Sunday, October 21, 2007

Carpentersville Cross

Today was the second race in the Chicago Cross Cup series at Carpenter Park in Carpentersville, IL. Incidentally, I ran into someone who also rides a Raleigh Rx1.0. He said it's made in Carpentersville, though I've yet to confirm it.

I'll try to be breif, as I know I can get a bit windy here.

It was yet another unseasonably dry and warm day for a 'cross race. The course was mostly flat though there were a number of false flats, and not much room to stretch the legs. Obstacles included a double barrier leading to a run-up, a barrier followed by a small dried culvert you had to jump (repeated again later in the course)
and about 30-40 feet of playground sandbox. In warmups I both ran and rode the sand, but opted to run it in the race. What made the sand partiularly tricky was a 6" drop into the sand, making it difficult to pedal strong into the sand. Rather, to prevent endoing, you had to lift the front and drop into the sand, losing precious momentumum.

Only about 45 on the line for the 4a's this week. Despite the reduced numbers, I still failed to get a spot on the front line. I lined up on the second row in the middle, making it very difficult to get free at the start. I settled into the pack about 30 back. The first two laps were uneventful, save for the searing pain in my legs. Beginnig lap three, before the first set of barriers is a paved straight with a sharp left turn at the end. I hear a racer come up on the inside of the turn fast. I'm thinking, how the hell is this guy gonna make the turn coming this fast and on the inside of the turn! Well, the answer is, he wasn't. I later learned he thought it was a RIGHT hand turn.. :( So, when I turned left into the turn, hoping he would hold his line, I ended up running smack into his rear wheel. I went down, and he made it through more or less ok... At least I was able to launch off the bike as I went down to land on the grass and not the pavement..

I remounted and tried to pedal away. My saddle was severly skewed to the right, so I stopped and corrected. However, upon remounting, something still wasn't right. I thought my bars had turned too, but luckily it was just a shifter turned a little out of wack. I tried to straighten in, but to no avail. It was so weird to me to be standing on the course of a cyclocross race. I've come to know CX as an all out sprint to the end, and even though you do get off the bike from time to time, you're NEVER standing still. And yet, here I was. It was not a good feeling.

Getting back into the rhythm was tough, and I don't think I ever quite got it back. I reeled back a couple of lost places, and managed to hold off a late attack by a couple of guys who had been working together most of the race. I ended up 17th of 45. A ways off of my top 10 a couple weeks ago, but considering the cirumstances, I guess I can't complain.

All in all, a good day. Got to hang with some new friends and make newer ones! And I manage to snap a few pics in the process. Good times all around.

Someday there'll be snow...


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Anonymous Ben said...

Way to push hard after going down! It is so hard to get that rythem back once it happens, at least it is for me. Nice job on finishing it out strong!

24/10/07 11:32 AM  
Blogger Mike C said...

Thanks, Ben. I'm not normally know for mental toughness.. 'Cross is becoming a good teacher.. ;)

24/10/07 5:03 PM  

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