Monday, September 22, 2008

For those about to 'cross...

I salute you!

Did Starcrossed up in Seattle this weekend. It hasn't rained out here for about two months, but the skies opened up just in time for the start of 'cross season. It rained most of the day Saturday, and by the time we got to the venue it was full on wet and 50F with rain still falling.

Traffic was awful on the way up; I missed the start of the B Masters race and had to toe the line with the young guys. Oh, and I got to start in the last row of a 80+ racers. On my singlespeed. With a 200-yard paved start.

All that aside, I had a good race. Passed people all day. I need to learn how to be more aggressive early in the race. I spent the first two laps being polite and wearing out my brake pads. My bike was handling like a dream; I could corner inside almost everyone. I just started going real hot into the corners and nipping underneath my competition. I get into someones wheel once and went down, but otherwise had a clean race.

Long story short, the team had a good day. I had a fair day performance-wise, but I really enjoyed the experience. Ryan got 1st, Nick got 2nd. I ended up 50th. Hey, what can I say? It beats sitting on the couch.

I'll post some pics later if I can find any. Seems like there were 20 cameras on the course.

After my race I got to hang around and watch the pros. That was a treat; it was like watching Formula 1 cars head out after the go-carts get finished. I ride with a few of the local pros from time to time, and am used to watching them pull away from me like I am sitting still. In this race, they worked hard to break the top 20. There is always someone faster out there somewhere.

Next up, there is a race down in the Willamette valley this weekend. Note sure if I'm up for that with most of the team out in Vegas. Then the first weekend in October starts Cross Crusade...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Hi! Is this the Pain Cave?

Why yes it is! Come on in and have a seat!

Cross racing started today. I did two races, Masters B and Singlespeed. I rode my singlespeed for both. I was overgeared (again) and never really had a chance. I should receive two (smallish) chainrings this week...

First race, I was doing pretty well until I crashed going fast down a fairly steep hill with a pair of left-hand turns at the bottom. The first two laps I railed the turns; I could feel the tires sliding, but I kept it in control. The third lap the bike slid out from beneath me, and I hit the ground pretty had. I lost on position, but got right back into it. On the next lap, I crashed in the same spot, perhaps a bit harder this time. Tore my shorts, got a nice patch of road rash, jammed a bunch of dirt up in the brake lever, and generally had a miserable rest of the race. I finished. DFL, but I finished.

I swapped tires after that race. Is there ever a good reason to run Kenda Small Block 8 tires? I'm not sure there is. I threw on some tires with a bit more bit, and prepared for 45 more minutes of suffering.

Suffer I did. Being overgeared, sore, bleeding, and dealing with brake rub meant I was pretty much just trying to fight my way to the finish. I did finish, and managed to avoid the DFL spot. But not by much...

Gotta get healed up for starcross in Seattle next weekend. As noted, I should have a wider set of chainrings to choose from and I will run some tires with grip from the get-go. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go rub some ointment on my wounds...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Am I still riding?

Yeah, I guess you could say I get out once in a while.

130 miles, 13,300 feet of climbing.