Monday, October 08, 2012

Starting in on Cyclocross

Yesterday, I participated in my first cyclocross race, right here in Grass Valley. I went into this event with a wide open mind and low expectations of myself, which allowed me to thoroughly enjoy the experience.

The Condon course has a reputation of being very challenging and technical as far as x courses go. The dry weather and late start time for my category left the trail very beat and loose. Sections were like the moon surface, allowing those skinny cross tires to kick up dust and blanket the faces and lungs of racers.

After the start, I quickly settled into a too-fast pace that I could only maintain for two laps. It took some time to acquaint myself with the intensity and speed of everything. I fouled up my first obstacle crossing (too many distracting cowbells) and was too conservative attacking some of the tight turns. But it is OK: I get to be a rookie!

I placed rather poorly (18/24 in B45+), but that I am OK with this. I'd like to blame my time on crashes/handling/mishaps, but honestly, my fitness is not yet up to the standards of my crazy fast SERT/SHOAIR teammates. I am amazed at how you racers can redline it lap after lap!

I have a long term plan to become fast enough to be competitive and it was good to check in and see where I currently stand. I hope to race additional venues in the Sacramento Cross series soon.

THANK YOU: My daughters (who screamed encouragement on every lap), Duane Strawser (who put in many hours making this terrific event happen), volunteers and everyone who cheered me on.