Friday, October 06, 2006

Cyclocross Season and Family Distractions

Since my last blog, I had a baby. Not just me of course, but my wife did most of the work. Hailey Harris David was born at 4:15pm on September 8, 2006. A very welcome addition to the family, and she's been enjoying her new environment and doing baby things.

Of course, this cuts into the training time a wee bit, so it's been tough to get things done. I haven't seen a swim in a month, despite having my wet suit in the car. I'm afraid to take it out, feeling as if that will be some kind of acceptance of the end of open water swims at Walden Pond. So, I keep it in there in some misguided attempt to hang onto summer. At some point, it will have to go under the bed and hibernate till next year.

The bonus of this time of year, however, is cyclocross season. I just started it this year, buying a bike from a clubmate. I keep wondering where this has been all of my life. It is the best time I've had on a bike. There is something about autumn in New England that compels you to ride a modified road bike (or cross bike if you have one) on the side of embankments while jumping over barriers and jumping back on the bike (risking all that men "hold" dear).

My first cross race was at Milford, NH. All went extremely well, except for not being able to unclip before the second set of barriers on the first lap, which of course meant that I went down hard, my Surly Crosscheck went down harder, and thanked me for my efforts by embedding a crank in my calf. First race, first lap, first wipeout. The cosmic forces were aligned.

But, I was able to use my base fitness to claw my way back in the always competitive beginner's race and finish top ten. I even had to do a sprint down the finishing straight and beat another guy buy a bike throw (pushing your bike forward in order to have your tire cross the line first).

Tomorrow, the big time: Gran Prix of Gloucester. This is cross in New England, in Stage Fort Park, on the ocean, with people coming from all around to do this race. Post to come.

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