Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cyclocross Updates

Cyclocross season is continuing to ramp up in intensity as the weeks click by.

Two weekends ago, the racing was down in Colorado Springs, on a dusty, hot and windy course. The course was super bumpy, but had a sweet 4 dismounts. Other than that, I think I would like to forget about the race. It was that race you have, where anything that can go wrong, WILL go wrong. My legs felt like wood right from the start; great. Just what you want, flat legs on a course that is all about power. No faking your way through that one. Then on the first lap, I had a crash. A lovely front tire wash-out that had me flipping over the bike and playing in the sandbox. Knock the shifter back into place and start chasing. I had two barriers (of course the high-speed ones) where my left foot had problems unclipping from the pedals. I'm not sure if I picked up a piece of gravel or what, since I haven't had that problem with the new shoes and pedals I have - not before or since then. The first one did provide a sweet slam into the barrier - one foot clipped in, the other on the same side of the bike skidding through the cinder, and both tires locked up, and WHAM! Well, at least they did a solid job mounting the barriers into place. And to wrap things up, there was this super fast section, on cinder, with one real line, twisting through a little wooded section. I was full-on going through there, as I come around the corner to see some chick, carrying a mini-human, walking right down the race line. Fabulous. Because of the conditions, you totally couldn't just change lines, and that meant I was off the trail, both wheels skidding again, and into the trees. You know, full stop, just at the bottom of the steep ride-up on the course no less! UGH!

Whatever... race over. At least afterwards the real fun was to be had. I'm not crazy about Colorado Springs - other than the fact that there are three Dunkin' Donuts there (none in the rest of the front range!). So you know Jessica, Craig and I were all headed there with a hankerin' for some Donuts. I had to stock up. I got a dozen. And made it through just about all of them, the last "radiator donut" just didn't make it to my belly. Wow, am I fat! I was a bit bummed that they didn't have vanilla or even chocolate creme filled - my favorites. Well, at least there is another race coming up down there later in the year, so we will have another shot at it!

This past weekend we got to stay close with some local racing. I decided to skip out on the race at the Research Park. I ride there fairly often to work on skills and such (plus the sweet jumps), but paying to ride on a course that is like concrete with fist sized rocks strewn about, tends to loose it's appeal. Instead, we were down in Morrison on Sunday for the Red Rocks race. Man! Those boys put together an angry little course! A massive loose run-up, a long run through a volleyball court, a paved climb, and some twisty sections made for a fun course. Did I just say "fun"!? Yeah, I guess it was fun, but like I said, it was a TOUGH course! I even like longer run sections (and think we need more of them), but it was rough. I had a crappy start with guys flubbing around in front of me, and then got in a group and had a difficult time passing on this course. Plus... let's face it, I was a pussy and should have been jumping the single barrier, but didn't. I have to get out my own barrier and get over the mental part of it, so that I do it in a race. Before long, the race was down to just keeping a smooth, fast rhythm, and maintaining the speed till the end.
We had an awesome crowd in attendance though, and that really helped. Jessica was there, Seth and Keely brought the grill to cook up some dogs, and plenty of the rest of the gang that raced earlier were hanging out drinking and yelling. I was also keen to play with my new toy, my new refillable air horn. Cowbells are just so "last-year". Time to step up to the big leagues with 100psi of compressed noise-making!

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