Monday, December 11, 2006


Breakthroughs & Breakdowns
Caster’s Cup Cyclocross Report

Ya, this is a great course for a single speed and Russia is a great country to invade in the winter, just ask Napoleon and the Nazis. Actually a touch of winter would have helped my cause, instead I was met with a dusty, dry course which was primarily flat, the corners were wide and far between, I was spun out and spit out like a chipmunk caught in the spokes of your front wheel then ejected, limp and lifeless into the bushes alongside the bikepath. The start was right out of the Single Speeder’s Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook, a downhill, paved road into a parking lot for the first half mile or so before the hole shot onto a beach leading to a run up. Funny the S.S.W.C.S.S.H.’s recommendation for surviving this situation was almost identical to the advice which the actual Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook gives to those trapped in free-falling elevator :“lie flat in the center of the elevator, covering your head for protection”. For this scenario they advise:
“Lie flat on the start line covering your eyes (if you can’t see the other competitors, they can’t see you) wait for the other riders to leave then rise and flee the scene as quickly as possible”.
After preriding the course I told myself that if I didn’t overcook at least a couple corners I wasn’t trying hard enough, and the corners were the only place where I was going to do a lick of damage.
Here’s the funny thing, spinning out is often more painful than mashing a big gear, the aerobic exhaustion which occurs is devastating. I knew this from going out on group road rides on the fixed gear, you pray for hills while you’re on the flats pacelining at 140 RPMs gasping for breath. At one point I literally succumbed to hypoxia, losing consciousness for a few seconds behind the handlebars. I have proof, look:

When it was all over and man, I was glad it was over, I took 24th which means I must have passed a couple people considering my last row start, but it was far from my favorite day on the bike. Some of the only real excitement of the race came from Ronnie Steers and C. Todd Lombardo who I was trying to close on but couldn’t reel in, they worked together to hold me off successfully. Creeping up behind were Scott Rosenthal and Steve Morse who made contact for a while until I poured my guts out on the last few technical sections before the accursed paved downhill finishing straight and held them off to the line.
Now to rest up and practice my Kung Fu dismounts for Nationals, Hi Ya!

Thanks to Jason Girouard for the photos.

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