Monday, October 15, 2007

My Nemesis

Sunday brought us chapter 2 of the Cross Crusade Cyclocross series. This installment was held at Horning’s Hideout. A venue more often associated with Jam bands and their patchouli wearing, pot smoking followers. So I am sure the resident peacocks were in hiding at the sight of the 906 lycra clad bike racers that descended upon the hideout for a cross race.

The course was a tough one. Last year a racer crashed bad and was airlifted out. As we rolled in this year a fire engine and two ambulances showed up, quite a foreboding sign. Luckily, the course was little more tame for cross bikes, just a little. It was a no rest rough and tumble course. Quick descents, short punchy climbs and lots of kidney bruising bumpy fields. Leaving hardly anywhere to rest.

This week, Margi was along not just to cheer on her favorite racer, but to give ‘er a go in the women’s beginner race as well. She did AWESOME. Taking sixth place in her first race*. She seemed really psyched afterwards, and I bet you will be able to find her in a park this week continuing to practice those cross mounts in preparation for the next race. Another addict is born!

Once again I was giving it a go in the Master A field. I got a good line-up on the front row, and narrowly avoided McCaferty’s mechanical in the start. That may have broken the field a bit, and I was in the front group, 5th or 6th, and we were off. Halfway through the lap it was three of us, John Michum, Tre Harris and me. Tre won last week, and finished second to me at Hood River, so it looked like it would be a good battle. I sprinted past him to take the first lap (hey, there was a bottle of wine on the line) and for 3 or 4 laps we switched off. He was better on the descents, especially the hard right turn in the field. I had him on the hills. It was a lot of fun racing him neck and neck. At one point I thought I was gapping him off, but he got back on me on the descent. Then on the next lap we caught up to the back of the A men, and on the descent he got away from me. It was that moment in the race were I was hitting the wall, and even though I was thinking I had to stay on his wheel, my body just didn’t listen and in frustration I watched him open a lead on me. It took me a lap or two to “wake-up” again, and I started to gain back on him, at one point I got within a couple seconds, but I bobbled a turn and lost some, by which point he had me and I just hung in for second.

It was a fun race. And except for those two laps I felt real strong. And I certainly can’t complain about 2nd. After the race Tre was gracious enough to not count last week’s result due to my crash, leaving us tied at 1 apiece. You can bet I will be gunning for him next week.

Look, I really can clear a set barriers:

*In the spirit of full disclosure Margi did do a cross race 2 years ago. On a borrowed bike, with no prep or prior practice.