Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Lessons Learned Last Weekend - Part 1

The Cooper Vineyard course was short and fast. Hard and bumpy too. That's not a complaint. I liked the course a lot (well - except for that hill). I'll even say I liked the hill too. I just didn't like that I couldn't go up it as fast as the rest of the world.

Got to the venue a bit later than I'd like, still got reg'd and had about a 20 minute warm-up. Went to the porta-johns, which were about 1/2 mile from the start. Realized I hadn't pinned up. Got that done quick. 3 minutes to start. YIKES. Sprinted across the field. As I was headed down the hill the 35+ group (which started 1 minute before the 45+) were flying up at me. Made it down the, hill snuck under the tape, turned my bike around as the gun went off. Stayed in touch with the 2nd group for like 2 laps. Got dropped on (you guessed it) the hill. Fought back hard on the fast back straight, but totally blew up like a cheap carnival balloon. Chased after and leapfrogged a few guys. Way deep in in the hurt locker. Kept waiting for the lap board to give me an idea of how much longer I had to suffer. It finally came out and said 8 laps to go.

WTF! 8 more laps!!!! NO - NO - NO effin' way. I felt like I'd been out there for an hour already. My burning lungs and wet noodle legs told me that aint gonna happen. My body screamed at my brain :

"Blame it on your TOE"

"Quit this race now."

"DNS the next race."

"No show IronCross"

"Sell your cross bike"

"Go home and relax"

A cooler head prevailed, and I sucked it up to finish. Thanks to Mark for the words of encouragement as he lapped me. They came when I really needed 'em. National champ Fred Wittwer flew by me more than once also. At just 3 minutes or so the laps went by quick. Being a lappee meant I didn't have to do all 8. What a bonus. I feel honored just to be on the same course as these fast "old" guys.

On paper a 45 minute CX race appears to be %50 longer than a 30 Minute CX race.

Lesson #1 - A 45 minute CX race is actually TWICE as long as a 30 minute one. REALLY.

So how much longer is a 1 hour cross race? Not sure I wanna know - just yet anyway

Changed clothes, took some photos, then went back and kitted up for round 2 with the C's. Saw my buddy Andy out there, and Nate too (didn't realize it was you til later Nate, I was delerious). Gave Andy some crap for not upgrading yet, but he stills needs a few more races or a few more points. At the line saw more than a few guys with carbon wheels and sew-ups. Damn, the C division is getting serious.

Race 2 went better, especially since I now knew (at only 3o minutes) it was only 1/2 as long as the first race.

It was great seeing Andy (you can call him An-Twan) take first place on his SS.

His weapon of geared bike destruction ---> Sorry photo won't load check back!

Oher notes about the race :

The venue has HUGE potential. Thanks to the vintner and crew for hosting the race and giving out wine samples. It really is good stuff. Try it sometime. Total Wine in Virginia carries it.

The course just needs to be longer, and have a few more dismounts/technical sections. There's a ditch that runs through that could be used somehow, and there's plenty of land to add length.

Thanks to the promoters Sally Snead and Alan of North America

Craig Dodson had the step through workin' at full stride and was wowing the crowd with his speed through the barriers. I like the barriers where they were, it puts a premium on technique.



Had to dig in the archives to come up with that pic did ya? Who are those two strapping young lads, I ask.
It was good to meet you. Hope to see you at the other VACX races. I agree the course at Cooper Vineyard has potential, hope to see 'em on the schedule next year.

I (heart) 'cross.
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