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


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