Tuesday, January 1, 2013


The last 2 days were filled with Cyclocross. The awesome kind.   Sunday was great, I didn't have to work so I had the morning to my family where I cooked bacon/eggs and we just relaxed.  Got to the race at noon, plenty early, way early than normal, and I witnessed the huge amount of talent which was the elite field. 

I was 4th or 5th after a few turns, and stayed there the majority of the first lap.  As I felt riders catch me, I 'd check who it was, and say to myself, they are fast, I'll let them by, and eventually found myself back in 12th place or so, after 2 laps.  My back tire wasn't great for this type of course, it's a 2 season old flexus primus, so slick to begin with, even slicker after 2 seasons.  I tried keeping my weight on the front moto style cubus, but eventually ate it after 2 laps, it knocked the wind out of me and my head hurt so I just pedaled a little longer to make sure I was still working.  This was a stacked field, on my best day I may have been top 8, but it wasn't a good day.

The ss race was way easier.  I had a new vittoria xg on the back, and the cubus on the front, grip was excellent and I didn't slip out much.  I started fast and tried to stay fast the whole race, and won it.

On Monday, I spent the morning at the store meaning to leave before noon, but didn't leave till after 1, which meant I was running very late, going straight to the race instead of going home to get my race shoes, number, and kit.  I raced with my winter mtb shoes, and they aren't great for clipping into yet.  I need to use a shim under the eggbeater cleat to improve the clip in part.

I got to the race in time to realize I hadn't ate all day and had time to watch the last 3 laps of the elite race.  Schmaltz and Tilford were battling for the win, Shadd Smith and Aaron Elwell were fighting for 3rd.  It was great to watch, there lines were all different.  There was a good 3 inches of snow at least on the ground, but plenty of lines broken down from previous races. 

My point here, is that there is learning in this sport. People don't say it enough, but simply watching these guys do what they do will make you better.  Try it next race.  Go to the corners that look tough, watch the speeds they go, the gear they are in, where there weight is positioned on the bike, and WHAT LINE THEY ARE TAKING.   The line is huge.  You don't have to ride the same line that the guys road yesterday, or the line from the previous race.  There are always faster, safer lines.  I watched Smith come around a 180 by the west side of the building, and take a line inside into the snow while Ellwell took the broken line that was already beat down into mud and Smith turned a 2 second deficit into a 5 second lead ...simply by not following the rider in front of him and finding a faster line.  These things make a huge difference if you are competitive.

Cyclocross is fun, and I get that the sport is hard enough, and if you want to show up and race and have fun and tell stories and find that satisfying, good for you... if you have goals, want to be better, look around and see what others are doing, try to learn from guys going faster than you. 

Back to the race, the ss started and as soon as we hit the snow wesley had a solid lead on summers and I.  Summers eventually put time into me and I didn't see much after that, finishing 3rd.  My feet were plenty warm though...

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