There was cross racing this weekend. Saturday and Sunday in Lawrence, KS. New Venue. I love Lawrence.
Saturday, well, i dont remember that much. I do remember realizing almost immediately that i couldn't pedal nearly as fast as just about everyone else and that just about every technical section was giving me problems. It was a bad day but i kept fighting till the end. It was cold, i didnt warm up properly, that was part of the problem. Last year, as a 3, warming up wasent as crucial becasue i was strong enough to get thru it. My results probably suffered a bit for that but for the most part i was still at or near the front of the race. This year i dont have that luxury, which is a bummer because it takes some of the fun out of the day. Instead of chatting and watching races i need to be warming up. I'm still working on perfecting my pre-race routine.
I rode around in circles for an hour and finished near the back, but i was smiling.
X also raced today. Not counting her mechanical induced half lap at last weekends boss cross 1 this was her first cross race. She did great especially considering shes been knee deep in wedding planning over the last few weeks and months. Her finishing place was just okay but also a bit decieving, she was in the mix up until the very end and the time gaps were small. She hasent been riding much and i know if shes racing she wants to win but considering thats just not in the cards right now shes doing a great job of coming out and having fun.
When we got home Tuna the cat was in the wall. We rescued him.
Sunday i felt way better and had a lot more fun. Yesterday was fun too, i managed to keep a good attitude despite feeling so sluggish (it helped to have X cheering me on) but I find it much easier to have fun when you feel you've got the power to do what you want on a bicycle. However everyone else seemed to have much more power than me. It was kind of like Jingle Cross last year where i felt really strong but my results were just so so, everyone else was just stronger.
I had a front row starting spot both days and although i warmed up better for Sundays race it still wasent ideal, after 1 minute of pedaling i was in the back... but i was doing a better job of going fast. The first few minutes were really fun as i was able to push hard but stay within myself, keep my head up, and make good decisions. Today i did a much better job of scouting out the course (another aspect thats become more important when racing in the open) and it helped. there is still room for improvement in both the warming up department and the course recon department but im getting better at it. I was riding the short barriers pretty well and taking better lines than yesterday. Yesterday i just had no balance, today was much better.
As the race goes on i have two guys in my sights. Summers and another dude i didn't recoganize. I catch and pass both but the dude catches back up to me with 1/3 of a lap left. i think i was losing energy towards the end of the race. Thats opposite of how i usually ride. He passed me over the tall barriers and then created a small gap on me thru the twisty section before the long fast sidewalk section. But, for a few seconds thru the twistys i was really racing someone. Not someone 15 seconds in front or behind me but someone right in front of me. That was fun. Once we hit the sidewalk it was all over, he had two seconds plus a double chain ring for the fast downhill, i was spun out in my single chainring. He beat me, but it was fun. If i was thinking i would have given it my all to stay in front of him all the way to the sidewalk, that might have made it harder for him use hit double to such an advantage.
I'm wondering if Last Sundays boss cross race was the anomolie. It was the biggest (and strongest?) field yet and i had my best result including not beign lapped. This weekend i was lapped both days and the results were not good. It's something to think about, but only briefly. I'll just keep doing my thing, observing whats happening, thinking about what works and what dosent, and having fun trying to figure it out.
Bicycles are the coolest.
(i forgot my camera today so thanks to Roger for these pic's)