Not sure what happened but my other posts got lost. So, I will try again, it seems kinda like my cross season so far. I had great plans for the start of this season. Plans to lose weight; plans to train more; plans to upgrade; plans to you know… But it seems like real life always gets in the way of cyclocross. So, I haven’t lost the weight and haven’t trained much. But I did get a bike fit. I have to give a shout out to Eddie at 55nine performance in Atlanta. He made some pretty significant changes to my set up. It all seemed a little much to start with and took a little getting use to. But I have to say that it certainly makes me feel more stable on the bike and seems to have helped cut down on some of the nagging injuries that always seem to plauge my season.
Due to some family obligations I missed the first couple of races down south. Finallly made it the GA CX #2 Marietta. It is an oldie but goodie. I like the course and usually have a decent race. I got a good start from the second row and was in the top 5. I settled in to the top 10 (out of 70+) after the first lap. I felt ok and was hanging in but then I did my second best superman imitation, ever. Last season I had a lot of problems with flats on my clinchers. So, near the end of the season I decided to try tubeless. For the most part it has worked well and I like it. But since this was my first race of the year, I obviously didn’t have my setup quite right. I hit a 180 turn a little hot and managed to burp my front tire. I proceeded to FLY over the handle bars, over the course tape, into a front flip, and landed flat on my back. I just wish someone had video, then I too could be an internet sensation like Joey.
I managed to get back up, creeped in to the pits for a tire change and finish the race. But man it feels good to racing CX again.
Talk to Ya’ll later.
It’s the balance in everything you do every day, the energy committed to work, friends, family and the time you train and how all that translates to speed.
When it comes to cycling I have two passions. I prepare for those on the road bike winding my way to my favorite hill to run repeats. In early spring I can knock off about 5 laps, getting to the top of the hill breathless, heart pounding in my ears. By fall I’m pushing 15 laps and to quote LeMond, ‘It doesn’t get any easier, you just get faster’.
Why get up at dawn to go do this? So by midsummer I can push the Single Speed 29er as hard as I can during a few choice races and then by fall I will be ready for my true love – Cyclocross.
Yet in both, that interface between me and the chain has the same name.
Perhaps you are already on Strava but I have just been using it this week and I have found that it has keyed into a slightly competitive propensity I have. What once was a mild easy ride to work; a time to spin out the weekend’s race legs has now turned into an aggressive leg burning attack at every virtual stretch of race. I have even swapped out my knobby tires for a file tread in hopes of upping my standings. Now every rider I see on my ride to work is a potential competitor (well maybe not the guy with a basket). Is it good for me – time will tell but for now I ponder the choice between tiny LED light weight over battery pack headlamp on the hill sections and if I can forgo the 20lb backpack of gear and office attire and just wear my bike kit at work!
Rumor has it that the cycling rules changed recently so now the race course designers are limited in how many obstacles they can place in a race. I do remember a few years back seeing many sets of barriers in a race, sometimes doubles. Putting on a race is a lot of effort and you have to work with the land you have to make a race interesting. Hopefully you have a hill or two, some stairs to run up or some mud / sand so that you don’t just have grass track.
Red Barn is a ‘Christmas’ tree farm so they have what seem to the urban eye a few acres of flat land covered with pine trees. They have a short very steep embankment that is the run up. You ride down into a gully, make a hard left turn the scramble back up the embankment.
Its a tight race, no place to break away so to make a gap you just need to keep the power on all the time and stay smooth.
My race went well – decent start that put me in about 5th place going into the first tern. Then we just stayed lined up for the entire lap with front wheel on back wheel. It was on the second or third lap when we made our turn up to the ‘red barn’ that the race changed. This is the spot that in the past they have had a double barrier going into and used the small bumpy embankment that is the dirt bath going into the barn an obstacle.
This year there was no barrier (there was only one in the entire race…) but had placed a 1×6 board across the path. By the time of our race, this board had been bashed into a slat toward the hill so we all just road over it and plowed up and around the hill. It was at this point the lady luck took the tire off Thomas Thornquest front wheel (just after the wheel pit – so he had to run half the course) and with Michael Phillips out sick that left me at the front for the 45+ group. The rest of the race was just not screwing up and staying away from the rest of the pack. I didn’t know Michael wasn’t at the race so I expected him or Paul S to come charging past me at any point. With that in the back of my head on the last lap I took a corner wide and clipped two small pine trees about knee hight (one must have grabbed my show as it came completely undone) and then plowed full speed straight into a tree about my height. Over the bars I went, half hurdling the tree and rolling on the ground. I quickly got up and extracted my bike from the tree (it was impaled upside down), got the chain back on and road like mad thinking I just lost first place as some riders went by. I must have had a bit of a gap between me and the second place 45+ as I kept my spot and finished first. It’s never over until you cross the finish line.
One after thought. I did take a cool down lap on my old Major Jake with the new Mercury wheels on and boy are they nice. Some much more confidence inspiring. Now if I only trusted my abilities as far as my tire gluing skills I would definitely race those wheels rather than my carbon FSA set.