I did my first CX race Sunday morning! With the The Hurt & Crash, V-dog, The Hitman, The Cap'n and even former teammate White Chocolate all professing the wonders of Cyclocross, I finally had to give in and do one. Friday night's Lagwagon show and Saturday night's drinking probably weren't the ideal precursors to a race, but hey, what the hell.
30 seconds into the race is when I believe I racked up the 203 BPM on my Sigma heart rate monitor, but that was about 15 seconds after Brant and half of my category were already out in front of me! I managed not to get stuck behind any of the technically challenged riders, though, and was able to calm my HR down a notch or two and settle in. My hearty cheering section which included Rog, Ryan, and the ladies Brant had shuttled in for the occasion gave me the much-needed motivation to keep plugging away lap after lap, too. Headwinds in a couple spots and the (luckily only one) portage section were definitely power suckers.
I decided against demo'ing a cross bike and stuck with my trusty Tanasi hardtail. Rog outfitted me with his XTR wheelset sporting some Kenda Kwicker 1.8s I believe, which definitely put it closer to CX shape, but I guess I will have to try a "real" CX bike in the future.
Unfortunately, halfway thru the race I was apparently assaulted by a not-quite-fossilized avian skeleton. That's correct, I took a chicken bone to the rear tire! Even a Slime tube was no match for this osteopathic onslaught. I slowly began to depressurize, wobbling a little more and more around every turn. So slothful was its seepage that I thought I could finish the race on it, but on the third lap of leaking, I realized I would never make it to the finish. In true Backbone team style, though, Ryan sprinted out to the truck and retrieved my Spinergy rear wheel, and on the next lap I pulled in for my Nascar wheel change!
Adrenaline still rushing thru me I was not even No help, I was completely detrimental to the process. Roger ended up bleeding and 5 people passed me, but I had a quick drink of water as he tightened my QR and I was off again with two laps to go.
I was amazed at how much I was able to keep my speed constant thru the race as others were slowing, and with the fresh 60 PSI Small Block 8 rejuvenating my vigor I was able to catch and pass four of the five who had gotten by me in the pit. One guy gave me challenge as he was quicker over the obstacles than I was, but soon after we were back on the pedals I was around him again. I had the fifth in my sights as we rounded the last corners to the finish, but was too far back to catch him. I would have to settle for 12th, but all things considered I'm content. I'll be back out there in a couple weeks, though, (maybe with a CX bike) and we'll see what I can do.