Sunday, November 7, 2010

Do A Cyclocross Race...Check!

The night before the race, my brother called me and said, "You know, it's supposed to be pouring down rain tomorrow. Do you still wanna race?" I told him I was 100% committed. Driving to the race, it was pouring down rain and I kept thinking to myself, this is going to be real cyclocross. Bring it! I was really excited.

Race prep involved a quick tutorial on cyclocross bike shift levers, ONE dismount and mount practice, and a warm-up of about half a mile. I placed myself in back, way back, we're talking 5 places to last. It was kind of cool to go into a race with no expectations. The plan was to use the first lap as a warm-up, learn the course, and get a sense of what cyclocross is all about. If I felt good, the plan was to see how many places I could move up from my 5th to last starting position. My first lap was pretty mellow, and I didn't make a concerted effort to race or pass guys. You see, in my head, I designated myself as the guy who was going to suck the most technically. But as the race progressed, I kept seeing all these guys bite the dust (mud), while I somehow managed to stay on my bike. Also, there were sections that you had to run with the bike, and hell no was I going to let someone pass me running. My confidence grew as the lap progressed. By the start of the second lap, I learned a few things, and I decided to be more aggressive. Any time I saw an opening, I would actively work to pass guys. I attacked the hills, the asphalt sections (I'm a triathlete, asphalt is my turf), and all of the run sections (once again, I'm a triathlete, running is my thing). My increased aggressiveness led to two minor tumbles, both while following too closely to the guy in front, and when he went down, I went down. Halfway through lap 3, I had pretty much passed all the guys I could, and I decided to just take it all in and enjoy my ride to the finish.

Post race, my brother asked if I wanted to race the following weekend. I told him that if I placed in the top 24, then I would race because that would mean I get called up. Cyclocross is all about good positioning at the start. Guys who finish in the top 24, get priority or "called up" when lining up for the next race in the series. I finished in 26th, something to think about. It was the best $35 I have spent in a long long time. $35! The last time I paid $35 to race a tri was back in 1990. Congrats to my brother and his wife for racing, it was a family fun-filled morning. Oh, and my favorite thing about cyclocross? The dismounting and mounting-it looks so cool, especially when you're totally in sync and it's just fluid. Who knew?

6 comments:

D said...

All races should be that cheap (or cheaper!!) to enter! Sounds like lots of fun.

Beth said...

Very cool on all accounts! You are so brave - I think I would kill myself in CX. :)

jameson said...

RAD! stoked you got out there for the experience... and had fun. you gotta get back out there. with running skills and overall fitness you have after a couple more races you will be leading the charge!

Jill Costantino said...

That is AWESOME! You are SO brave:) hahaha -I just saw that Beth wrote that too! You are! Congrats on doing that! LOVE cheap races too!

Charisa said...

That is awesome!!!

the Wongstar said...

is that you and your brother? dude, you're so brown!