Hard to believe it's November! The weather today was very uncyclocrosslike. Instead of wet, cold and miserable, it was sunny, pleasant and almost too nice to think about racing. But racing was in the plans anyway.
After getting registered and getting wheels in the pit and a brief warmup ride out on the road I did as many laps as I could sneak in between the A racers. The course looked pretty straight forward. The main obstacles were:
- some off camber turns in the grass with tree roots to make it interesting,
- a sand pit with a turn in it,
- barriers at the bottom of a short hill
- and another set of barriers before the last turns towards the finish line.
Most of the course was on grass but there were healthy doses of sidewalk and parking lot pavement mixed in. Heck, here's a picture.
My tires were already overinflated from a warmup/checkup ride on the road yesterday and I made the grave mistake of leaving them like that. I ended up racing with about 75-80 psi front and rear! They felt okay on the warmup laps and I figured the small sacrifice over the off camber and tree roots would pay off on the paved portions. I realized that over-thinking ended up being a big mistake under race conditions when I was bouncing all over the place and having to slow down too much in a few critical corners. It also caused me to crash a couple of times that wouldn't have happened if I'd been running nice and soft... Woops.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. After the A race the course was wide open for practice. I took a look at the barriers before the small hill and determined they were rideable. I was right, they were rideable but on my second time through I endoed and drove my left quad into something and gave myself a heck of a charlie horse (as I right this, it's quite stiff and swollen, o joy). This seemed to shoot my confidence. Where I had been feeling really good up to that point, I ended up performing quite clumsily after that. And my giveadamn seemed to be broken from that point on.
This is one of the worst race reports I've ever written. Disjointed, out of order. Kind of fits how the actual race went. I don't want to get into any other details other than to say that some folks just take their racing way too seriously. Many guys seem to intentionally cut guys off when passing and I got into a verbal altercation with a guy after he swept my front wheel three times in the space of about two minutes. It was stupid but he went roadie-nuts, overreacting and flying off the handle cursing and talking shit and that kind of ruined the day for me (delicate readers will know that I'm not adverse to letting some profanity fly but there's a big difference between "You fucking asshole" and "I was fucked today.").
I ended up something like 25th given my lack of motivation and racing on half of one leg and generally just being a tad overweight and out of shape. Blech. Here's some pics stolen from Shane Huntoon (http://www.flickr.com/photos/liveplayride/). I'm seriously thinking I may need to swallow my pride and enter a race as a C pretty soon. I don't think I cracked the top half of the field today.
Here's the barriers I was jumping before reality kicked in and a standard dismount made 1000% more sense.
Lower lip sucked in, strained neck tendons, yep, I'm having a bad day... Left quad is looking swollen already in the pic, I think.
Normally I would have a shit-eating grin or at least a contration/strained look doing this but I just look pissed off. Not cool.