My cross race yesterday was pretty garbage. I wasn’t diligent enough in setting up my bike, specifically my brakes, and really payed for it. I had my brakes far too loose, training in the dry they were fine, but in the rain and muck we saw on Sunday I had close to zero stopping power. I could barely scrub off speed going into corners resulting in far too many bobbles, the downhill slaloms were near impossible and I flew into the odd fence. Honestly, it was really frusterating but lesson learned and I can laugh about it now.
Last Sunday I headed to Almonte for my first cyclocross race in a really long time. Cross is not a focus of mine, but something about it captures the imagination. Its real, full on man to man racing. It takes the best, hardest most intense elements of racing and compresses them into an hour of madness. Straight up, its wicked cool.
I got my ass kicked. I started with the front group splitting away early in the first lap, I was comfortably with them most of the first circuit until I slipped out on an icy off camber section and lost contact. I went all in for a few minutes to latch back on and proceedingly blew sky high, I went backwards for a while trying to maintain some sembelance of momentum before stabilizing and pretty much just riding my own race. I was somewhere in the top fifteen. The course was not like a traditional cross course, sections were more reminiscent of mountain biking with rocky, rooty, singletrack but it was a challenge and I came across the finish line stoked on it all (well after I got some oxygen back in my system). I’m racing Perth tomorrow, good times.
Also, respect to those who combine full time work with high level racing. I’ve been getting a taste of it this fall.