Sunday, November 4, 2007
Barton Park Cyclocross
This was my first race is the past 3 weeks. 2 weeks ago I missed the race because I was too stressed out to race. I just wasn't in the mood to suffer in the wind and the rain. A week ago I bailed out because I didn't feel like making the drive or spending the money. But, the planets aligned and I decided to make a go of it today.
The weather was great. Kind of cold but pretty good considering. I had been training pretty well for the past couple of weeks and I think it has helped. Also, I changed my bike setup a bit, and that helped out too. For some reason we have had excellent weather lately here. There were only a couple of mud patches on the course which made for a fast race. I still suffer on the run ups. The run ups were a couple of hills that were pretty steep, at least they seemed that way during the race. Sort of like running up a steep set of stair, only strewn with rocks and dirt instead of stairs. My bulk hurts me on those. I try to run up them, but I just don't have the power to do that yet lap after lap. Some laps I would run up most of the way and some I just walked up. At least the last lap I ran up both. Anyway things went pretty well. I was 75th out of 98 in my class, which is lower than I had thought I would do, but considering that about 20 or so departed for the new Clydesdale class, I consider that I did passably well. I know that I lost about 15 to 20 places because of my slowness on the run ups--which are proportionally a small part of the 2.25 mile course.
I did do my 1st front wheel-wheelie in a long time though. There was a little mulch pile that we had to go over. I was pretty well packed down and because it came at the end of a fast asphalt section there were a few wrecks. I just plain spaced-out for a bit and didn't use my body to help roll over the back side. As a result of my brain-fart I almost went over the bars when the mulch pile tossed the back wheel up. I rode on my front wheel for about 10 feet. Kind of scarey, but I never felt like I was going to go down. On the next lap the guy right behind me went down hard on that same spot. I heard a yell and then an "umph" as he hit the ground. I looked back and saw out of the corner of my eye that he was down but appeared to be getting up. I didn't slow down, but if he was hurt bad there are spectators around that can lend a hand.
For now I have made my peace with my 75th place in the race. At least I am not in the back 10% to 20% of the Beginner Race like I was two years ago. I figure I would be in the top quarter of the Beginner race these days. Being in Master C's I at least feel I am not sandbagging.
Below are some pictures borrowed from bikeportland.org.
I really wish that I could get back on the bike as efficiently as this guy riding for Vanilla. Geesh...
Yeah it hurts and he is still smiling....