(Photo Credit: Gregg Brekke)
Boy, have I been remiss in updates lately. Between work, training, racing, and everyday life stuff, I finally got a relaxing morning to write.
Last weekend brought stops #6 and #7 of the Northeast Ohio Cyclocross Series, the 5th Annual Chagrin River Cyclocross Challenge hosted by Brett Davis and Solon Bicycle. It was our first time racing there and you really couldn't ask for a more scenic venue. The course had a little bit of everything and they simply reversed the direction from Saturday to Sunday.
Here's how Saturday went down:
Unfortunately, Lorena had to work on Saturday and couldn't race. It's probably better that she wasn't there because the Huck-A-Meter got pushed into the red. Lots of things stacked up to contribute to this:
There was a bridge out within a mile of the venue that required a detour of unknown length and led to my arriving later than I wanted. The 'good' parking was full leading to:
Being directed into 'overflow' parking between two pine trees with low hanging branches. I was nervous about this because my bike was on the roof but, there was another vehicle in there with bikes on their roof so I figured it must be OK. Well. . .
The branches caught my handlebars, twisted my bars around, bent my left shifter a little, and kinked the shift cable housing right at the shifter. Now:
There's less than an hour until the start of the race, I haven't registered, and now I have to work on my bike unsure if it's going to shift. As if all that's not enough:
I was already upset about the Halloween costume requirement for Saturday's race. While I won't go into all of the reasons why, my primary concern was not knowing if/how my costume would impact racing.
Let's just say all of this didn't make my mindset ideal for focusing on racing. Despite being on the front row, my start wasn't very good. It became single-file quickly, especially in the turn by the river. Of course, someone crashed there causing a back-up that didn't help in the 'positive thoughts' department. It just increased the amount of ground I'd spend the rest of the race trying to make up. This was made more difficult by the course being tighter than it first appeared. Most of the time, trying to pass was made treacherous by lots of roots or required being a jerk by forcing someone over. I spent a lot of time sitting behind people in the tight spots because I didn't want to be a jerk.
In the end, I finished mid-pack (20th) which is way lower than I felt I should have. I suppose you could say 'That's Racing.' but, I have high expectations of myself, especially after finishing 6th a week prior in Elyria. You know you've had a bad day at the races when you don't want to hang out afterward and basically get changed to head home as soon as possible.
We had two other Orrville riders in the B-field, Aaron Hershberger and Mike Chapman. Congrats to Aaron on his 8th place finish. When Aaron came around me, I tried really hard to hang on his wheel but, he obviously had better legs (and probably a better mindset).
Next post: Day-2 (Trust me, it gets better.)