Sunday, October 4, 2009

Leroy CX..a debacle on my part

I'll start with a positive then its all downhill form there, I can really feel a big improvement in cornering when its slippery. I am starting to feel how to move my body around a bit and keep pedaling through some pretty thick, gooey mud. I am no John Page and never will be, but its something to be positive about.

So I pre-ride and say to myself, this course lacks some excitement and "fun" stuff, but that's understandable because the Vrooman course is dead flat. No off cambers, short hills or Pain climbs. But I believe it suits me just fine. Muddy, long stretches and not too technical. Wont be as much fun as say Wendy Park, but should be a good course for me. OK, that's two positive things.

I line up on the first row and take off without any drama and kick it hard, but damn, here I am back, WAY back before we even get past the dog leg. So I buckle down and drill it up the empty middle and then say out loud "UH-OH" and Jeff Craft tells me later he thought it cant be good when a rider says "UH'OH" in the middle of the field. I am heading for the concrete block and luckily Doan Brook MTB riding takes over and I bunny hop it to Bill Maruts cheers. haha.

We get to the singletrack and I tried to get past the horde in front, but it bottle necks and we come almost to a stop. I come out and chase like mad all the way around the course and I am starting to see the familiar body shapes way in front of me. I am flying in certain sections and HATE the fact I may catch them, but will be fried from the effort when I could have been WITH them and used those matches to help chase the next rider up the road or gap them. Not for 18th, but 5th...get the picture? Frustrating.

Then maybe as early as lap2 I come to the dismount and I catch my skinsuit on the tip of my saddle and me and the bike go down. I get up, run, drag my bike sideways over the barrier, remount, pedal and no drive. Dropped chain. I keep trying to pedal to see if it picks it up because its laying on the third eye, but no go. Dismount, reach down to wrap it completely or else the crank will roll back and unwrap it. I learned that at Edgewater. This is a case where a double would have helped. I dont know how many, but more than 10guys go past before I remount. And I hadnt made it to the top 10 yet I dont think before this. This is not good and I know it.

I get that "who gives a shit" attitude for a half lap as I play the I'm muddy and cold card till I start to see guys I can catch. I chastise myself and get going. I pass a lot of guys. I even pass a group of 5 in a pack at the start finish where I am at my best on this course then its catch slowly catch them one by one.

When I start to catch Steiner I follow his grass line past the wheel pit instead of my wide arcing line from gravel to grass and assuming I'll have more grip I lean without braking and my front washes out and feels like it was covered in grease its slides out so easily. After the race Baldesare who kicked ass (and was a great MTB rider in the early 90's) and I talked and we agreed everytime you try and corner a CX bike like a road bike you end up smacking the ground..hard. I banged my right shin hard and got a big bump. I chase and then get into a good battle with Aussie Rob who out sprints me out of the single track. I get out of the saddle past the ball diamond and bleachers and gun it and go past. I bobble again at the ditch. I lost count ahow many times I screwed up, but few in traditional ways (slide out, crash, over cook a corner, etc)

I see 2 to go from Lynn and can see one Lake Effect (John Proppe) and Cameron from RGF about a 100' ahead. Cameron passes John and John counters and starts to put time into Cam. I dont really register this or assume Cam will re-catch John. Either way I want to pass them both on the bell lap, but I bobble again at the ditch and lose some valuable real estate. But I finally get close to Cam around the concession area. he slides coming out of the right hander after the picnic area and collects it before hitting the wood fence and now I am right on him. I attack out of the left hander around the two 90 deg right handers, Hes obviously popped as he lets me go but John has already passed the start finish line. So I got one of them and what a last lap by John.

I guess it turned out ok in the end. I got to practice muddy cornering, raced guys head to head all race long, but overall it was a day filled with silly, but time consuming errors. I need to practice of all things getting my chain back on and starts couldnt hurt either. And i had problems in areas I didnt really have an issue with last year like coming out of ditches (they were a lot slipperier this year). Not that any of them cost me that much time, but combined they did since there were so many. Now I have to have a really good race in two weeks so I can score some good points.

And possibly the biggest challenge is many of the guys are heading to Cincinnati for 3 days of racing while I am here barely riding. I guess I just have to buckle down, find some motivation to push really hard this week when I can cause all them guys will be flying for Spin Cross your Heart. And a big thanks to Kevin and crew for putting on the race again. It was a disaster for me, but that IS cross racing! I could make an analogy to my entire 2009 (racing and life), but that would be two too many negatives for one day.

No comments: