|The pit bikes|
This weekend was the first cross race of the "season" for us - the Monson race put on by the Cyclonauts. We commented yesterday that we remember when we started this crazy sport, the first race was usually late September - now the "season" starts in August! Of course, that meant remembering what to pack, what the routines needed to be ... It was a good opener not only from a racing perspective, but also from an organizational one!
|Monkey Vanderbacon |
ripping the downhill
Last year, I raced this course in the onset of Hurricane Irene. The conditions were muddy, wet and nasty, and I wasn't happy with how I raced or finished - I had a bad day on the bike mentally. I'm happy to report that this year, everything was the diabolic opposite from that (well, not sure how happy I was to be racing in almost 90 degree temps and eating a pound of dust...). This course has come a long way from its "jungle cross" beginnings, and I really liked all aspects. It was bone dry, and VERY dusty.
|Mike looking strong|
Later, I lined up on the start with about 15-20 other women - most of whom I know well from years of racing. There were some new faces though, including some trying out their first CX race ever! Unfortunately, I had a VERY bad start - as in 3rd last off the line bad. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but it wasn't good. I quickly moved up on the downhill pavement, but got caught behind a racer who unclipped going into the first off-camber uphill, and was forced to run. This put me behind, but I still didn't panic.
|The only cool place|
on the course!
I was solidly moving ahead when suddenly, despite pedaling, nothing was happening. The chain had come off the front chain ring and up onto the guides, forcing me to run up a [very] ride-able hill, and stop to get that chain back in the right place. I watched as at least 5 women passed me...
|Water feeds were required!|