Monday, October 29, 2007

Weekend wrap-up

Me after the race on Sun.: “Why the hell do we do this?”
Brian: “I don’t know”
Me: “And why the hell did I travel 3000 miles for it?”
Bran: “I have no idea!”

On my way back home from L’ville, a long trip, (traveling tip: no matter how cheap never ever book a flight with two stops.) I find myself trying to answer those questions. I thought about waxing poetic on how we all dream of being a pro cyclist, or like mountaineers I do it simply because it is there. Or maybe to convince you (me?) that I thought I could compete at the top. But to be honest, there is no simple answer. Probably all of the above, along with taking advantage of an opportunity to do something different. If I didn’t know anyone in L’ville there is no way I would have done this. Am I glad I did it? Definitely. Will I do it again? No comment

In sum, it was definitely good to be able to get out and experience what ‘cross is like elsewhere; and to race against some really good competition. I think the podium in my race the first day had at least 2 former national champions on it, while day two was won by current national masters champ Feldman. The competition up front, at least, was steep. Also in looking at the times, I was no further from first place than Molly Cameron or Erik Tonkin is from the winners of their races. So I can try to justify it that way. Not that I am in the same country code of either of them.

I also had a good time seeing Brian again, and getting to hang out with him. And I definitely can’t thank him enough for his hospitality. Driving us around all weekend and giving me a place to sleep. I just hope he gets his furnace fixed soon. I also want to mention that he had a great race in the Men’s 2/3 (B’s) on Sunday. He also started in the last row and was able to move up to 18th. A real solid race. Keep given them boys hell!

I didn’t get to report on the main events of Sunday in my last post. In summary, Katie Compton rolled away again, but not quite as much as Saturday and she had a strong Georgia Gould chasing after from way back at the start. I am looking forward to watching them race in NJ when they should have similar starting positions. Wendy and Sue Butler, the local P’town ladies, had solid top 10 finishes as well. They are looking strong this year, even if they are not as happy with their results as they’d like to be.

In the Men’s the start was a replay of Sat. Wicks had the hole shot with Powers, Johnson, Trebon et. Al. following. Something must have happened to Wicks in the first lap as he was way back in 20+ with Adam Craig, while Johnson, Trebon, Powers and Chris White were in the front after one lap. As things shook out Johnson and Trebon eventually dropped Powers and White, with Johnson eventually dropping Trebon. Wicks and Craig moved all the way back up to 4th and 5th respectively while Powers held on to 3rd. As for the locals, Molly was able to start, and even though she was visible in pain from her wreck on Sat she raced solid and finished in 18th for the elites (22nd overall counting U23s). Tonkin was up in the low 20s after one and moving up, but unfortunately his back got all aggravated and he was forced to withdraw. He told me later he just didn’t feel like he was racing because of his back, and so there wasn’t much point in continuing. Bummer.

Speaking of locals. It sounds like Sunday’s Halloween crusade was another fun race. I think it may have been the first Crusade I have missed since I started racing three years ago. Feels weird. Margi told me she had a really good race and may have finished second. Very well done. At least one of us is Podiuming [yes that is a word, the conjugation of the verb to podium]

From witnessing two races in KY, I have to say they don’t hold a candle to the scene in Portland. The amount of spectators was about to equal to a normal Crusade race. With the exception of the elite races, the fields were significantly smaller. It makes me feel really lucky to be able to race in Portland. But maybe being in Portland is why I race.

OK, enough of this nonsense. I have passed the halfway point of my season, Barton Park is coming up this Sunday with Estacada the following week. These will be my last 2 crusades for the year. After that I am off to NJ. Back for some Tofurkey and Krugers Farm, then the finale’ USGPs in Portland. Assuming I stay healthy and all that. Knock on wood.