Sunday, September 30, 2007

Say it Loud....

The new ride finally came in. Well, the new ride actually didn't come in. But, the good folks at Landry's let me go with the Felt since the arrival of the Cannondales was delayed. So, I no longer will be riding the beautiful "Nubian Queen" that was the Surly Cross Check. Now, I will be riding the Nubian Princess Felt F1X. Slightly better components than the Cannondale, and it was here and fit. Bonus!! Plus, I picked up a used pair of Ksyrium SL Tubulars on a long drive to Plymouth, NH (thank you Craigslist) and got the Challenge Grifos. Look out! Now I just have to put the damned things on. Hopefully by Gloucester I'll be locked and loaded.
No racing this weekend. I was on kid duty. Was able to ramble out of bed at 4:00am and get 10 miles of running in. Running in the dark and quiet is really lovely. No distractions, no cars, your own world. Getting out of bed is the hard part, but worth it if you can do it. Hard to do anything high intensity (for me at least), but it gets the job done on a tight schedule.

I heard interesting things about Amesbury. Lots of roots and such. Still wish I could have been there. I was able to spend four hours cleaning two bikes. The tri bike is now put away and sparkling clean. The Surly is returned in pristine condition. Special thanks to Diane T. who loaned me the bike I sold her. "How about you give me $500 and I continue to ride the bike?" What a great deal.

I did take the Felt out at Delaney Pond. Can't ride too fast, but it has some nice features to do a skills workout. The bike handled well, looking forward to next week in Casco Bay.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cross Weekend Part I

First weekend of cyclocross racing took us to E. Falmouth and Bedford. You couldn't have two more different tracks to race on.

Coonamessett was tight and technical, with limited passing room. You are basically racing through apple orchards and farmland. While USAC regs. state the course is supposed to be 3 meters wide, we had handlebar width racing for many sections. That said, the barriers went right through the "beer tent" and cafe setting, which was a great plus. You could hang out, eat fresh baked scones, have a Harpoon, and cheer people jumping and falling over the barriers.

I started in the middle of the pack, and that was pretty much it. It was a race to the first downhill section, where we starting stacking up. The front got away as we were waiting to file through these tight sections. Being my first race, I was fine with that, opting to work my technique and fitness in the Beginners race slated for 30 minutes. I was happy to start passing people through the race, mostly through attrition than any major bursts for speed. I hung in for 10th overall, after getting hung up in some lapped traffic and wiping out on plastic edging on the last lap.

Bedford was a great event with a nice cross course. Asphalt start, wide lanes, challenging run up, fast descent, long grass power section, uphill finish. The run up and subsequent descent took its toll on the course. I ended up dismounting on the right to make remounting at the top from the right easier. I had a great start (for me) and was able to be in the top ten. As people fell off, I was in fourth overall, which was pretty hard to believe given it was my first 3/4 35+ race.

This was I think a first race that I didn't flat or crash. I was able to hold my position until the last lap, until a guy from IBC passed me. I had a hard time reclipping on the descent and this gave him a gap that I couldn't close. Also, he was much smoother in the turns, something I need to work on. My fitness kept me in the mix, but I need to work on the technical much more. But, considering I only have a handful of cross workouts and this is my second race, I'll take it. Everyone seemed to really like the course and the venue, and Quad Cities did a nice job putting it on. I hope they can hold onto it in the future.