Sunday, November 21, 2010
Howard County Double Cross Weekend
So I'm gonna keep this one short as I'm beat. I probably pushed myself harder on this weekend of racing than I have any other point the season - and I have two solid (for me anyways) to show for it. And best of all I felt great doing it the entire time.
Day one was a fast open course, but with enough corners thrown in to keep you honest. My warm up went really well and and felt that I had a good read on the course and that I had just the right tire pressure for the conditions. Once the race got started I started picking off other racers and bridging up to the next group in front of me. There was really one one technical uphill off-camber section but I selected the right tires and had no problem getting grip on the side of the hill. Fifty some minutes later I came in 29th by myself.
Day two was not quite as open and had some really cool single track thrown in. This certainly added another element to the race as there was no passing possible in these sections, so if you wanted to move up it had to be before hitting the woods. It took both a strong and tactical rider to do well at this course. My warm up was pretty much a repeat of the day before. I wasn't sure how my legs would feel after Saturday's effort but I actually felt really good. Again, my cornering was really good and I was able to make up a lot time on much faster riders simply because I was pushing the bike harder through the corners and willing to take some more risks. Altogether it netted me 33rd - another solid result to be proud of in the million man B's.
I'm really happy with the way I'm feeling right now. It's nice to feel like I have an extra gear to go to. I could tell in October I just didn't have it, but after this weekend I can tell it's coming back (just in time for PDX/Bend). It's also nice to see that the practice I've been putting into my cornering is really starting to show. Though racing in the B's with some of these fast cats has also pushed me to become a better rider as well.
To say I'm disappointed with the way the season has gone thus far wouldn't be true. However I didn't expect to be finishing mid-field like I am doing. But it has certainly been a learning experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. It has certainly helped to make me a better 'cross racer and that's something that will serve me quite well in the future!
It's hard to believe that the State championship race is on Saturday and Nats is only three weeks away. The season has just flown by! I've been privileged to go to awesome races but more importantly meet some even MORE awesome people! It's been a wild ride - one that I look forward to continuing well into the future!
P.S. Big shout out to Joe Mallis for providing awesome photographs of the weekend! See his whole sets by clicking on the link!