Sunday, November 16, 2008
Final Cross Crusade Race Or How I Rode Thru Horse and Bull Diarrhea
Yeah, this was part of the course. It was the rodeo arena where it smelled just slighly like sewage. Nasty stuff. During my first pass through the rodeo arena it it was easy to believe that it was the same consistency of tons and tons of diarrhea. Yeah, yeah, gross. But with that smell in certain spots it might as well have been. The rest of the course was technically tame. That is not the same a being easy though. Lots of long grassy stretches that were of the painfully bumpy sort.
I didn't take too many pictures, but you can see what at least the that small part of the course was like if you didn't make the race. The rest of the course was much different--bumpy grassy straight aways, some asphalt, and a little gravel.
I raced Master B's for the first time. I wasn't expecting to blow anyone's doors off, especially since I don't even do that in Master C's. I just wanted to see how I did racing against my betters. I managed to get 79th out of 90, but that was the preliminary results. It could change obviously. I am not terribly disappointed though. This is mainly becuase I was sure I was DFL by midway though the first lap. I couldn't believe it. I looked back at one point and there wasn't anyone there. So I put my head down and tried to catch those that near me. I passed a couple of guys and that was about it. Anyone else riding near me the rest of the race were the Masters 50+ guys. Some of those guys are rockets. Seriously fast they are. So I tried to just give it my best effort. The thing was, with no one immediately around me for much of the second lap it took some mental effort to do so. If there were more guys around me it would have been automatic. I would bet that I would have had a faster time had I raced back in the Master C's today because of the lack of racers near me in my class from mid way thru the 2nd lap on.
During the 3rd and 4th laps I was actually getting out of the saddle to push it, whereas this was not so much case during the first and second laps. I guess I should warm up more. Too bad I didn't have time today before the race. I didn't have much time to do anything before the race becuase I lingered at home to help my wife with the boys. But if I hadn't done so, there would have been some serious issues between she and I, so I just dealt with it and smiled and felt lucky that I got to go with her blessing at all.
When I finished I felt good, like I had another lap in me. I am not sure if that is a good thing or not. Didn't I push it enough? Most of the time. Sometimes, I think I could have pushed a bit harder looking back at several stretches. Whenever there was a rider ahead of me I stepped up my game a bit--finding more in the tank that I thought I had. Thinking about that part of the race sort of irks me a bit.
Do I belong in Master B's? That is what I asked myself after the race. I don't know. Maybe not. This was not the best course for me and my style. Barton was more to my taste. These bumpy rutted courses really hurt my back, I don't especially like them. More mud would have been preferred.
I would have had to have been about 10% faster, or about 5 minutes faster, to finish mid pack. I am not sure much work it would take to get to that level. I am willing to do it, I just need a plan I suppose. I think had I had a great race I would have finished only about a minute faster, but that would not have made much difference today.
I just saw the results, and I looks like 4 of the guys I was counting were DNF, so in fact I was 79th out of 86 finishers. Ouch. But at least I wasn't last. And now I know how much I need to improve to be competitive.
Anyway, I glad I did it. I learned quite a bit. Next year I will be back on a more permanent basis. For the rest of the year (USGP, Psycho Cross) I will continue in Master C's/C's.