29 September, 2013

First CX race of the season done!

Okay, so I'm currently on the first-you-must-rest training plan.  After my first year of doing only marathon mountain bike racing (but still riding the road bike on large, training rides in and around Denver) I'm now focusing on cyclo-cross racing.  Please note that your version of focus might be vastly different from mine. Yesterday, was a confluence of work (too much), my middle daughter throwing a tantrum (drives a parent completely bonkers-I can write a whole blog entry about my kids' tantrums and how I deal with it), and eating three donuts (there's nothing wrong with that really-yummizle!).  This was the impetus to race.  To take all this hostile, negative, angry, frustrated, insulin-shocking energy out and through my bicycle via my pedals, which in turn (no pun intended), will go straight to my disc wheels.  Begone evil spirits!  C'mon catharsis!  Two of my teammies showed up too.  My brother Kenny L. (not to be confused with Kenny G.), and Joe S.  Let me pre-empt my efforts (hecks yeah I'm rationalizing for my lack of fitness!) with: I haven't been riding the volume or intensity required to be competitive; but I have been practicing my 'cross skills (which are sorely lacking).

My staging was the antithesis of pole position.  My call-up reflected my lack of placings and racing 'cross (within this particular series that I'm not taking seriously because it is September) so my volume occupied dead last row, right in the middle after they called up everybody (get it now?).  Who was next to me? Kenny.  Joe was a couple of rows ahead of us.

When the ref blew the whistle we fired off like cannon balls and as luck would have it a bunch of Freds crash, and crash hard with mixing of components into other bicycles like metal pretzels.  I need to upgrade to get out of this foolishness!  Full-on lock the brakes and scanned like a lifeguard on a Sunday afternoon at the YMCA for an egress and to get back into racing! I was able to still roll and bunny-hopped a tangent of somebody's rear wheel who was on the ground.  Kenny was physically standing, taking bikes off of his steed so he can remount and enter the race.  I was rolling, near dead last place!

Drew, my girlfriend's brother, told me how the apices of all the curves are nothing but loose sand, dirt, if they're not rutted hard from our 100 year flooding event (you might have heard about our flood damage from your news agency) as they dried like rutted concrete.  90% of the time I was near hovering on these corners with my rear wheel wanting to come around and me kicking out of my pedals to counter-steer with the fluidity of a petite-mal seizure.  Being so far back, you get to be at the mercy of the people in front of you, and the tourist mentality starts.  You have to get aggressive to get into pass mode.  I did the strategy of late breaking and just squeezing myself between the apex and my competitor thus traveling the lesser of the two trajectories without being a complete dickhead about it.  What usually works is I can punch it on a short straightaway, kinda burning a match and rolling wide into the turn, with body appendages-knees and elbows-counter-steering for ballast sticking out, thus preventing any pass back because I'm hogging and volumizing my 135 lb frame in the lane (intimidating, I know).  Still getting passed on the barricades and the run-ups.  Gotta stop that.  On the last lap Drew and his economy and succinctness of phrase coupled with his deadpan delivery says within earshot as I pass him, "Go faster."  Simple yet pretty damn painful advice!
From dead last row, out of 70 some odd, to 41st is still lame, but not supremely lame.  Didn't crash but probably it was due to me being too conservative.  I feel somewhat confident now on my CX rig.  Major learning curve from last year, when on any given race I'd be turtling.  I'm done resting, I'm feeling one with my Airborne rig (the Delta), now I need volume and intensity (can I buy that on-line? or Lance's doctor). I'm raring to go!

My triplet of old friends visit me after the race:  Mr. Phlegm, his brother Mr. Time Trial Cough, and Mr. It-Tastes-Like-Blood-When-I-Inhale.  "Hey freaks!  Long time no see!"

Drew races the "A" category.  I saw their start and all I can say is "Ouch.  Not yet."

Friday's date night with Karen, Saturday's going to be high in the mid-seventies, looks like this is going to be a great weekend!

Sunday's race number two!  If I feel froggy I'ma race Saturday...