Posted: Mon Oct. 29, 2012 9:45 am
I tried my first CX race over the weekend. Other than the burning legs and lungs, it was a ton of fun and plan on doing many more. I arrived at the race early enough to try a couple laps before hand, which was a good idea since I hadn't even ridden the bike i was going to race. Not the best idea, but oh well. The rear shifter was having issues and was not allowing me to get into a harder gear, so I figured I would stay in that gear unless it started to get too difficult, then I would slowly shift to easier gears and use the front chainrings for primary shifting. Well, it sounded good. After a couple practice laps I kinda had the hang of dismounting, jumping obstacle and remounting. So I go to the start and the field was massive. Not sure how many, but numbers started at 600 and I was 681. They line people up by bib number, so I was almost last which not good because by the time you make it through the mob, the front of the pack is GONE!! Jason Massa was in the pack also, but he was 63*, so he was much further up than me. They said go and we were off. First lap was not very exciting, lots of people to deal with. As it started to open up it got much more exciting. Being in a wide open course, you can see people ahead, people in front, you really feel like your racing against people. Alot more exciting than the 12hr and 100 mile races. About 1/2 way through the second lap I can see Massa up ahead, so I start to push a little harder hoping to reel him in. Finally, I am coming down a dirt hill, sharp left, hairpin right and onto some soft dirt. He is just ahead of me running the same stretch of dirt I am on. Run up the sand hill, jump on the bike, start pedaling down the next hill and then back up and the person between us crashes and screws me up. I have to jump off my bike and get around him. I run up the rest of the rise that Jason was able to clearly ride, jump back on the bike, flustered and scrambling to get clipped back in. Finally I do and start jamming again. I make it around a few corners and Massa is long gone. Damn!! I just keep pushing hoping to pull him back in, but now the rises are starting to get a little too difficult to grind out the gear I am in on the cassette, so I go to shift and hit a bump and the derailleur goes up two gears. Damn again!! So now I can't go top speed on the flats and have too easy a gear for the rises. At this point I am just doing what I can to stay with the couple people around me using the front chainrings and try to outmaneuver them on the technical sections and hope to stay with them when the course flattens out. At some point the front derailleur started giving me issues also, but I managed to finish with those two guys. Massa was too far out of reach.
I have found a new addiction!! I just need to get a new rear shifter and a new front derailleur and I should be good to go. Next cross race is in 2 weeks!
"If you brake, you don't win." Racer Mario Cipollini