Monday, October 26, 2009

Cyclocross race 2.0

Well, I did it. I finally competed in my second cyclocross race. I say competed loosely as you know, I am not in any sort of contention, except for maybe the Lanterne Rouge. And, I said finally, not for the fact that I was anticipating the race, but more because of a snafu of when the race actually took place.

As I said in that ancient post below, this race was, as was my understanding, to take place on Ocotber 17th. I got up that morning, got all ready, and rolled the six blocks to the park with my son to the race venue to find...nothing. Nothing except my friend Jim, who was also looking for the race. After some junior sleuthing, we found that we were either wrong, misinformed or the date was changed. Hard to discern as the date on the website said the race was Saturday the 27th. Um, there is not a Saturday the 27th in October this year. All I can figure it originally said the "17th" and they went in to change the date and only changed the "1" to a "2" but didn't change the "7" to a "4". So, that's the story I'm sticking with. I couldn't have been wrong.

Long story short, Jim and I ended up going for a ride. We couldn't waste a nice day moping about because we didn't have a race (I actually was happy it wasn't that day). So, we ended up riding up M-Hill (my usual mountain bike after-work ride) on our cross bikes, giving me a little different perspective.

ANYHOW (geez, what a wind bag), I did race my second cross race this weekend. As I had mentioned, it took place only six blocks from my house. That coupled with the fact that the guy that puts the race on happens to be my son's dentist. And my son had a dentist appointment on Friday, after which I spoke with him and he asked "Are you racing tomorrow?" Before I even had a chance to make up a lie, hem and haw, or even engage my brain for a logical answer, my mouth had blown it for me "Yup, it is only six blocks from my house, so I'll be there" came out. Shit. I guess I am committed now. No backing out of this one.

On Saturday morning, my son and I cruised down to the venue on our bikes. He was going to do the "hand-ups" to me and cheer me on. The race took off without a hitch and quickly I was squirted out the back like the last drop of toothpaste from a tube. It wasn't immediately, but it happened without a ton of effort.

The course had a cool layout. Right in the middle was a picnic shelter that was the finish area, so my son hung out there and rang a traditional cowbell for me as I came around. In the middle was a small obstacle to jump then a short, steep hill to run up and/or struggle up on a bike. Then back down the otherside, another few obstacles, then back through a creek/wooded area. A 1.2 mile loop which we attacked for 60 minutes. SIXTY MINUTES. Did you see that? When they said we were going for that long, I started to cry once again (much like the first race). We were also told that at 5 laps to go we'd be told as such. At about 35 minutes in at about 6 laps, I was wondering where the call was. At about 45-50 minutes in, I started to cry again as there was still no call for 5 laps to go. I thought maybe I didn't hear it since I was so far off the back, but the man was kind enough to call 2 laps to go. Thank GOD.

I finished up the two laps and as I came into the finish area, the "fast guys" were hanging out by the end and they all cheered me coming across. Damn. The cycling community can be so cool. Giving props to a guy for finishing, even if it was 5 or 6 minutes behind them (and maybe a lap or two). A cool group of guys and gals out hurting themselves together and having fun, no attitudes, especially like the one I encountered last time. I am really glad I did this one. A really fun course with a fun group of people.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my son was an AWESOME "pit crew". Every lap through, he'd ring his cow bell (which a cool guy there gave to him) and ask me if I needed water. He held the bottle up every time around even if I didn't need water. What a cool kid.

Well, next Saturday is the Halloween final race. Maybe Nacho Libre needs to make an appearance! If he does, I'll definitely post some pics. NAAAACCCCCHOOOO....

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