16 September, 2008

Welcome to the pain cave

AKA, my much delayed race report from the We Need More Cowbells Cyclocross race, which took place on 13 September.  Actually, Nathan does a great job covering how the race went down at the above link, so I'll stick to impressions on my day, and my intro to CX racing.


I started this year off thinking I'd like to give cross racing a try, so I sold my road bike and bought the Major Jake, and then spent all year upgrading and swapping components... yes, I'm a junkie.  I think it's nearly done :P  Cross bike in hand, I tried the Paris-Ancaster, but mechanical issues would have me not finishing.  Too bad, as I was really enjoying myself.  So a summer goes by with much road riding, a good helping of mountain biking and lots of mtb races.  Around the beginning of August I thought I'd best start thinking about cross skills, so I swapped the 50T for the 46T, removed the bottle cages and headed off to a local park.  Not so good at first, but in a week or so I could get on and off the bike at a moderate pace.  A couple interval sessions with the St. Catharines guys, and off I went to Waterloo for the Fall.  One quick barrier session, and I was as ready to race as I'd ever be... time for more COWBELL

Nathan sent me on an allen key errand right before my race, which had me riding up to the line frantically, but luckily he staged me up front and as an added bonus my HR was halfway to race level already.  Off the start I was sitting about 3rd or 4th wheel into the corner.  Knowing the course, I gained a couple spots in the bend and was sitting second wheel, but slid out in a corner.  Over the barriers with the group, HR is pegged.  This is going to be fun.

As the first lap went on, I continued to go backwards through the pack until I settled in with a fellow from D'Ornellas.  We would continue to race each other for about 2 laps before he pulled away in the power section after the mud pit, after which I wouldn't see him again.  My pace continued to drop as my back was giving complaints and the HR was still at threshold.  I was loving every bit of it.  I would cross the line 6th in my category.  Not DFL, and not lapped, so what can I say.  Good enough for a first attempt, especially considering the competition.  A couple of the guys on the podium probably should have raced Elite, but it's not like it would have changed my race much anyway.


Cross is hard.  Cross hurts.  Cross is also the most fun I've had on a bike ever.  I will be training, and racing mtb, and training some more, and come October I will hit the CX circuit again to see how I fare.

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