There are a couple good road races to choose from this weekend. I'm somewhat torn. With a great start to the season, I feel compelled to race more. I raced the Balloon Festival a few years ago and podiumed. The combined 30+/40+ field has only 27 riders pre-registered minutes from closing. I love racing in smaller fields. A few worthy contenders in there too. P(win) might not be that high, but P(podium) would be very high I think. The deal is Cambridge NY is so hard to reach from my house. It takes over 3hrs to get there. That would make nearly 7hrs round trip driving for a <3hr race.
In the other direction is the Lake Auburn race in Maine. It is only 2.5hrs away, also with a small field pre-registered so far. Never done this one. I don't think the climbs are anything like the Balloon Festival's climbs. Doesn't appeal to me that much.
So if I do an "epic" ride instead of racing, am I wasting my fitness? Some I train with would say yes, as racing is the primary reason they train or even ride at all. I train to stay fit. The level of fitness I maintain just happens to be enough to be competitive in certain types of races. It also enables 5hr off-road hammerfests or mountain centuries with over 10,000ft of climbing. I dearly love a long, hard ride.
A small crew of us will be heading into the Berkshires on Saturday. First up will be the freshly re-minted Greylock climb. The Greylock hillclimb time-trail returns this year after being shut out a couple years by the reconstruction project. I plan to do the TT this fall. We'll hit many other popular climbs in the area, all of them new to me. Climbing East Hawley Rd will be part of the ride, along with a descent on West Hawley Rd. I plan to race Tour of the Hilltowns for the first time this year, which integrates both of these roads into the course. Thus the ride will partly be scouting out race courses, partly epic fun ride. I should get about 6hrs of riding in for 5hrs of total driving and get to see a lot of new scenery.