Wow what a CX season...
Sunday- When I awoke Sunday morning I knew what that bright light was coming from my window, (reflection off of snow on the ground) and I was terrified. Fortunately the pavement on the downtown sections was spared the worst and for the most part remained surprisingly dry. I got there early to help with course re routes taking two jarring pavement transitions out and adding a longer field component to the course. This race again showcased my inability to start effectively as I immediately was shot off the back like a kite in the wind.
The pro who had won the day before though seemed to bit of a mud wussy and he was the first one I caught. He was cussing his pedals (looked like some sort of wellgo or shimano) which were in my opinion a poor choice for mud, and he couldn't get clipped back into them. A good tip for when you have to unclip your bike to run is don't run where the mud is deep. Anyways he succumbed to a problem I have noticed in a lot of elite racers known as "Pro racer sissy syndrome" PRSS (pronounced "purse"- like a ladies purse...a hissy fit). These fits are often times seen in the strongest of riders who seem to do well at lots of races, and then decompensate completely when something goes wrong. This misfortune is something akin to when a villain in a superhero movie is monologuing and is blind sided resulting their complete and utter defeat. When I saw his difficulty I offer words of support only to be answered by "f-ing pedals!". At this point I knew PRSS was about to happen or happening and the best way to beat a pro rider when PRSS is going on it to lay it down when they are vulnerable. Needless to say the house of cards fell and the guy actually quit the race without telling any officials and went home. Lame.
From here I began to steadily gain time on racers in front of me until I caught Matt Googe, a very strong semi pro mtn biker who knows how to handle a bike. We went back and forth and were able to reel back in Mike to my delight. Then I suffered one of my 2nd mechanical of the season. It seems in our quest to rip up and redistribute the grass in places of WFP, I managed to get what I initially thought was fishing line in my derailleur and cassette. I couldn't pedal and it was like someone had installed a seized coaster brake on my bike. I stopped to see if I could undue the tangle and was horrified to see the extent of the line, which at this point was positively identified as plastic bio matting and I must have had about 12 feet wrapped up in there. I was able to clear the large cog barley and pedal slowly around to the pit where my single speed was sitting. It was like riding a resistance bike with the setting on 11 half a lap. After this I handed off my geared bike to Phil and Andy in the pit, who immediately went to work on the mess. I lost lots of time here and spent the next few laps thinking about how I had lost the points series off of a piece of landscaper's fishing line. Then a glimmer of hope, I was catching Matt on my single speed. This decreasing gap made me more confident that if I got my geared bike back I might be able to pull Mike back who was a few seconds in front of Matt at this point. I needed only to finish behind Mike to win the series by one point. At this point I have to stop and sincerely thank Any and Phil for getting the line out, they literally saved my Knoxiecross series standings by untangling the line and passing the bike out to me with a few laps to go. The resulting drop of a few pounds to an aluminum frame with gears from my single speed beast and the prospect of not letting my friends' helpful efforts die in vain helped me to establish a good gap on Matt. I was able to eventually catch Mike but a vicious attack on the last lap after I had caught left me watching as I just had nothing left in the tank. So I finished 1 position behind Mike and 1 point ahead of him in the standings. I couldn't have asked for a more action packed dramatic weekend. After thawing out my toes in the bathroom it was time for the final single speed race of the season and riding off of a high from the first race I took a uncharacteristic gamble that paid off. I attacked as hard as I could off the line, got a gap, and maintained it to the end finishing up the season, the TBRA single speed points series, and Knoxiecross series with a win.
I never started the season with any aspirations of competing for a TBRA Jersey, but as soon as I found the joys of the Single Speed division I ran with it for the entire season and I have to say I worked my ass off for this shirt so I will wear it proudly when I can. Now I can also get fat and slow and say, "yeah I remember when..."
Next race on tap isn't for a couple of months so it's time for concentrating on school and home projects...
8 years ago