Monday, October 15, 2007

SCC#2 - Evergreen: The Worst Start

It was a beautiful morning at my house. The sun was popping out, the birds were singing, it was going to be great. Then I left my neighborhood and descended into the fog. I arrived at the Evergreen Sports facility in South Seattle plenty early and helped Joel set up or tent and chairs down on the infield. I took a took two leisurely laps around the course which had a lot more tight off camber turns than last year. I warmed up nicely on Joel's trainer and didn't have to rush over because I knew I'd get called up to the front for the start because of how well I did in the first SCC race.

The gun went off. The crowd went wild. Ok, Nix that part about the crowd, but it was one heck of a start. 64 racers just in my 35-45 group. The total that started in 3 waves separated by 45 seconds each was over 143 racers. I settled into 4th as we flew around the cinder running track. We exited the track, hit a few bumps and went into a hard right, uphill turn on the grass. That's where things went horribly wrong. I think I clipped someones rear wheel and down I went. Bad as that was, when I got back up, I couldn't get my chain unstuck from where it had wedged itself in behind my front chain rings. I pulled and yanked. I ripped my gloves and bloodied my fingers and finally the dang thing popped out. Of course by this time over a minute had passed and not only had my whole 35+ group gone by, but half of the 45+ group as well. I finally got back on my bike, mad as hell and seeing red. The field was packed, and got bogged down at every corner or slight incline. I passed people everywhere I could. I finished 31st out of 64 so I guess I'm guessing I passed well over 50 people. I suppose I should feel good about that, but I'm just mad at myself because If I hadn't gone down I wouldn't have had to deal with the crowds. Ah well. live and learn. Now I have to keep racing to redeem my self!

I woke up this morning trying to figure out why my left hip was so sore. Oh yeah that's what I landed on. Here's a video that includes the Cat 1/2 racers going through the section where I bit it.

Here is a photo of Jim Albright who was winning his Cat 1/2 class until he flatted. He still pulled off 3rd. Pretty impressive.

Thanks to Ann, Jen, Bob, Joel, Jim and even Logan (wearing a funny jersey) for coming out and making it a great day.

Just found a video of the 9:30 race here:

Date: October 14
Mileage: 9
Ride type/Bike: Cross Race/Tricross
Oct. Miles: 41
Year to date mileage: 2234

Date: October 12
Mileage: 23
Ride type/Bike: Road/Allez
Oct. Miles: 32
Year to date mileage: 2225

Date: October 9
Mileage: 9
Ride type/Bike: Road/Allez
Oct. Miles: 9
Year to date mileage: 2202

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

SCC #1 - Snohomish

I had been sick again and not worked out once since the Oyster race, but I committed myself to at least starting the first Seattle Cyclocross race of the year in Snohomish. I've found that if I miss the first race of a series, it's all too easy for me to blow the whole thing off. I woke up about 5:30 AM on Sunday and it was still pouring down rain. The good news was that the thermometer read 48. At least it wasn't too cold. I headed out the door around 6:40 and arrived at the course around 7:30 for a leisurely checkin and warmup. I had two sets of riding clothes and shoes so I warmed up by doing a couple of loops of the course. It was very similar to last year and was very very wet. The sawdust on on there XC running course was some of the worst. Just like I'd imagine trying to ride on a wet sponge.

The race was to start at 9:30 so I hit the start line about 9:20. There were a lot of other folks so I ended up starting in about the middle of a group of 48 racers. The race didn't actually start until about 9:45 due to some of the difficulties getting everything running for the first race of the year. That was bad. I really started to cool off.

The gun went off and about 5 seconds later I was able to start moving. I couldn't see a thing because of the spray being thrown up from the red cinder track. I eventually moved to the very outside where I was able to see and start passing people. My years of mountain biking in sometimes questionable conditions paid off very nicely in the mud as I was able to maintain momentum and slide around corners better than a lot of the other racers. I think that is my favorite part about cyclocross. There is just nothing like a two wheel drift around a muddy corner on a skinny wheeled bicycle.

By the second lap I realized I was in the top 10 and decided I better try to hang on to that. One guy flew around me on the last lap only to slide down the hillside. He got back up quickly, but didn't seem to have it in him to try to get around again. I ended up 6th out of 48 in the Master Men's Cat 4/5 35-45. The interesting thing is that my lap times would have put me in the top 10 in any of the category's if I could have sustained my pace. I don't think I necessarily could have. I also think that my success was largely due to the mud. You have to love getting dirty!

Date: Sept 30
Mileage: 7
Ride type/Bike: Cyclocross/Tricross
Sept Miles: 221
Year to date mileage: 2193