Monday, October 6, 2008

My first real live actual race report!!!!!!

OK, time to flesh out the skeleton...

Being my first race and all, and seeing as how I barely got to ride half the course for a practice lap, I felt it would be wise to start out towards the rear, I didn’t want to cause a pile up at the first turn. I will never make that mistake again. Screw ‘em, they can go around me.

Charging "The Hill"

The rest is kind of a blur. I remember my first two, and only passes, a lot of adrenaline, a lot of vomit suppression, and a 6 year old boy hollering for all he was worth through the gap left by his missing two front teeth.

up "The Hill." For you locals, that is Jay standing up in the foregrond. The man could cheer a square boulder up that hill.
First there was the fat dude leap frog. Me and the other Clydesdale passed each other quite a few times on the first lap. He started sucking wind pretty hard and I passed him shortly after the Slip’n’Slide. The second part of lap one and first half of lap two were pretty uneventful.

Rounding "The Hill" and coming down the "Slip'n'Slide."

After Hefty, I caught up with Clumsy. I outweighed this guy by at least 50 lbs, and he was on a geared bike and everything. He’d pass me, get a few yards ahead of me, then fall down. This happened 3 or 4 times, at least. Finally, I managed to get around him clean and started getting out ahead of him. I was pretty much all alone for the last two laps. I would see Clumsy on the switchbacks, but he had slowed quite a bit, one of those falls must have walloped him good I guess. Maybe he was hungover, or still possibly drunk. I talked to him after the race, he was built like a real live biker, no arms, no chest, legs that looked like they could drop kick a bowling ball 300 yards. Maybe it was his first race too.

Rounding th bottom corner of the "Slip'n'Slide." I'm guessing this is where about 90% of the wrecks were. I survived all trips down.

After that it was just a matter of trying not to fall down. It had rained before and the course was still slick at spots. Just about the time I started feeling like I could have tried harder, the adrenaline wore off. My bike started feeling heavy. I mean HEAVY, like I was pushing 150 gear inches uphill with flat tires. I barely made it up the hills of the Slip'n'Slide, I seriously almost stalled out. I did my best to finish strong, but I was feeling it. I could barely turn the pedals over, even on the flats.

Worlds cutest cheering squad. That's my mom on the right, I let her come even though she wouldn't
buy me that bike, that's how good of a son I am

Sorry, I couldn't resist a closeup of that gap-toothed smile, he lost that second tooth the morning of the race. The kid can yell, and man, he can ring the hell out of a cowbell too!
So what did I learn? Cyclocross is like crack. Biking is about to get more fun, a little more intense, that is for sure, but a lot more fun. This weekend I’m gonna go through the house and see what I can pawn to get a real CX bike. I don’t know about Hawthorn Woods, but Carpentersville is definitely on the horizon. I can’t believe I screwed off all summer when I could have been training for this. I need to get off my ass and get serious. And Chas thought she was a bike widow this summer…


Jafael said...

OMG! There are PICTURES!!! That looks like an awesome, amazing, fantastic thing to do!!

gabby1 said...

Great pics! Congrats on your first cross race! Looks fun...I might have to engage sometime. Maybe after I buy your cross for Bob and he busts his ass a few then I won't have to worry about him making fun of me :)
Seriously though - congrats on your 1st one...36th isn't bad - and you can only improve from here! Did you treat your cheering section to ice cream or something good afterwards? They deserve it!

Johnny said...

Pffffffft! Treat?!?! I let my mom buy me some cookies. If she had cheered a little louder maybe I would have got 35th!

Nah, my buddy Craig showed up and we went home and grilled some burgers. Mom had to leave early.

Erik said...


gabby1 said...

And if she had gotten you that new cross bike you wanted imagine where you might have ended up in the race! LOL!

Joel said...

Gabby.... well said!

That singlespeed bike bike didn't allow him to shift into an easier gear.