Big events are just plain fun. All the team cars, tents, bikes, stars, colorful race kits. It is just cool, and when it is in your town it is even better. I arrived early to the venue to take it all in for a time before starting prep for my race at 1:30. The Collegiate D2 race was good entertainment with multiple attacks out of the sizable lead group. I was hanging out on the middle of the hillside wearing my jean jacket just for coolness factor because it was over 60 degrees already. Around 10:00 I was standing at the tape to watch the first turn of the women's collegiate race when we got hit by a wall of cold air. Never have I felt a temperature drop that sharply that instantly, it was around a thirty degree nose dive that has us all running to our cars for more layers. Well crap, I thought by the forecast I was going to be racing in fifty five degrees and the front would hit later in the afternoon after I was safely tucked away back home. It took me thirty minutes to quit being a pansy and harden up.
I heard we were supposed to be in the start grid at 1:05. What a sight it is to see 100 skinny fools hopping around in lycra shivering and looking nervous for 25 minutes. I was plate number 129 but there was a whole bunch of no shows so it did not really seem like it was as many people as I was anticipating. I was in good spirits at the start with adrenaline coursing through the veins, I was talking crap to the guys around me for fun because they all looked like death warmed over, and I wanted to act crazy enough they would give me a little more room when we took off. 30 seconds to go and then a whistle and then run into the back of the people ahead of me. You are kidding me, a false whistle. I minute later we were off for real. The first several corners were stand still bottle necking, which of course calls for some aggro idiot to shoulder his bike and come fullbacking through everyone, this is ALWAYS the first person you go around when everyone can start pedaling. I started jumping around groups as the course opened up, the hillside was perfect for my singlespeeder climbing style and it seemed like I was passing people on the hill every lap. But things were certainly no bed of roses, from the opening lap my hands had gone into another stratosphere of cold, I was in difficulty descending because my fingers had no dexterity, it felt like I had hoves instead of hands. It was hard to hang on and near impossible to brake or shift. Then in the second half of the race my toes were in screaming pain, I was dreading hitting the barriers because I thought a foot was going to crack off. As well my third appendage was suffering horribly, and you know toes and fingers I can live without but, you know that just isn't going to fly.
I was trying all I could to stay competitive and I worked my way into a group that was pushing it well and giving me something to chase. I had two laps to go when Ryan Trebon shot past like a missile, it was spectacular to see and well worth the 50 bucks and pre stages of frost bite. I knew I was probably going to get lapped, but that does not make it any easier to cope with when you are thinking wow I am having a decent race for me and I am NOT EVEN IN THE REALM of these riders. The top 5 all lapped me. Trebon is one of the top 10 cross racers in the world right now. I really hope he goes and shows it at the World Championships. I finished 45 place. I think there was right around 100 actual starters, so that puts me in the top half. The top half of the Unites States elite level cyclocross racers. That is how I am putting it.
Now to brag on my wife, she recently got her second article published by the Under Current, an online and hard copy paper that she has recently been asked to help out more with. I am proud of her.
I will try and post some Cross National pics as they become available. Cheers