Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cult Cross Race #1

Busy weekend, that's for sure!

Saturday Jessica, Alex and I were off to Ned for some tasty breakfast at the Savory Cafe... sadly, it wasn't nearly as good as the last time we went. But that isn't all bad, since I had to try to keep from overeating my motivation away to ride. It was a pretty nice day, and I needed to get out to stretch the legs. Still, it was actually a lot cooler than it seemed like it would be, but I got some lovely riding up along Peak to Peak.

Had to get the ride down early, since we were headed up to Craig and Jeff's for a bit of a party. The theme was "Beers of the World" and everyone was to bring some different beers to try. The hardest part for me was picking just one beer to bring... and of course I cracked and ended up bringing two of my favorites. Technically I was to bring a Belgian beer, so I brought a few bottles of Rochefort Trappist 10 - EASILY one of my favorites. I could drink this all night. I think it was well received by most people. And of course, since I was able to find a bottle, and I have been craving some, I ended up bringing a bottle of La Folie from New Belgium. - I don't like to mess around; straight to the good shit. Plus, I figured this would be an awesome one to bring, since I knew it would be a shocker for people. I don't think that anyone there had experienced a sour Belgian ale before. I just wish I had a ton of it, since I think this beer gets more enjoyable as you make your way through your first glass. I only ended up with 3 new beers for me to try, and none of those that I really enjoyed. But it was still fun to have a bit of a taste of plenty of others that I already knew about, all in one night.

A beer party and a giant hot dog off the grill however, wasn't necessarily the best preparation for doing TWO cross races the following morning. But that's okay, I mostly behaved, and the early wake up call and two hour drive weren't too bad all. I was looking forward to seeing what Elgee had created this time, for the 2009 Cult Cross series!

A smallish field as anticipated, but still, an awesome vibe all around. I really think because of the fact that everyone there, was there simply because they love cross, and just wanted to have a good time with their cross bike... suffering, and breaking in the body for the new race season. I definitely liked that Elgee had a "newbies" category for first timers, that was awesome... And he even invited people that did that first race, to jump in another category later in the day if they wanted.

The course was pretty sweet, and evolved all day. Started to thaw out just as I was warming up, and so it was super greasy at the start of my single speed race. By the afternoon, it was smoothing out, the lines were getting defined, and most of the mud made the course perfectly tacky. All day, there were great switchbacks, some steep ups and downs, power grass sections, paved sections to open the throttle, and great techie sections.

The legs didn't feel awesome in the single speed race, so I hoped to start slow. No one came past so I gave it a bit of gas till some guys came off. Gave it some more, to open the gap by myself, and held it open for a couple laps to get nice and safe. I was able to hold it at a nice tempo all race, without going too hard, but seemed to be rolling pretty well, and going fast, so the legs are going in the right direction. We started a minute behind the 35+ guys, and I caught all but the winner.

The ref did an awesome all day... except for when he stepped directly between me and Jessica during her try to catch my victory salute in the new kit - at least you can see part of my arm, right?

An hour between cross races is pretty sweet. But two hours is a death sentence. It's just long enough that the body starts to shut down, and is ready for a nap. Especially after just 5 hours of sleep the night before. So I was barely awake for the start of the Open race. Still I was happy to follow the leader, but could tell, he was going to zoom away in no time flat. I was left with another guy, who didn't seem all that into working with me to catch the leader. And I wasn't too worried about it, since the legs were telling me they weren't going to maintain that effort for a full 60 minutes anyway. I was faster on a lot of the techie sections, but with the singlespeed, he had me out-gunned on the fast sections; attacked when he should have, and I was just left to chase along. Making sure to go fast enough that no one had a chance to come from behind. Podium spot in third.

I love these races, and Elgee did a great job with them. I wish more people would just suck it up for the drive out there. Especially the people that claim to "live for cross" and all that bullshit. If you live for cross, then you should jump at the opportunity for any cross racing, regardless of time of year, and all the more so when it really is just for fun, for testing yourself, and so that you have an excuse to go play in the mud with other slightly twisted grown-ups.

1 comment:

Elgee said...

thanks for the support Brian, those who do come, all enjoy, that is clear.