Monday, January 12, 2009

Santa Rosa CX #4: The Murphination

Saturday was the third race of the Santa Rosa Cyclocross series. As a special attraction, they'd asked our fearless leader, Murphy, to be the race announcer.

So we had a decent crew show up, including Sam, Derrick, Emily and me. The race was fun, even though none of us had the results we were hoping for, I think.

Derrick started our day out by flatting in the C race. Not even a spare wheel could salvage it for him, as my cassette was a little big for his short-cage derailleur.

Sam raced her first B race, and did OK. Like Derrick and me, she has some bike issues and some crash issues. I think it was a little different from cruising around more than a minute ahead of the other C racers! Emily also had a good race, even if I accidentally handed her a bottle that contained sports drink, instead of the water she was expecting.

Since he didn't get enough pain in the C race, Derrick jumped right back in for the Bs.

Derrick remounts in a crowd

I had a frustrating race. I started out really well (5th to the first turn), and then things went south. On the third lap, I managed to crash on the paved 180 after the second ditch. My chain kept coming off, and eventually I got stuck in the big ring somehow. Finally, with a lap and a half to go, I caught Blake, a guy I'd been chasing all day, at the picnic table run up, but as I pushed past him, I knocked my pedal back and heard my chain fall off. I tried to ride it back on, but no luck. I had to stop and get it back on manually. Apologies to the guy standing on the sidelines with his young daughter for the involuntary vocabulary lesson.

By this point, I was pretty beaten down. I actually got passed on the last lap, which almost never happens, and ended up 8th of 27. My bike was not handling well at all. I constantly felt like I had a flat tire or something, although when I got home, I figured out that I was actually running something like 20psi higher than normal in front and 15psi extra in the rear, which might explain things. I almost smacked into the tree in the middle of the course like 4 times, and was generally really tentative through the sweeping turns, which made it hard to gain any time.

Passing on a grassy stretch

On the bright side, I was within 45 seconds of 2nd, so had I kept it upright and running (I need a new mechanic*), I might have done really well.

*Yes, I am my own mechanic...

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