Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CX Santa Rosa #1

(photo by Nick Gaetano)

Everybody's still processing Single speed worlds, but the folks who didn't go to SSCXWC went to the first Santa Rosa race of the year. Here are some of their reports.

I heard it was cold & rainy in portland, true?

couldn't have been nicer in santa rosa, where it was sunny & warm, we got savage tans, drank a keg of new belgium 2°, and crushed, well, you know.

results included krishna's 2nd in As, morgan's something solid in masters As, ted/derrick/kemler's unknown-but-pretty-sweet placing in Bs, and my rather impressive 7th in Cs.

emily had a mechanical and came in for a wheel change/brake adjustment and beer partway thru her race, so i'm not sure if the free lap was in effect.

It was an extremely short course (A's took 3 minutes per lap). Not much in terms of climbing either. One fun whoop-de-doo. One sketchy log before a short sharp descent and turn onto a bridge caused a few endos.

Derrick and I battled it out for mid-pack for a while until my chain snapped on an uphill. I ran almost a full lap and waited around for a minute before the finish for the leader to finish so I didn't have to run a second lap to complete the race. Then I realized I'd never put my number on so it didn't matter anyway.

Drove up with Sam. Did a pre-ride with him, then warmed up with Ducky, Mark, Evan, Rob. Course was tacky, grassy, twisty and fun with long straights on the back side, mostly singletrack, some really testing tight corners with steep ups following each 180 and a fun root to hop right before a 90-degree turn to a damp bridge. There were three tall barriers near the s/f. The lap was really short, so there'd definitely be lapped riders. It was sunny, crisp and cool. Men's A, 35+ A and 45+ A all raced at 9:45. Race was supposed to be an hour but I think it went about 53-55 minutes. My race was 53:40, I think the race started exactly 3:00 late because the first lap was 3:00 longer than all other laps in the results, and the total time was off from my time by 3:05.


Got a decent start, lined up at the back as usual, but with 14 guys that meant 2nd row, so not too bad. Drilled it as best I could to get decent position and then began my customary battle with Dane Grant (Roaring Mouse, 45+A, not in my category but still a nemesis) and Ducky. (dfL, 45+A) I'm usually being chased by Jason Benford, but this time I was able to keep him behind me and out of sight. Dane's kid would call out my position and say stuff like "Don't let Morgan beat you!" and "Morgan's right behind you!" Grr. Dane works with my buddy Patrick, and they are both keeping keen tabs on who beats who. I knew someone was on my wheel most of the race, aside from Dane, and it turned out to be Ducky, he thanked me for the ride after the race. Dane and I swapped the lead in our little group a couple times. I got him behind me and tried to attack hard with 4 laps to go but couldn't shake him. Sam was giving me water, which helped. Ducky finally attacked hard with two to go, Dane followed him and I couldn't follow either one, which didn't matter so much because they're in a different cat. Turns out the guy in front of me - Phillip Hynes from Mako - was 30s ahead. I don't remember seeing him in the race. I ran Tufo Flexus (tubular) tires and had them as low as I could get away with, which for me is about 32psi front and 35psi rear. They were a little squirmy on corners and occasionally would fold a little with a "brraap!" sound, and I was touching the rim, but they stuck really well on the tacky stuff and grass. They rocked.

Someone kept cheering for me at the top of one of the steep little 180s after the s/f, saying "Go Curtis!" I took it as a complement but after three laps of it I had to say "I'm not Curtis."

My goal this season is the same as last; top half in a M35+ A race. I'm really too slow for this cat and this goal seems almost unattainable, but I was 8/14 yesterday, 30s from my goal! So I know it's possible. This is a motivator for me. So is beating Dane. It's gonna happen. I think he's faster than me, so you'll know that if I beat him it's all heart.

Murphy said he had a big food spread and that I should bust out the cooker and warm it up. Emily was racing after me. Scott Crosby and his girlfriend were there and Scott handed me a beer. Thank you, Scott! Thank you, Murphy and Emily! Thank you, Sam!

I can't promise top half at Sierra Point but I'll continue to giv'er. Sam and I now have a deal; whoever races and gets the better placing in their category gets to pick where we go for treats after the race. It's a lose-win situation for me.

as has been said it 'twas a lovely warm and sunny day in santa rosa. murphy, justin (new one race only team member who rocked his first dirt ride ever on a borrowed Marin CX bike and last year's pink kit) and i arrived early as murphy was mc'ing.

we had a slimmed down team set up complete with pulled pork and broiled chicken. the tent next to us provided the kegs. ted and derrick augmented our stash with some extra rolls and a 12 pack of tecate (thanks!).

my bike behaved wonderfully during the warm-up; yet, as soon as the gun went off my rear wheel popped out of alignment. i made it into the first hilly chicane and could go no further. i pulled over, some guys helped me get it back on correctly, gave me a push and i was off (everyone had passed by then). then a couple of hundred yards further just over the first narrow bridge, the wheel popped out again. i couldn't get it righted so i ran back to the start and the marin guys put me back in action. and scott provided the beer while i waited! off i went, the wheel held and i ended up around 4th. although it is hard to say what with the bungled first lap. the results show me as last (but not DNF!)

i had a good race though and actually passed a couple of people and stayed away. i was quite proud of myself when kathleen boyle from roaring mouse put a foot down right in front of me on the root drop and i readjusted and took the sketchier inside line, passed her and she never caught back up. Oh yeah -- I got three bucks too from the dollar grabs.

murphy dominated the mic. super funny announcing! and then murphy, justin and i hung out and had dinner with carlos and crew. zoe, his new baby girl, rivals griffin in the cuteness category! fun day!

Super fun times - the best part was getting my name announced by Murphy every time I came through the start-finish area! What a blast! Emily was totally there for us with waterbottles on every lap! So awesome! In case it wasn't mentioned, I was the dollar-grab winner (I think) with $3 to my name! I enjoyed racing B's - the longer course was nice, as was the later start time. I think my days as a C are done :) Great having the support of the crew and racin' with y'all!

Stephanie got to race for the first time since having Griffin (and second time ever). She was embarrassed about not being faster, but I
was really proud of her and I think she enjoyed it. She even rode the
log before the bridge on most laps.

My race was fairly uneventful. Four seconds after the start I was in second place, and that is where I stayed for the next hour. The guy who won was able to put 1 or 2 seconds on me every lap, and finished 24 seconds ahead. On the bell lap I saw Yuri Hauswald, who was lapped at that point, a little ways up the course. I closed the gap and tried to come around him in a sprint for the line, but got forced off into a curb and narrowly avoided crashing.

Scott Crosby greeted me after the finish with a beer. What a teammate!

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