If I am honest with myself about the first five days of cross season, the admission I would need to make is that 'gears' keep coming to mind. It is what it is. Whether being too spun out on a road section or enjoy a cadence of thirty due to a bad cog choice, the idea of trying a race with the ability to shift is pecking away at my head.
Case in point, Omaha CX Day One, 3's race. I was a bit nervous and very uptight as we lined up for the start. So much so in fact that I just planted myself in last position. 'Why slow other people down,' was the thought process. We start, I ease into the race, ease my way off the back and end up doing the course solo from nearly start to finish. Got lapped by the leader right before going thru on my last lap. Came away feeling like I'd worked hard but still gone through the motions more than truly laying it all out there. Disappointed with myself.
The highlight of my race was the hand up provided me by Liz and Rhino, smooth initial hand up, refreshing swing, then Rhino yelled "Throw It!" instead of simply taking it back. I obliged and waited from the spray but he pulled it down like Willie Mays. Great play, fun moment.
Kevin and Jay whizzed by while John was breaking off "Guns Are Drawn." Seriously...
Fast forward to yesterday, Day One of the Flatwater CX Series at VDR. Ride to the race, break your lungs in two, ride home. Love it. Decided to roll the "B" race, which, while only 30 minutes, was probably where I needed to be. Plopped myself upfront, when out hard, got spun out on the road, but while I had people ahead of me, I was generally bringing it back in the grass and dirt, then I would lose those any gains on the road and the yo-yo business began. Rob Taylor and I enjoyed one of those "races within a race," which was a hell of a lot more fun that riding alone for 45 minutes and I am looking forward to racing with him again next Wednesday.
I turned spectator quickly afterward and watched Kevin and Jay sprint it out for the win. Jay had passed Kevin at about the midpoint of the course. I saw the pass and remember thinking, "Ohhh, smart move," but Kevin came around him on the road. It was sweet.
No question, a great way to spend Wednesday night. Of course, if they reverse the course next week that long road section is all downhill... Hmmm.