Monday, October 6, 2008
Cam Rock and Lapham Peak
Another weekend of some local racing - only this time no UCI designation so the field sizes were a bit smaller! I got the new bike built up by Wednesday and after a few trial runs dialed it in for the races. It's a great bike - incredibly light and handles really well. The slightly higher bottom bracket makes it good for clearance and it corners like a dream. And the paint job? . . . umm, I'm very patriotic? See all of my female teammates are current or former age group national champs and since we all ride the same size bike the frames all got the stars and bars paint job. And me? . . . well, I aspire to some day slip on that elusive jersey ;)
Saturday's race was at Cam Rock - a nice wooded setting for some fast and furious cyclocross action. The weather was beautiful and sunny with just a hint of chill in the air. I love early season cross weather! The course was hardpack and dusty with a few technical sections but mostly really fast. One set of barriers, a hill run up, and a couple of logs kept most riders on and off their bikes three times each 2 mile lap. Maybe someday I can bunny hop logs but for now I haven't quite developed the skillz.
A decent turnout for the womens race with maybe 12 riders on the line. My fierce teammate Anna took the hole shot with me on her wheel but Devon soon came around us both and pushed the pace. By the end of the first lap the gaps were forming and the three of us were all riding solo. After a few laps I was figuring out which lines to take and trying to keep the pace high. It's easy to get complacent when you're riding by yourself out there. I could hear all the cheering superfans on the hill and knew Holly wasn't too far behind me. She was chasing hard and I crossed the line no more than 10 seconds ahead of her for 3rd place. Congrats to Devon and Anna for the top podium spots.
I decided to race the 30+ mens race for some training immediately after my race. I need the intensity this time of year and what better way than to do a second race! I got passed by the majority of the 1/2 men but it was good to get another 60 minute effort in on the day. Congrats to teammate Jesse on his win. Here are a few photos I snagged from Flicker - thanks to Sherri Farrell. Hopefully it's cool I post these - I couldn't figure out how to get in touch with her to ask!
Sunday's race was at Lapham Peak State Park and as the rain started to fall as I packed up the car I knew today's race was going to be muddy. True cyclocross weather I suppose. Hanging out under the PB tent watching the steady drizzle I postponed my warmup as long as possible. Missing a few key competitors today with the Illinois riders racing in Chicago and Anna resting a tweaked knee. A bumpy course with lots of open sections, 2 barriers, and a steep hill. I went hard from the start and tried to ride smooth through the muddy ruts. I had some sweet Zipp 404s for the race and rode tubulars for the first time. Bike handled really well and I came across the line for the win.
Muddy races are always fun. It's the cleaning up afterward that's kind of annoying. You've got about 15 minutes before you start getting cold and trying to get wet muddy clothes off without getting everything all muddy is always a challenge. Nothing like a good dirt exfoliation to clean out the skin!
And then there is the bike cleaning. I squirted it down a bit post race - and really this picture doesn't even make it look so bad. There was a fair amount of grass caught up in the deraileurs and cassette though. I stuck it on the car so it could get a prerinse on the drive home and then meticulously washed it up with brushes and a hose. Now it's shiny and clean again! I can't believe how much mud my skinsuit picked up too - I sprayed that thing for a long time and the muddy water kept coming out!
Thanks to everyone who helped put on the races and all of the superfans out there cheering. The hill was a cave of noise on Saturday with all of the cheering and heckling fans - awesome. I was impressed with those who stuck out the cold and rain on Sunday too. Thanks to Bob, Planet Bike, and the other sponsors for the great support!
Ohio coming up this weekend with 3 days of UCI racing. Katie Compton (aka KFC) and Georgia Gould are both signed up along with some other very talented ladies so the racing is going to be fast and painful. Hopefully I can manage to stay up there for a few points!