This year is a first for me—a ‘cross season that stretches into January. I am traveling to Madison for Nationals, for the privilege of getting my ass handed to me by the fastest old dudes in the country. I can use all the training I can get, so with the MN State Championship in the books, what’s a guy to do? Head to Badger Prairie, that’s what. The race is held at the same venue as Nationals, so it is a great chance to preview the course (that was my thinking, anyway).
Sunday, race day—35 degrees and steady snow give the course a little bit of everything. Slush: check. Ice: check. Mud: check. For some reason, I thought that the Masters 35+ 123 was the field for me. Everything was fine until the whistle blew. Then those dudes just rode away from me. Humble pie is always a little bitter, but that’s how it goes sometimes. They were fast, fast, fast! I was not, not, not.
It was a great course, though. And with no one around to bother me, it was a good chance to push myself. Can I go a little faster through that slippery downhill section? Can I ride that slick, icy hill this lap, or will I have to dismount? Should I take the bacon-wrapped cupcake hand up? (The answer to that one is always Y-E-S!).
One more December ‘cross workout done. I’m making this up as I go. Five weeks ‘till Nationals.
Nice to see all the Crossniacs at the race.
Christopher Fisher took the top step of the podium with Craig Faulkner one step down in the open Mens race. Joshua Roeser took 9th on Sunday. This was all after Saturdays’s men’s Cat 1 & 2 race were Christopher took 5th with CJ in 7th, Joshua in 11th and Rhett Finley round it out with 15th.
I missed the Saturday race due to my coaching obligations. But somehow we managed to win two championships in the same day. My son’s team won their U8 soccer tournament. I coached the first game and then turned it over to the other coach and headed to my daughter’s softball tournament. They played all day and we finally won the last game 4-3 with a homerun in the last inning.
Sunday we had GACX #8. This race was at Centennial High School and was put on by a local HUP United racer. He always does a good job and I like this course. I got there in a good time and got a good warm up. I finally felt pretty good for the first time this season. I managed to squeze my way onto the second row for the start. I got a great start and was in second place. I settled into the top 5 and was really hoping for a good finish. There was a big crowd in the middle of the course and it was loud. The course had a big loop through a practice field and then a tight, off-camber, uphill turn going back towards the school. I had hit it pretty hard in warmups and during the race without any problem. But then I came through that turn on the next lap and my rear wheel slid out and there was a loud pop. Somehow I had managed to burp my tire so bad that it had competely flipped inside out and was stuck between the rim and the frame. Never seen that happen before. The wheel wouldn’t even move. Of course I had just gone past the pits and didn’t see myself making it all the way around again. Not sure what is going on with these burps. So, I guess I need to redo my tubeless wheels and make sure I have tight seals. I pulled out at that point, extremely disappointed. There was a good crowd of hecklers and they summed up it pretty plain.
“At least you went out with a bang!”
Well, I messed up by back thanks to a few ill timed golf swings. So, I missed GACX #4 and 5 from the Savannah Double. I hated to miss it because I hear they really out-did themselves this year. Then we had the Elks Double, GACX #6 and 7. I missed Saturday due to some family obligations. My back was still hurting, but I decided to do #7 just to get a few laps in my legs. I got a decent start, but I was just cruising along. If I tried to go to hard my back would get too stiff. There was a “mountain bike” section thorugh the woods with a lot of rocks. I managed to hit a rock and got a nasty burp on my rear wheel. There was even a photographer who managed to catch my rear wheel sliding out after the burp. Somehow I made it back to pits for a wheel change and cruised on to the finish. Not even sure where I finished. I ws just happy I could ride again.
Talk to ya’ll later.
Gadsden, AL Double. I missed BamaCX #3 on Saturday. If you have read my posts before, you know that I also coach my daughter’s fastpitch travel team. We had a tournament on Saturday so I was at the fields all day. GA CX#3 was in Augusta and I LOVE that course, but it’s four hours away. Gadsden is about an hour and a half. So, on Sunday I headed over for BAMACX #4. I had been sick for a few days so wasn’t sure if I could do it, but wanted to give it a go. I hit the Master’s race and after 2 laps I was spit out of the back. I was getting heckled so hard that I started looking for anything to help. And then I saw…wings. No, not buffalo wings. Fairy wings. BAMACX may not be Cross Crusade, but you gotta love the beer fairy. Sometimes she even does cupcakes. So, I took the oportunity to begin my recovery before the race was even over. Beer counts as recovery, right?
Then I did my second race. I got a good start and was top 5. The course was flat and you know I hate climbing. I was hanging in pretty good, but I guess the antibiotics or maybe the beer caught up with me. I just couldn’t put enough power into the pedals. I ended up all muddy thanks to the masssive mud hole on the back side. I finished in the middle of the pack again. I got cleaned up and headed home without checking the results. Somehow, I guess the mud covered my number because the officials missed me for a lap and put me in DFL. Oh well, nothing can be done about it now. But it was nice to have a beer fairy.
Talk to Ya’ll later
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.