Friday, August 28, 2009

to put it bluntly

ok, that's a cute title 'cause this post is about my first CX race of the year which took place last Sunday at Blunt Park in Springfield Mass, about a 2 hr drive from Nisky, NY. The ride out in the AM was in the pouring rain. No matter, i was pysched to start the 'cross season and i was anxious to try out the bike in the mud. Connie too, wanted to go and we brought along Iris, our little puppy. Two bikes, two lawn chairs, two people, one doggie, cooler, and a lot of gear filled up the Highlander. Once over the Berkshires the rain had let up and it was looking to be a warm and humid day. A bit of delay getting to the park as the directions were sketchy for sure and this was my first time out there so we made one wrong turn and wasted about 10 minutes, but no matter as my race wasn't until 1:15 PM... which was quite a change. We arrived in time to offer an extra pair of shoes to Curtis who had destoyed his own after mountain biking through some kind of toxic mud bog a week earlier. Curtis however was content with some old road shoes that his Dad had apparentlty modified to make do on the 'cross bike. Curtis could kick butt wearing sandals and a bath robe.

Eric, Pete, Jimbo, Liz and the White family all made the trip to represent Curtis did battle in the 3/4 race and did quite well, as did Jimbo. As i was getting ready for my race, i mentioned to the woman parked next to me that my race was going off at 1:15. She squinted sharply and said "no its not, that's the Women Elite race." Ok, i checked the schedule again and sure enough my race was at 1:15 so i smiled and said yeah you ladies are starting with the Juniors and the old guys. I could tell from the look on her face that she was not at all happy about that, so i tried to make light of the situation and told her that its OK cuase the old guys are gentlemen, and they won't get in your way. They may pull over mid lap because they gotta pee, or maybe take a nap, but they won't impede on your epic day of racing for $15 prize money. She had no sense of humor, a lovely person, but i just could not get her to crack a smile, and ultimately i do believe i beat her time overall.

Anyway the race was a fun early season race. It was great to see a lot of guys that i haven't seen all winter. Dusty Adams was in great form. The race director lined up the Junior girls and boys at the front, followed by the 55+, followed by the Women 1/2/3. And everyone started at once. Yikes. That was bad. The race to the first turn was dicey, and a couple guys stacked right into the tree that marked the first turn which was a 180 degree left after the pavement start. I went wide and got around the chaos unscathed and found myself in 2nd place right behind Dusty Adams. Nice, but that didn't last too long, as a speedy junior made it past and i could see Dusty pulling away. Dusty was in great form as usual. I faded towards the end, but i did manage to pull back one rider who had passed me earlier and i lapped a few others, so i felt OK for my first race. It was a fun early season race. A little weird weatherwise for 'cross in that the temps must have been in the high 80's and the humidity was oppressive.

The Men's Elite race had a small field but an interesting duel formed at the front between Alec Donahue and Adam Myerson, in first and second wheel respectively. Both were working hard but riding smoothly. With two laps to go, Adam dropped a chain right after the barriers (four of 'em!) which gave Alec a gap of about 6 or 8 seconds. Adam chased back and with about 500 meters to go, Adam sqeezed past Alec, giving him a little shoulder bump and that was the race. Maybe Alec took it easy on the boss.

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