Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kicking off Cross Season

Race #49: Misery Loves Company
I kind of felt like the first race might be a bit of a let down. Everyone is nervous, maybe some mechanical things would occur to some, the fields are massive. I was right. It was a tough race and a lot of my friends had a rough day — with crashes or catastrophic mechanical failures.

It started just after the gun went off. The rider in front of me slowed to a halt as his rear wheel cam out of the dropouts! I lost a decent starting position. So I sped off trying to regain spots. Probably on the second lap I went flying into a turn. It was a bad idea — the grass evaporated into dust in the draught-like conditions and I ended up skidding across the ground. I smashed my head and ripped a ton of skin off my elbow. To make matters worse a Masters rider crashed into me doing a somersault. I felt really bad about making someone wreck, I hate to be THAT guy.

At the end of the race I tried to be a good teammate and help Brian bridge up to a the next rider, but we didn't really match skills very well. I was too strong in the power sections but I cornered like crap and got in Brian's way in the technical sections.

My full lap times were 7:55.6 (crash?), 7:37.8, 7:29.0, 7:28.5, 7:35.9, 7:42.8. I wish I were more consistent. You can see where riding the sandpit probably wore me down in later laps.

Race #50: Battling for Water
I decided to race a second race and give the Kings' Elite race a try. I love the notion of racing for an hour and I wanted to see how I would fair. Unfortunately I drank too much coffee that morning, making me somewhat "diuretic" and dehydrated. I was already parched at the starting line of the Cat 3 race, now I was seeing double. I did okay. I stayed attached at the start and attacked some tough parts of the course and got ahead. In the past my second race usually meant I got dropped and ended up suffering for the next hour.

Everything was going well. I was battling with Katsu for 22nd place (out of 30 starters) and trying to close the gap on 21st when my legs began to cramp and I started riding backwards. I clipped the barriers going over and ended up feeling a huge cramp in my leg so I pulled in the pit and ended up downing 2 full bottles of water! I resisted the urge to DNF and headed back out just to make sure I kept some points for later in the series. I ended up 27th, I'll take it...

My full lap times were 7:31.0, 7:36.0, 7:35.4, 7:47.0, 7:46.7, 11:23.7 (cramps and water break), 9:29.8 (trying not to cramp). Not too bad for a second race.

But I hope I can get some better results this season.

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