I remember when I first saw Jim's post about a cx race in Columbia. I was in disbelief! Shocked, excited. A cx race in the city park. I do my cx skill workouts there . . . it was too good to be true. And somehow, someway it all came together. And it was everything I could have hoped for. Someone on stlbiking.com posted this description of the course: Take the stairs from Hermann, the run up from Mt. Pleasant, the sand and woods from St. Vincent, the boggy zoysia and long stretches of pavement from Spanish Lake, throw in some tundra and a creek crossing and you have Columbia. That sums up the course perfectly!
I actually did get my act together, packed my backpack and rode to the course. I got there early enough to ride the course before any of the races began. I wanted to watch all the races and truly enjoy the day. If I have one small down side of the day, it was the turnout. None of the races had a great turnout. By 12:30 there were only two of us signed up for the 1/2/3 race. Larry talked to Beverly and me and decided to combine us with the Elite men's race. I think the men had about 17 in their race. We lined up at the back, but got the ok to go with the men at the whistle.
We got the whistle and I jumped in with the boys and was mixing it up. I held with them through most of the first lap. My goal was to stay with them through the first lap so that I could see the lines they were taking on the course. Beverly was no where in sight. On the second lap, I headed down into the woods and rode through the creek--splash, no problem. I headed towards the little culvert and decided to try to bunny hop the drain pipe. I'm assuming I landed wonky because within a pedal stroke I came to a grinding halt. My tire was off the rim. WTF! I shouldered the bike and took off running/walking. It didn't take long until Beverly passed me. The worst thing was, I was going to have to run most of the course to get back to the pit. F! F! F! F! As I was running up the hill, I started to take my wheel off so I would be ready to change it when I hit the pit. I was holding the wheel and BOOM! I realized that if I let a little air out, I would be able to pop the tire back on the rim. DUH! I tried it and it worked and I hopped back on. I knew I would need to be careful with cornering, but at least I was back on and riding. I set off to try and catch Beverly . . . and never made it. I eventually closed the gap to about 45 seconds, but finished 2nd--which was DFL for this race. Still, I had fun the whole time.
- My mom and brothers came out to watch me race!
- Jim waving his skirt at me . . . and then wearing it. I didn't get the full HAWT leg look though.
- Riding the hill on the backside of the football field every lap. (except for the lap sans tire).
- The stairs. I love running those stairs, always have.
- Racing for a full hour with the boys -- women never get to race that long. I was zapped afterwards though.
- Pedaling through all the corners. I still have a long way to go on handling, but I'm starting to get there.
- Riding the sand. I tried to ride the pit during warm-up and fell right over. I ran it every lap. I need to head over to the park and practice.
- Off camber turns. I rode the turn over the ties the first lap, but my line sucked. I dabbed the subsequent times, and only two of those were smooth.
I have next weekend off racing before heading to Chicago for the UCI New Years Resolution races. Three races left in this years cx season!