I am a traditional opponent of early-September cyclocross, but with my 29er frame broken there wasn't much to do except roll out to Quad Cross and eat dust.
Due to an 11th-hour bike build (is there any other kind?), I didn't preregister, which was stupid because I ended up not finishing the build and just racing on last year's bike, proving that finishing the build was unnecessary and I could have saved myself $10 and about 30 start spots if I had just USED THE BIKEREG.
Quad Cross Bar Cam from colin reuter on Vimeo.
The holeshot was 40 yards into a turn, then a turn, and then a lot more turns, so any first-minute heroics were ruled out for those of us on the back row. Instead I tried to "stay calm" or whatever it is I would have told Christin to do, and move up when I could without getting into any crashes.
This plan lasted for a solid two minutes, until we hit the dirt road on the backstretch and things opened up enough for me to get EXCITED. And what do we do when we're EXCITED, kids? We CHOP PEOPLE!
(wooooo cross woooooooo)
So I stuffed my front wheel into a few places it really shouldn't have been (sorry Ian, sorry blue kit guy) and it was WORKING in that the adrenaline generated by this riding style was stronger than the pain.
However when I went to pass Aaron Hubbell (in a much less choppy manner, I might add), karma caught up with me and he decided to ride the left line of the ride-up right as I as tried to shoot into that gap to pass him. Thus instead of making the jump to hyperspace, I kind of just rammed him in the ribs from behind and got shuttled very briskly into a tree for my efforts.
I ran back out of the woods but not before losing all the spots I had spent the last two minutes riding like a deeeeeeeeek to acquire. Dang.
This also gave me a little bit of the legs sads as the adrenaline subsided significantly.
From there on I trickled my way forward from group to group, eventually meeting up with The Schon who had had the classic I-just-built-this-bike "hood slip" mechanical. We rode around and I listened to him complain about his shifting but pedal really hard anyway.
Unfortunately his bike handling was extra-Schonish (can I say that??) because of the hood angle and eventually I had to be on my way.
Up next was Chris Field from ECV and I spent extra long drafting him because being lazy is my specialty. We were gaining on Tim Durrin (recently downgraded to "Gamma Durrin" thanks to Gabby) and by my calculations we were going to catch him right around the last lap, so that looked like some excitement.
With a lap to go, though, the gap was still 10 seconds and I attacked across it alone. This was working great right up until the sandy uphill turn in front of the pavilion (you know the one!), where I aggressively rode my face into the hillside instead of my bike up it.
I can't remember if Field caught back on at this point, but it was last-lap freakout time so I got away again anyway.
Durrin, always the comedian, made sure to put in juuuuuuuust enough of a sprint at the end to hold me off as I tried to close down five seconds in the last thirty.
During the race I felt like I was doing horribly and I should retire from my non-career and take up knitting, so from that perspective, ending up in 13th/40ish wasn't really so bad. Gonna need a lot better ride than that for the lead lap at Green Mountain next week, though....
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