This past weekend we had days 1 and 2 of Boss Cross. The longest running cyclo-cross series in Kansas City. Being that i won the cat 3 overall last year and with it the most amazing cycling jersey ever created, i have a fond place in my heart for Boss Cross... so i was looking forward to the weekend.
Spoiler alert: One day was awful and the other was good.
Day 1 (Saturday)
Today sucked. That's really all that needs to be said... but i'll say a little more anyway. Maybe 15 of us lined up for the open race and i got a front row spot thanks in part to last years aforementioned awesome leaders jersey, which i was wearing. They say go and i go, and i go pretty good. After maybe thirty seconds i was sitting 4th or 5th and thinking 'this isn't so bad'.
After another 3 minutes it was pretty bad. I started too fast and began to pay for it. I recovered after a few laps but pretty soon i hit a wall and died a long and painful death. with 2 laps to go i was soft pedaling the rest of the way. I was completely out of gas. I finished last. Upon finishing i rode almost immediately to the car and ate my sandwich and drank a coke. It tasted amazing.
So today sucked but i learned a lot. In a weird way it was a good experience.
X's day was even worse. This was her first cross race of the year and she broke her derailluer hanger on the first lap. I didnt witness it but i heard she tossed her bike to the side and just walked off, leaving it there for about a half hour.
Not a good day for the future husband and wife due.
Day 2 (Sunday)
As i was soft pedaling during yesterdays race i was thinking about today. I just knew it would be much better. How could it be worse?
I rolled up to the line to see a good sized field, bigger than yesterday. Then a few more rolled up and it became apparent we had a huge field. 25 folks! In my somewhat limited experience thats a massive field for an open race in KC.
Plus the field was pretty strong. J Schmalz, M Savery, J Winkler, A Coe. Maybe C Buta should be in that sentence, too. It was going to be a fast race.
I didn't get to pre-ride but my pal Justin gave me a great tip about one of the two sand sections. It was the one that came 20 seconds after the start and he told me it was hard to ride because the grass ramps up right before it so if your not careful you end up coming into the sand with all the weight you your front wheel. He was absolutely right... have you've seen any of the video out on the net right now?
I was practically last coming into this sand section but i was prepared and got lucky because i choose the good side. Just like picking the wrong line at the supermarket everyone on the right half got caught behind somebody so i came out of the sand in around 15th.
The barriers were almost as exciting as the sand. They were set up so that you could come at them fast. I love that and I'd love to see some video of it because several times i was almost out of control. I always kept it together but my feet could barely keep up. It wasn't graceful but i think it was fast.
So the race goes on and after a while i realize there a several guys ahead of me and several guys behind me, which meant the end of the race was going to be as fun as the beginning. I was doing well thru the barriers and the sand and felt i had a good flow thru the course. Racing for an hour really allows you to get a good feel. Bigger gears become easier to turn over as the race went on and i passed a few guys.
Plus i didn't get lapped, which seems like a worthy victory for a slow cat 4 road racer doing open cross races agains guys racing for Bissell next year. (editors note: i'm going to milk that for all it's worth, racing agains professionals that is.)
In the end i finished 16th out of 25.
That result was a big confidence booster for the rest of the season. After 4 races in the open field i'm not completely overmatched and therefore im not completely depressed. Which is nice.
It's easy to say this after a good race but it's great to be a part of the KC cross scene. It's full of so many good people and i feel lucky to be a part of it.
Keep it up everybody.