Monday, November 27, 2017

Hey Ian, What About that Cyclocross Race - 2017

So this is year 2 where I have felt the need to test myself on the cyclocross race series. I wish I had the time to race more as it is great fun, but I have committed to getting at least 1 race in a year, and with a race 10 minutes from my house, how could I not.

So a couple of weekends ago, I swapped out my less aggressive everyday riding tires for some Clement PDX Cross tires and packed the car.

Last year it was below freezing, had snowed, was turning to rain and high wind. That was fun, but I was happy this year to see a warm afternoon race (well above freezing). The course was swamped with mud and water, but all was going to be fun.

My warm up was done in a drier area, mostly so I would get wet before the race and end up being cold. Getting wet during the race was fine, as a Cross race is done at 80-100% intensity all the way. Plenty of effort to hold the heat.

With 62 racers, I knew I wasn't going to be the slowest, but as I was only taking part in 1 of 12 races, I started near the back so as to avoid getting in the way of riders that were aiming for series points glory. I would pass riders when and if possible on course as safe as possible.

From the start I fell back to about 51st spot (as marked on at the end of the lap). Likely I was much further back than that as I did pass a few riders.

The first race I had done, I spent a lot of time falling of the bike, and jumping off the bike to run up hills I couldn't ride. I really wanted to avoid that this year. I did end up being very good at picking lines and managed to ride the whole race, except for the obstacles meant for dismounting. In these cases, I did my best to look awesome.

I made up a lot of places near these obstacles. I think my triathlon style remounts were really good, as I could get riding again fast.  I also use a combo pedal style, so even if it takes me a moment to get clipped in, I can still ride easily enough.

In the end I worked my way up to 32 place, was only lapped once by the leaders and fought hard with Jim on the final lap. My bike was flawless, I dressed correctly and was covered in mud at the end. Another awesome day on the cross course.

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