Cyclocross Nationals Day Three B Men U35
Ouch, did not want to get up, woke up feeling like it was 3AM, couldn’t possibly be time to WAKE UP! It’s 7AM time to eat something, well shite, not even, no time for that, just a Clif Bar (an old one at that, the consistency of window putty) and some coffee. Got over to Roger Williams with plenty of time to warm up, no chance to get out on the course, that’s all right, I’d done god knows how many laps Friday, no surprises right? Riiiight. I lined up next to fellow 100 mile single speed type guy Matt Ferrari, I’d seen his results in a couple big B races at UCI events. On the mountain bikes we are similar, on the ‘cross bike he is substantially faster, I thought it would be a good idea to follow him from the start, maybe he’d drag me from 100th place up to the front. This did happen in a sense, except he went to the front, carving through the fray like a Ginsu knife through a tin can (or a tomato).
I was like W.C. Fields hacking a path through a wall of human flesh, dragging my canoe behind me, but I didn’t get very far. We went through the same craziness over the curb into the first couple turns then the surprise came. What had been a totally rideable grassy off camber section Friday was now completely grease slick, it became a bowling alley, the riders at the top knocking the riders below on their asses, even those who chose to dismount couldn’t hold their footing, some sliding under the tape. I laughed my way through, biding my time until I could actually ride my bike.
By the time things opened up I found to my dismay that the snap I had in my legs had left, I was pushing a bigger gear than I had all year, basically my street gear, 38 X 16, it wasn’t horrible, made me wish I’d upped it sooner. Friday I’d been able to close down gaps and overtake groups ahead of me, not today, I eventually hit a plateau and stayed there.
One small victory was catching the guy that took me out Friday and getting a way from him, I made sure to call out “on your left” nice and loud as I came past, he didn’t go for the block again.
Can’t recall anything remarkable occurring late in the race, I was shocked when I heard the one lap to go bell, I wasn’t ready to stop, I felt like hell, but I wasn’t ready to be done for the season, but when I rolled across the line in an anonymous 42nd place, deeply, deeply tired I was entirely ready to hang up the bike for a while.
Thanks to everyone that made my first ‘cross season so enjoyable, the New England ‘cross scene is a great place to be and I look forward to coming back next year, and hey, word to all you roadies that dig riding around in circles in the dirt and mud…there’s this crazy sport called “mountain biking”, it’s nuts and they don’t even make you get off your bike and run up stairs and jump over sideways planks. I’d love to see some of you all out there.