Saturday, September 19, 2009

Reality Check

My first cyclocross race of the season, the Michigan Double Cross Race 1, is officially in the record books.

Now I know where I stand, a stake has been struck into the hard, dry, Michigan ground. Now I have a point of reference from which to measure my progress.

Leading up to that first race, it's funny because there are all these expectations, preconceived notions and questions of how I would perform. How would I measure up now that I've moved up to the "B" group? Well, now all that has been answered. No more hiding behind a facade of 60 mile road rides, it's laid bare for all to see.

Maybe that's what cyclocross is about. Whether your state, national or world champion, there's no hiding. There's no team to tow you around the course, and, come the last lap, cut you loose to crush your competition There's no 100-man peloton to provide shelter.

Cyclocross is solitary, it's painful, and it's beautiful. There's a camaraderie despite the solitude, that exists in knowing that each and every racer out there is hurting too (some just go a hell of a lot faster amidst their suffering).

I consider racing "play by plays" a little stale. Is anyone really interested in hearing the minutia of every grueling minute of my race?? I've done them in the past and I kinda regret it. I'll keep that commentary to myself. Suffice to say, I was a bit underwhelmed with my performance, however, my expectations may have been too high. I felt smooth on the barriers, had big issues with the flyover, did ok cornering and felt ok power wise. I finished around 18th place (actually it was 19th place). I say "around" because I'm not positive since I didn't stick around to find out. I kept post-race lolly-gagging to a minimum since I had my family with me and I promised them a nice lunch afterward for serving as my cheering section.

FYI -My daughter (she's two) rang her first cowbell today. Yup, I'm a proud papa!

Got another race tomorrow and I can't wait. Oh yeah - congrats to fellow Rhino Mark for a strong showing in the B race - 5th place! I'll give a shout out to Jan and Steve too, you guys finished strong. Way to go!

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