Monday, November 06, 2006

noho, a cyclocross race report

finally raced the cyclocross bike. first time evah. woke-up sunday not feeling it, feeling beat from 2wks of work on our house, capped by a marathon session saturday. jenn insisted we head to northampton - tired legs and all. i was grumpy about it, but jenn wouldn't let me bail, pretty cool chiquita i got there. think my hesitation was more nerves than anything else, glad jenn talked me into it. beautiful fall day, 45-50 degrees, ample sun, nice day for racin' a bike.

warmed-up for 20-30mins, then lined-up early, this was my first cyclocross race evah, but still wanted to get in the first couple rows. BUT, they lined us up by bib #, ended-up in the back as i registered on thurs. the first lap was tough going, about 75 folks in front, a cpl-few behind (94 starters). this wasn't a race to be won, but an effort to pick-off as many dudes as possible in 45mins. ended-up being great atmosphere for my first race, no pressure, just put the hammer down and practice getting through the obstacles, taking tight corners, watch everyone else, and most importantly, learn.

the course was solid, half on a lower field, the other half up a short climb into a glade of pine trees which we climbed and descended twice a lap, one of which was ridable for most in B men's, the other a steep run-up. at the bottom of one of the descents we crossed a set of mini-railroad tracks that you could get some decent air off - scared myself with a cpl feet of air the first lap, thought fer sure i was looking at double flats! the first 2-3 laps i made a lot of passes. a lot. thom was also trapped in the back off the start and he was right there, always in the same place each lap, pushing 38-17 on the ss, picked the right gear for this one.

by the last 2 laps finally got with a guy going the same pace, decided to make a push, opened a gap, but promptly crashed trying to ride the sand pit, one of those, fall over still clipped in and can't get up kinda falls, wicked frustrating, but learned important lesson - if unsure, it's faster to run. caught a group of four with 1/2 lap to go but couldn't get around 'em before the finish. ended-up working my way into 26th, 2mins off the pace. crossed the line, rode for a cpl hundred meters then proceeded to barf, smile, barf a touch more, then smile a whole lot. had a blast. i'm hooked. next race need to get a better starting position, would like to have a chance - or may just ride Elite... why not?


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