Sunday, November 14, 2010

Outdoors Inc Cyclocross Championships 2010

Another race I look forward to every year. I did this race for the first time probably 16+yrs ago.

So this year, I was excited, but not sure how I'd fare. I showed up this morning and proceded to do a couple warm up laps to feel out the course. Fast as usual for this event. The course was/is on Mud Island and sits right on the Mississippi riverfront. There was one hill which I was able to ride up, but most people were running it. After that, there was a stair runup, a set of two standard barriers on a short hill, and 3 large river driftwood logs on the main straightaway to cut the speed down a bit.

When I went to register, I started to register CX4 as I had earlier this year. The registration people asked if I'd rather ride in Masters Men 35+? I told them I was not old enough for Masters and they quickly set me straight that I was...... great, I'm officially getting old per USAC. So Masters it was. The other bonus was that prizes went fairly deep in Masters.

Lining up on the start line, I recognized all but one of the Masters racers. We hit the course and I actually got a pretty good start. CX4, all Masters and SS started together as part of the B race. Big crowd, but most of the CX4's pulled away pretty quickly. I continued on and had the lead in Masters for approx half a lap. Then the unknown person pulled ahead followed by a guy who beat me here last year.

After that, I held my position and actually started to pull back a number of the CX4's. My dismounts and runs were really going well and I was flying through the barriers faster than I thought I could. I even rode the steep hill on the last lap that everyone else (mostly) was running.

I ended up 3rd in Masters 35+, and beat all but one of the Masters 45+ guys, as well as maybe 1/4th of the CX4 field. To top all of that, Boomer only lapped me once..... (he lapped me 3 times 3 years ago!!)

Was a really fun race and I look forward to next year.

Next on the calendar is the Lock4 Cross-The-Way race in December. I don't think I can make it to the Jonesboro race the last weekend in November.

Monday, November 1, 2010

SpookyCross Race #1

Spooky Cross 2010

This race was/is a great addition to the Mid-South cyclocross racing scene.

It took place in the Shelby Farms Ampitheather. The venue is a natural ampitheater in the nation's largest urban park. The course had a brutal runup through the ampitheater, followed by a nice singletrack ride, a gravel road, a paved path, and finally into a taped off grass field with some painful climbing involved.

That grassy area with the climbing is definitely not my kind of course... LOL

Day one opened with warm breezes and a hard packed course. No mud to be seen anywhere. I arrived early and pre-rode the course a few times. Very easy to figure out once on it. The organizers made a few areas even a bit more clear after I gave them some feedback.

The CX4 race was grouped in with the Masters, SS and Women riders. Made for a big group! One heckuva mass start.

The race progressed, and I slowly fell back from the field. I just was not feeling it in the legs. They were stiff and had no snap. Thats pretty much how the race finished for me.

The big positive for this race was that my wife and daughter were there. This is the first race my little girl has seen me in, and having her there with my wife clanging away with the cowbells I bought them made it an awesome day!

Day two started very cold. Mid-40's were the name of the game, and the course was the same with only a few of the barriers moved for variety. Something was definitely clicking more precisely, as I was really getting my dismounts under control and getting some pretty good speed on the runs.

In the end, I finished pretty much the same Sunday as Saturday. I did feel a lot better though!

I already look forward to this race next year. I know it will be a good time again. Kudos to the organizers - they did a really good job!