Sunday, November 16, 2008

The very cold The Fields CX race of 08

What did I do wrong? I got a front row start for the combined A and A masters and at the gun I got a little pinched so I backed off and the field of 31 started to come around. But I held position about mid field as we turned left. Lots of wet muddy grass and open fields so for the second I wasnt too annoyed.

But pre-race I decided to run the first corner to avoid the jam-up that was sure to come. The corner is tight (180) and was already muddy and really soft. But I stayed on my bike (bad decision) and in so doing loads of riders came by my inside as I struggled to get my one gear up to speed. I mean I was going no where and everyone was flying by.

It was awfully quiet all of a sudden so I looked back and low and behold I am in last place. Come-on!!! We go across the gravel lot to the soccer field and I see I think Gerry Pflug (orange kit) is already gapping the field, but hes on his way back across the field and I havent even made it inot the grass yet. I cannot believe how far back I am without a crash or mishap in a 1/3 or so of the first lap.

I work hard for laps and I start to work my way through the field bit by bit. I catch a group of 3 that includes Thom Dominic and then Dave Steiner and eventually Bill Marut. [side note-my eyes keep getting blurry tonight as I took a lot of mud in the eyes]. I have no idea where I am at overall, but I see Garth, Dan Quinlan and Matt Weeks ahead and I am closing fast!! All I know is if I catch them and pass them that's 3 much needed points in the overall points race.

takes a dig in deep mud
But as I get close I slip and fall in the off camber tennis court section and again later that lap I slip and fall a couple of times after dismounting in the old start finish area from 2007. Didnt get hurt at all this time. My feet slipped on the wood rail road ties as I jumped off and at every attempt ot stand up I fell again. LIke a ballet of an octopus on skates. The gap opens again and my right hand and bars are so slippery with mud I can barely hold the bar. Wuipe, wipe, wipe as hard as I can on my muddy shorts. Why not, I am covered in mud.

My pants also cake up and what was at first a slippery muddy mess has turned into a sticky paste and one lap after remounting after that damned tennis court my shorts catch the back of the saddle and I am stuck for a few seconds trying to get free so I can pedal again.

SOOOoooo I chase again and get really close to Garth and Quinlan again then I screw up the tennis court AGAIN, go left of the plastic sticks and get caught in the plastic. I chase again, but the muddy course starts to take its toll. The gap goes the other way and now they are out of sight.

I have an almost crap my pants moment on the big muddy descent when I almost cross up the front, I start to put the bike down, but somehow snag the bike upright and continue.

Like I said my legs are starting to get tired and as I get a lot better in some areas, others like the top of the gravel climb I slow down and in the old start finish area and the puddle before start finish its like quick sand. I am going so slow. I am sure this combined with the mistakes I made put Matt, Dan, Garth and at the end Rudy out of reach. Bummer. The last two times up the gravel climb I was spinning my rear tire at the top because I had lost so much momentum. I couldbt sprint hard enough off the bridge to be going fast enough at the top to just pop over.

I know I am over geared now by the level of pain in my lower back at the races second half. If Todd Field (Spin race) was a 9/10 in the pain-o-meter then today was a good 7.5. But I hammer out the last lap, catch some lapped guys and roll in for a 12th overall and 10th in the A. With Gerry and Rudy ahead and 1-2 in A Masters.
SO not a bad day and I honestly was looking forward to this one.

Call me nuts but I figure a cross season isnt a cross season without one mud fest. Last year we had three or four so we were overdue. But weve still got two more races left, but now I dont care if there sunny and 70 degrees. Thanks to the guys I battled with today for a fun race, to the guys who were the rabbits I chased so hard and especially to young Tony Marut for an awesome race today. Whatever he did Saturday night, I want in on that action.

And oh my yes-I am SO KIDDING about that Lynne and Bill!!! ha ha!!


Andy said...

Nice race report. Seems that race is always a mud/snow fest.

Any plans Sunday? Come down to the State Championship.

Ray Huang said...

Andy-I planned on being there, but i just caught a cold so we shall see. Even if I dont get t train, but am healthy Sunday when i wake up i'll do it.