Okay, I started slacking and race reports stopped being written. So now you get a few race reports for the price of one! Don’t you feel lucky?
Baystate Cyclocross 2010
Okay, on to the first set. The weekend after Thanksgiving, I had signed up to race both days in Sterling at the Baystate Cyclocross race. No one else seemed to be going up, so I roused myself ass-early on Saturday to get there in time for the rocking 8 am start. But it was a quick drive out so I got there with plenty of time to register, check out the course, etc. Also, I’m remembering that it was pretty damned cold. But I started out in my typical near the back position and slowly worked my way forward. But honestly, I was sucking. The course was pretty twisty and I was doing myself no favors with my shitty cornering. Still, managed to pull out 23rd out of 40, pretty much entirely based on powering through some of the straight sections.
Came home, rested and spent an hour or so watching cross videos online. MUST. CORNER. BETTER. Woke up the next morning, repeated the head down and got ready to race. On the pre-ride, really liked the course. And appreciating the time I spent thinking about cornering and feeling a lot more comfortable with my cornering. We line up, start and off we go. Unfortunately, after the parade lap, I get hosed after the set of stairs as I suspected might happen with the small space and the drop of death (seriously, there was something spray painted saying basically YOU WILL DIE). But settled in and got prepared to just move my way up as we go around. We get to the halfway point of the lap which was a couple of tricky 180s on hills and I end up getting pushed into one of the stakes/the tape. But it’s racing, so get back on and get going again even though I’m now basically in last. Pretty soon it’s apparent that I’m going nowhere fast as my rear tire is flat. Start running around the course but then I remembered that there’s not neutral support and I don’t own any pit wheels. Decide that’s that. It was pretty much a given that I’d have a DNF at some point, although not the reason I would have chosen. Packed up, headed home, and made it out on the team ride on the road bike so that I could salvage a little bit of the day.
NBX Grand Prix of Cross 2010
Now I had planned to have Sterling basically be it for my season aside from Ice Weasels. But the DNF from the second day at Sterling wasn’t a good way to end things, so I signed up for Saturday down in Warwick at the NBX Grand Prix of Cross. I rode down with Oscar, which was good as we talked a lot about things to think about around the team. Got there, registered and did the usual recon as a warmup. We lined up and we were off. The start was uphill on pavement so I pushed hard and moved forward a bit on it before we hit the grass. But then we got to the sand along the beach and man, that sucked. Running is so not my strong point, especially running followed by a runup. But I suffered through it and tried to stick with a group. I was encouraged by keeping Ron largely in sight through most of the race and stayed ahead of Oscar and Fred. End result was 48th of 98 starters. A much more satisfying result and I felt like I was racing reasonably well, even though I was tired and (apparently) starting to get sick.
Ice Weasels 2010
Last race of the season fro me was to be the 3/4 race at Ice Weasels. Now, Ice Weasels has a reputation of a party where a cross race breaks out and I’d have to say that’s largely true. Since I was doing the 3/4 race, I had a luxuriously late start which was helpful with Kara and Madeline coming down as well. Unfortunately, I had basically been off the bike since NBX the previous weekend due to being sick and it showed. I had no handling and no power and it showed. The course was super bumpy and I felt more beat up halfway through the race than I’ve felt in a long time on the bike. I suffered through it, got lapped by the leaders (who seemed to be taking things way too seriously) and ended up finished 60th of the 71 starters.
And that’s a wrap!
And with that, my first season of cyclocross was over. I had a blast and am looking forward to next year. I’m hoping to have better fitness going into the season and also do some things to take my skills up a notch so that I can get better results. That said, for my first season, I’m pretty happy with how things panned out. Thanks to my friends who kept trying to talk me into trying cross out until I finally did, the more experienced guys on the team for showing me the ropes, the rest of the Quad team for coming out to help make the races fun, and Kara and Madeline for putting up with my eleven cross races in three months.