace line moving smoothly. And on Friday, the day of the race, it went indeed pretty well, so we ended up with a Silver Medal! Thanks to a wonderful team! After the Chicago experience with Dave, Joe and Tom, and this, I must say: racing in a team time trial with a good team is amongst the coolest moment I can experience on a bike.
Our team: back: Keith and Hana. Front: Michael and Jerome
Epilogue: meanwhile, another DSSF member, my boyfriend Ron, got a gold medal in badminton in mixed double with his partner Laura… all the while playing in a skirt! See the first picture in the article. By the way, I wish a cycling magazine would have the same kind of article about the gay Games or the Out Games.