On Saturday I contested my second cross race ever. I learned a whole bunch. One - when your tired it's hard to dismount/remount smoothly and cleanly. Two, pushing a bike uphill after jumping a barrier is harder than it looks! Three I need to work on my standing start to full bore race speed. I got a great place on the grid but lost some positions in the ensuing sprint.
The course was awesome, with a little bit of everything. It had nice singletrack section with a log barrier, a nice long fireroad, and a nice runup with a manmade barrier in the middle. If you had MTB skills you were primed to do well with this course.
I followed the stratgy I've gone with all year. I start out at my pace and work my way up from there. Again it worked for me. I moved up to 6th by the end of the race. Another lap and I probably could have gotten 5th, as that rider was starting to fade after such a long hard effort working on the front with the leaders.
I wasn't sure if I was going to like 'cross racing, but after two races I'm hooked. The vibe before and after is awesome (imagine a giant party - but with bikes, mud, and freezing temps:-). The races are just the right length to inflict pain, but not too long where your sick of racing. Overall it has been and awesome experience and I still have 4 more left!
Next up on the schedule is the Wissahickon cross on Sunday out near Philly. Then comes a big one - the USGP Mercer Cup in NJ. Also, just added will be the PA State Cross race at the end of next month!
Thanks for reading