Monday, November 12, 2007

4th and goal to go

Sunday was my final Cross Crusade race. This week’s race was at Timber Park in Estacada. It is a classic cyclocross course and many people’s favorite course. I have never done well there, but I like it all the same. This year’s course didn’t fail to please. It had a bit of everything, including some soft ground, almost resembling mud in places.

The rain that had been forecast throughout the week kept getting delayed but it finally came on Friday, and it dumped. But Saturday and Sunday were rather nice. The course was soft in the grass and downright boggy in a couple of places. But in the trees it was nice and firm. It was a longer course, and had it all, twists an turns, straight aways, off camber, hills and even a six pack. It was a livelier race than normal as it shared billing with the first Unofficial Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships. This brought out some big guns like Ryan Trebon, Barry Wicks, Adam Craig and Carl Decker, as well as the other local big cats and some folks from out of town. Add that to a lot of free beer and you get a rowdy crowd. This made the racin’ all the more exciting.

I got a call up again, as I was in 8th place in the series. I lined up behind Tre and Bravard, figuring they would be the guys to keep an eye on. Unfortunately I missed a pedal at the start and missed out on a hole shot. Then coming into the second corner that had a slight rise to it, Tim Butler went down right in front of me. To keep myself from crashing I put one foot down, right on his new carbon wheel! Sorry Tim, I hope the wheel’s ok. This left me in 12th or so. I spent the next two laps fighting past people and trying to keep an eye on Bravard, Tre and Bannik. By the time I got up to 4th they had gotten away, and I was feeling it from working so hard to move up. Before I knew it I had a couple guys on my wheel. We duked it out for a few laps, and on the last half of the bell lap I just put my head down and rode as fast and hard as I could. They had been riding the last hill/run-up better than me so I wanted a gap. Turns out it worked. I got a few seconds and was able to pull off 4th. Respectable. Bravard took the win with an old fashioned ass kicking. Seriously, he had quite a lead on the rest of us. He lead it from tape to tape. Impressive.

While I had a race with no real disasters, I did break my rear derailleur hanger while scouting the course before the race! I guess I am destined for a mechanical every SUnday, so I got that one out of the way pretty quick. I pulled the hanger off the pit bike, but then I went by the River City tent and they had one there so I also had my pit bike if I needed it which luckily I didn’t.

The highlight of the day was being able to hang out and watch the SingleSpeed Championship race. It was quite a scene. People in costume, and folks just going crazy. Pouring beer on racers, racers pouring beer on spectators. There was even a tequila “Shot Cut” where you could take a 30 second short cut if you took a shot of tequila. Only in the single speed race. It turned out to be a race between Adam Craig (World Mt Bike Single Speed Champ) Ryan Trebon (US CycloCross Champ) and Barry Wicks. It looked like Craig won the race but the crowds at the finish were crazy, Trebon and Craig got caught up and Wicks got past and took the win wearing a Team S&M hockey jersey and baggy Mt Bike shorts.

Sorry for the lame post, I've had a busy day,including cleaning my bike as I didn't get to that last night since we got home so late and I had been drinkin. I still need to change my cables and housing too, and I leave Thursday morning for NJ for the USGP. Gonna be a busy last few weeks of the season.