Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CCCX #1: More about me!

The last time I showed up at Manzanita Park to race cyclocross, I left in an air ambulance. So I can't deny that I felt somewhat nervous about this race.

As is usual for this venue, the course was excellent. the lap starts off with a big climb (broken up, this time, with a little chicane and a longer loop with a set of barriers), followed up by some techy stuff at the top and a long, fast descent to the ball field, where we were treated to a bunch of super slow speed twisty stuff. This time, they added an uphill barrier before the drop back down to the start.

More than a couple people pointed out to me that the piece of trail next to the fence I smashed into last year was an uphill, not downhill, section this time, and suggested I should feel honored by this. I told them I was holding out for a Sasha Magee Memorial Reroute, but was not holding my breath.

I signed up for Single Speed B, coincidentally starting me at the same time as Moonies Uri and Derrick (men's B) and Mark (35+ B). The organizers had some trouble trying to figure out where to put the 6 single speeders, and at the last minute lined us up behind the open Bs, in front of the 35+ Bs. We didn't really realize what this meant until about 10 seconds before the whistle, they told us "single speeders, you go with the Bs".

Then the whistle blew.

We stood there and looked at each other for a second, then took off. I got a better jump than the rest, and started to claw my way through the B field. I made the mistake of thinking I could ride the little sharp ups at the top of the course. Although they were completely rideable, on the first lap, people still screwed it up, and I was stuck.

I led the single speeders on the first lap, but Hank from Roaring Mouse came past me on the barriers halfway up the climb on the second lap (that moment memorialized here). I was a little blown at this point, and over the next two laps, he managed to get about thirty seconds on me. With 2 to go, I realized I'd closed to within about 15 seconds. unfortunately, at that point he realized I was closing in, and managed to stretch his lead out to close to :30, which is where we ended.


So second place is pretty good. But there's clearly a bunch of stuff to work on.

I got stuck behind some guy on a geared mountain bike for the last two laps. I was not able to close on the uphills enough to make up for his gapping me on the downhill. And unfortunately, I was too sloppy through the barriers to be able to make up time there. My barrier approaches, my remounts, and my bike carrying were all terrible. Still, for the first race of the season, I felt ok about it. I'm gonna miss the second CCCX race, so the next venture out is McLaren Park. I hope to do as well there!

No comments: