Shedd Park is one of the best local races on the New England calendar, and like many local races, it's hard to really pinpoint WHY. But for some reason, EVERYONE shows up, so the Cat 1/2/3 race is highly entertaining, and there's lot of cat 3 scrubs padding out the cat 2 scrub zone. Yes!!
This course is also the scene of my first cyclocross victory ever, the Cat 4 race in 2006, back when I was so fresh to the cyclocross that I didn't blog about it! It's also the place where I beat Chandler that time after all that trash talk. ahhhh, memories.
If you want to know about lap one, watch the video. The quick summary is that I was going too hard to stay with the lead group (shocker) and was popped off said group along with my perpetual riding companion Charlie on lap two.
Charlie and I rode around for twenty or so minutes and picked up a backward-sliding Chandler and a forward-moving Bill Kenney during this time. This game the group a dangerous dynamic of one guy who could actually pedal hard (Charlie) and three guys who mainly ride around looking at other people's butts.
Charlie is a team player so for a while it worked, but eventually he saw an opportunity to put in an attack and whomever was on lead wheelsucking duty (wasn't me!) totally let him gap us by like five seconds, and then we were all "boo hoo, hard work, waaaaa" and he was gone.
Soon after Bill had an innocent but time-consuming crash, and then it was down to me and Chandelier, who may or may not have some unresolved angst over the last time he and I raced at this venue.
In any case Chandler was even more committed to not pulling than I was, which was not good for our lap times.
Manny Goguen was recovering from a flat, and Dave Dornaus was just riding bikes hard, and with about one to go they had caught the sinking ship that is Colin and Chandler riding together on a power course.
Dave went to the front, because he was just riding bikes hard, and I tried to figure out how I was going to win the group against two of the only guys I actually worry about in a sprint.
My plan, unfortunately, contained the pivotal assumption that if I pedaled harder than Chandler I would be able to go by him.
Two trips into the woods later, I had not gone by him, and now we were hitting the track! That's ok I'll just sprint on the track... no, wait, the track is actually lose cinder and you can't sprint so much as sit down and spin while drifting.
Even so, I started to get a bit of a run going on my traveling companions, just in time for the kink in the track near the finish to come up and have everyone swing over to the outside, putting me into the tape one last time for good measure.
THEN I WAS FUSSY ABOUT BIKE RACING FOR TEN MINUTES.
Then I got over myself. See you next weekend!