Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Taking a time out...

Well, stuff has mellowed out quite a bit.  We made it through the Turkey Bingo night, which made us miss a Boy Scout function, but until cloning becomes affordable for the masses, I cannot be in two places at once, so ce la vie.  Then, one of the other things I failed to mention in the last post, we had our open house on Saturday at work.  It is an annual event, with this being the 14th run at doing this.  Oh, yeah, in addition to having a big event going on, because of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, we had to get our orders in on Saturday as opposed to the normal Tuesday order day, so OK, we'll have one more day of crazy shit.

And, I went ahead and decided to add to the chaos of the day by making sure the second I got off work at 2:00 pm, I raced home, changed into my plum-smugglers and jumped on my bike and raced down the street to Mary Hall park (only about 7 blocks from my house) for a cyclocross race.  Did I mention that it snowed about a foot from Friday night through Saturday afternoon?  No?  Well, it did.  First snow of the year and it was a good one.  Oh yeah, did I mention that it was only about 15 degrees outside as well?  No?  Well, add that to the mix as well.  Seems like a perfect day for a cross race.

I really was looking forward to the cross races this year.  I did my first CX race a couple years ago and I got hooked.  But, I was painfully slow.  The last two seasons, I had a good race if I didn't get lapped twice by the fast guys (thankfully or maybe not, our races are so small that no one is getting pulled for getting lapped) and lapped by the whole field once.  Yep, pretty pathetic, but for whatever reason, I liked getting out there and doing it.

Fast forward to this year and I'm riding quite a bit better.  I went into the first race saying just don't get lapped, but things went way better.  Duking it out with other riders for position, not getting lapped (well, I did a couple times this year, but because of other circumstances) and chasing other guys down make for a cross race that is a LOT more fun!

Carpenter with just shorts on in 15 degrees.
So, I went and rode around a circle for about an hour, acting like a little kid with a dozen or so other nut jobs.  And, much like the Dakota Five-O, if your last name wasn't Eppen, you didn't win, but really it was OK as, except for a few guys, the rest of us know we're not gonna win and with the conditions, I don't think anyone really cared all that much.  The race was a GREAT time but by the time I got home, the chaos of the week coupled with flogging my ass for an hour caught up with me and I was whipped.  A night of couch surfing watching a movie with my lovely was all I could muster for the night.

Jim making the run up look easy.
As it goes with our little local FREE race series (put on by the great guys at ACME Bicycles), since the course is already marked on Saturday, we have a 3:00 pm race on Saturday and then a 10:00 am race on Sunday, then the racers help tear the course down afterwards, helping keep it free.  So, we had another race on Sunday morning.  I woke up at about 6:30 and I wasn't feeling it at all and I literally said to myself I wasn't going (talking to myself should have been the first sign things weren't right with me).

Me looking kinda racy.
A couple cups of coffee later (OK, about 4 cups, but whatevs) I had the courage to go and do yet another race.  Besides, it was a balmy 26 degrees outside and with the race being so close to home, it would have been far more painful to me to NOT go than it would be to go (did you follow that convoluted logic?).  Yet again, if your name wasn't Eppen you didn't win, but once again, it didn't really matter to anyone there.  It was all about having a good time, keeping some sort of semblance of fitness going for the holidays and duking it out with some other riders for a while.

There will be (possibly) one more CX race this season in a couple weeks then it will be probably time to put the bikes up for the winter.  Oh sure, there will be the occasional ride on a nice winter day, but for the most part, the bike season will be over and it will be time for snowboarding.  Oh yeah, and it will be time for morning roller sessions on the bike.  I don't feel like I've got enough to do and I've gotta start getting ready for next season.

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