Sunday, October 26, 2008
My fourth cyclocross race ever..
..yeah...about that. My first ever cross race was 1988 Junior Nationals in Milwaukee.. Lapped my Bobby Julich and a few others and DNF. Don't ask. 2nd cross race ever was 18 years later: 2006 Canton Cup. DNF. That sucked real bad. I suffered immeasurably. 3rd cross race ever was one of the 2007 Goddard Park races. I was lapped by only the first 6 or so finishers in the elite 35+.. Fell down once, had a good time.. 4th cross race ever was today's MRC 35+. I was loving the weather! (Man I wish I did a 3 hour road ride instead of race today) No regrets- I had fun today don't get me wrong.. My start position was in the middle someplace and I seem to have held that position for all the way until we reached the first set of barriers before the woods. No actually, I was right in there up until the hard right hander in the middle of the woods. Then a gap opened on the train in front of me and I was feeling so unconfident, so gassed, and so afraid to be the dickhead who impedes the strong legs behind me, that after the turn I made it pretty clear to those behind that I was not a good wheel to follow. Whatever. To regain the element of fun, I had to remove the element of pressure and just let everyone blow past me. Once alone, I could focus on my tempo, cornering, handling, dismounts etc, without worrying about taking someone out. After what seemed like 1/2 hour of riding at my "limit" the lap card said 4 to go. WTF? Each lap felt like an eternity to me.. 3 to go, I'm starting to believe that I can outrun the leaders to the finish- I'm dead last. Then just before the first set of barriers, I trip and fall during my dismount. I know it wasn't pretty because I went down hard when my left foot refused to release and the bike went flying overhead and landed on the first barrier. I was ok- just shaken- and relieved that I didn't make such a spectacle of myself over at the log. I was slow to get over the barriers and back up to "speed", if you can call it that. Then into the woods and just before emerging to the pit area, the leader came through and his chasers were just 5-10 seconds behind. I made sure to keep an eye behind me and give them room and point to the side of me they should pass on. That worked.. But by the time I reached the finish again, the bell was rung, and what should have been 2 to go for me, became 1 to go- I was lapped by 6 people by this time. My final lap about 12 more guys passed me and then it was over. I finished one lap down. While everyone around me was doing a cool down lap, I did my "lap of shame" and called it a day, glad to have dragged wife and child out to Wrentham. Their cheering was a huge boost, their presence made it impossible for me to quit, even though it crossed my mind a few times. Nothing hurt more than the pain in my lower back- like a knife was thrust in there and twisted constantly. What's up with that? My bike for all the screwing around I did the night before, did okay for me. I had bought a new chain for it but could not find my chain tool (hence the fit of rage referred to last night). I resorted to taking the chain off of my road bike and putting it on there instead. (It has a quick link, and the previous chain was rusted into a solid mass of corrosion, after I abandoned the cross bike following last winter's Goddard race) The shifting was extremely sloppy, but I think I only used three gears the whole time anyway.. The cassette was rusted too and I took the rust off using my wire wheel on my bench grinder. Anyway.. I've bored you enough.. I call it a good day.. and to whoever was cheering me every time I jumped over the log- I couldn't recognize the voice and I couldn't look over- thanks a bunch. It helped me stay in there and helped ease the pain too. Thanks for reading perhaps the most insignificant report out there for this event.