Thursday, September 24, 2009

Welcome to the Killer B's...

Day 1 - in the belly of the beast...

So this is a bit late in coming but I really needed to let my first races of the season percolate before giving them their due. Also, I was hoping to include some pics courtesy of the local photogs.

To recap, last weekend was the Michigan Double Cross, a two day cyclocross extravaganza put on by Tailwind, Kinetic Systems and the Flying Rhinos Cycling Club. The course was set up at Waterford Hills Raceway and came complete with the usual suspects; undulations, two sets of barriers, 180 degree turns, sand, and bumpy terra firma. Oh, and let's not forget the "Orange Crush" - a flyover of monstrous proportions - huge, steep steps going up, a very short bridge section and a steep ramp going back down. The Orange Crush was my nemesis both days...

Day 1 - Here I am going down the ramp - looking like a pro. Good thing it's not a video, otherwise you would see how slow I really was...

First impression of the weekend: it was really refreshing to do some 'cross racing after a summer of road racing. It's such a different world. Fun seems to be a bigger priority in cyclocross. Don't get me wrong, cyclocross racing is an absolute bitch while you're out there, but in an odd way, it's fun at the same time. Maybe because the folks who race cyclocross don't take themselves as seriously... All I know is, I heard lots of folks throwing around the word "fun" at the weekend races. You rarely ever (never?) hear the term "fun" used in any context at a road race. Weird.

After chewing and digesting my races over the weekend, here's my thoughts and observations:
  • Racing in B is definitely tougher. 45+ minutes takes its toll.
  • I felt much better on Sunday than I did on Saturday, although my results didn't really show it (19th on Saturday, 17th on Sunday)
  • It was much easier for me to ride the sand on Sunday
  • Barrier work was decent - still jumping a bit high but at least it seemed smooth.
  • Need to work on my starts - getting good placement in that first turn is crucial.
  • My wife and little girl came out both days - it was great to have my own cheering section! Thanks to all the other Rhinos who offered encouragements, I heard 'em!
  • One other funny thing - every time my daughter hears a cowbell, she yells "Go Daddy!" - she's awesome!
Next up for me is a night race in Monroe, Michigan. Last year, I didn't do too shabby there so we'll see how it goes!

Thanks to Andrea Tucker, Hans Nyberg and Bruce LeBlanc for the photos!

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