Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rockburn CX Revisited

Fun, pain, nervousness, pain, fun, pain, pain…yep, that was my first cx race in two years in a nutshell. I can say that racing with a bunch of cat 1 cx guys in the single speed category was certainly an adventure in discovery for myself.

I have raced cx before in cat 3 and that was pretty tough itself, but not SS. I don't think there really is such a thing as a slow guy in cx, especially SS. Of course I had to pick one of the tougher course that I have raced. Lots of little climbs and tight off camber turns, not too much unlike a good technical cross country race course. It is much longer than a normal cx course (2 miles) which makes for some long time out of the saddle.

Sunday was a normal, cold day for cx and I started at the back and it wasn't long before the horn blew and we were off. It was the first time putting the Raleigh Furley through its paces, and it performed well. I ran a 39x18 which seems insane considering I run 32x17 on my mountain bike. I really didn't know what to expect for speed, but quickly found out that I would need a lot of it. We were off at a blistering 14-15 mph (sounds slow, but trust me it aint). I was sitting around 19th (out of 22) and new
that I had to make a move now or I would be stuck here. I passed a few guys about half way in and tried to move up to catch a couple more when I got slowed by a guy in the sand pit which stopped my and my momentum. I got back on and quickly caught the few guys I was chasing. I knew I wasn't going to even try to catch the top guys; they were gone, so I picked a few more guys to tag. I wasn't really sure were I was at this point, but after the 4th lap, everyone was pretty much in the spots they would stay in. 

It wasn't too eventful for me in particular, I was just trying not to bonk and keep hammering. I have to say I felt decent, the hip was ok on my mounts and dismounts. I ended up 12th and I was pretty happy about that all things considered. I would have finished 7th in the 35-45+ cat 3 guys had I raced in the category. 

What I was most stoked about was I had a small fan base. Johnny K and his family along with Carl-Eric-Kerl (he has many different names) and my family were on hand to watch and heckle. You know that you have good friends that support you when you are out there.

If you haven't raced cx, do it. It is a completely different experience than road or mountain races. It is more intimate and you can see most of the race from one vantage point. If you like beer, it is a prime haven for it-I myself have never indulged in such heathen activities, though. Seriously though, it is an awesome and sometimes humbling experience to get out there and push yourself beyond what you thought was possible. I may just do another one here soon, just for fun.