Sunday, November 23, 2008

State CX Championships

Hey, I got a Call Up at States in the Cat. 123 race!! Wahoo!! Dont think for a second I think I deserved it, but damn that was cool anyways!!

What a course. I think it deserving of the states what with the DJ, great course layout and such. A nice long course that I was honestly still trying to figure out on the last lap. I heard we did only 8 laps in an hour. I havent seen results yet so just a guess.

I raced my SS bike again and let me tell you-that was a BIG mistake and I am not afraid to admit it. The Sled hill area and the off camber up and down hill corners were not kind to my body or my bike. But the grassy sections going back and forth definitely were. My gearing was perfect for them. I made uber time in those sections, not that it really mattered as you'll see.

The race starts with some pretty good guys. Thom and Dave and I discussed how it would be fun to race with new faces. In the Elite race were Jon Card, Gerry Pflug, Phil Noble, Matt Weeks, Chris Mahew, Ernesto and a lot more studly cross riders I have never seen before.

I get a good start, I fight for positions and get a good head of steam for the uphill, but I am a bit tentative in the corners, but maintaining my mid-pack spot. When we start the first uphill tight corner adrenaline or something is running high and as I get to the top I pull so hard on the handlebars because i am pedaling so hard to stay in position I lift the front wheel off the ground and fall right over.

I could say I am so powerful I just overpowered my bike, but lets just say I am a dork and leave it at that.

So its my usual race. At the back and try and move up. I drill it through the grassy power sections and just suffer in the hilly section. OK-not hills per se, more like a large embankment separating the park from the road with a really steep peak. They really made it fun and interesting winding us all around it too. Down to the sidewalk, up at an angle, across it doing 180's and down into off cambers with pine needles to make you check-up. Some corners had great grip and some were slippery and some your bike moved around a bit, but didnt really slide. I think Craft called those corners as having a nice float.


To add insult to injury (or injury to insult) I also go too hot in the baseball diamond turn and whack the fence with my right hand and turn my knuckles into ground meat.

I put in some big attacks to catch the group of Wingler, Thom Domonic, Dave Steiner and others. I catch and pass, get a small gap at first then maybe I overcooked it because they pass me back and drop me. I go soft for a lap or so then start to attack again. Then Dave catches the course tape and has a bad crash right in front of us. There was Dave all over the course and I almost ran over his arms. I swerved, he tucked in his arms. Thom kept driving the pace and pulled out a lead on me I could not close.

After that I slowly caught another, I dont know 5 or 6 guys and went after the last guy in my sights, but he saw me coming and opened up the gap despite my best effort. As usual I got tired, back screaming so I couldnt go very fast up the hills, almost at a standstill in sections but for some reason I still had some good speed in the flats.

Race done!! Great job to Thom, Dave was banged up in the leg, but ok. I am now trying to resolve that some days its really not a single speed day and today was one of them. And not because it was States, but because the course just had to many slow corners into uphills. But with only one Lake Effect race remaining I bet I run the SS again, no matter what. Next year though I work on my starts and maybe run the geared bike on the sunny days!! And it was fun to race some new faces. Thank you Cap City Cross!!!

1 comment:

Andy said...

Ray,

Great right up and glad you had fun. Awesome job on the SS!

Thanks for making the trip down to the race.

- Andy
(the race promoter)