Barbara Wiggins | Published on 1/8/2023
On September 28th and 29th, I had the pleasure of competing in the South Carolina Senior Games for the first time. The races consisted of a 20-kilometer road race on day one and two time trials on day two. The time trials were 5 kilometers and 10 kilometers, 2 hours apart. with distances of 5k and 10k, respectively. The competition was held at an industrial park in Florence, SC. I met up with a friend of mine and we load 4 bikes into the car (2 road, 2 TT) to head to the event. When we arrived and pulled my bike out of the car, I noticed the bike was in the small chain ring in the front. Most likely happened during transport. Initially, I thought nothing of it but when I began to warm up for the race, I was not able to get into the big chain ring. A couple of different people attempted to fix it to no avail. It appears a cable had come disconnected or broke, etc as the front derailer would not move at all so there was literally no way to get into the big chain ring. Keep in mind that the course was relatively flat except one small incline, so I had a choice to either not race or just see what happens.
Well, I decided to just see what I could do, knowing it would not be easy. So I set off in the highest gear I could get and just started spinning. I was able to stay with the lead women and bring home the gold in my age group. Despite the major mechanical, I averaged almost 22 mph. However, my legs were exhausted. My average cadence was 97 with a high of 122. I am not typically a fast spinner as my cadence in generally around 82 so this was a lot faster than I am used to. However, it forced me to work on increasing my cadence, so it all worked out. The next morning it was low 50’s and rain for the time trials. The first TT began at 8 am and with the course having roundabouts, it provided a little more of a challenge. Unlike the road bike, the TT bike worked perfectly and I was able to capture first in both time trials but given the weather, I did a wardrobe change between the TT races. I am certain that I sported every piece of Sorella gear I had over the course of the two days. All in all, everything turned out well as I ultimately brought home 3 golds. Irrespective of the mechanical issues and the weather, it was still nice to get out and compete and meet up with other women you haven’t competed against in awhile. Already looking forward to going back next year.