Sunday, 20 November 2011
Vint Hill and Rockburn
This cyclocross racing, she's a cruel mistress. I had a bottle of whine to go with my race at Vint Hill yesterday, a product of a couple of things including racing at 3pm (freaking hated that), the washboard surface of an otherwise really well designed and laid out course, generally shite legs, and pretty significant feelings of burnout. Never in my life have I ever raced with anything even approaching this frequency. I think it's like 10 races in 8 weekends or something crazy like that. So I came, I saw, I kind of sucked. Just a little ahead of mid fleet in 7th in a small Cat 3 field, with some guys who were quite good.
The way home was nearly a total catastrophe, but thanks to our new favorite person in the world Ron at Good Year in Manassas, tragedy averted.
Had another big glass of whine with breakfast this morning, had my poopy pants pulled up pretty high. I was just feeling really done with racing and it was shooting sparks in a bunch of different directions. Then we got there, and the nice people at registration handed me start number 12 (awesome), I pre-rode the course (awesome), rode right through the "unrideable" sand pit, I generally found myself pretty excited and ready to go. Completely botched the start despite my cushy 2nd row spot, entered the course somewhere deep in the where, and got to work. Rode the sandpit, won myself 1,000 screaming fans (that was awesome), passed a lot of people, and found myself somewhere around 15th. Absolutely nothing about any part of my physiological being felt what you would call "good," but in my very last post I'd droned on about leaving it all on the course, not racing safe, etc. That's actually one of the good things about being a fool with a blog - sometimes you put yourself out on the ledge, even if no one reads.
So I was there in like 12th or whatever after passing a few dudes, with the first 5 or so guys a bit ahead, decided that a bloody 25th was better than a clean 10th, and got to work. The group up the course was full of the usual suspects from the last season and a half, no jokers in the deck, and there were some good riders around me. I pulled the f'ing throttle as hard as I could, and dropped all but one of the guys in my little mini group. I think we were 7th and 8th, and closing in on the top 5. Early in the last lap, I made full contact with the leaders. Then sat on for like 5 seconds and attacked. And boy was that a big freaking mistake. Whoops. Well, I managed to stay with the flurry of poo flinging that my attack initiated, but eventually we got a little striated with me on the wrong side of the tracks. 5th was still to play for, and I give myself credit for trying to get there, which I almost did, but 6th was the nut. I'd just cost myself too much with being a chatch in the early part of the race.
Mission accomplished, though. When Paul showed up with his tied up wing, I was able to absolutely say that there was not a single additional effort I could have made during the race. Even if the scoreboard had said 9th or 16th, it would have been about 1000 times better than the weak sauce I served up at Schooley Mill.
I'm signed up for Taneytown, and thinking about Urban Cross. I'm either going to go with the idea of racing like today, or not go. If the season happens to have ended today, I've had a great time in my first season of cross. Getting 35th at Winchester, and feeling like I'd ridden pretty well, seems a long way ago indeed.